Aug. 26, 2013
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - When Fordham takes the field on Thursday night against Rhode Island, the 2013 Patriot League football season will officially be underway!
We've spent the past month previewing the season at www.patriotleague.org, as well as with the #28playersin28days feature on @PatriotLeagueFB Twitter to highlight the preseason All-Patriot League student-athletes. Building off that theme, here are #28for28, 28 things to love heading into the 28th season of Patriot League football.
For all of the content heading into the year, visit Patriot League Football Preseason Central
28 things to love in 28th season of Patriot League Football
1. Patriot League Network - Football has a home online, and it's free. There will be 26 games streamed on Patriot League Network this season, including 13 of the 21 Patriot League contest.
2. CBS Sports Network games - The Patriot League's television home will feature a pair of League games, Lehigh at Fordham (Oct. 5) and Colgate at Holy Cross (Oct. 19). Those four teams account for every Patriot League title since 2007.
3. More television games - Lehigh has a pair of national broadcasts on NBC Sports Network and more contests on Service Electric 2 or WFMZ. Lafayette annually has nearly all of its games televised through the Lafayette Sports Network. Holy Cross and Colgate each appear on regional networks. Patriot League football will be very visible again in 2013.
4. Seven home games on Sept. 7 - While this weekend is the official kickoff to the season, Sept. 7 will really get things going with all seven League squads playing at home. Each team except Fordham plays its home opener, while Lafayette, Lehigh and Bucknell open their seasons.
5. Taking on the CAA
- Patriot League teams want to measure themselves against the CAA, and they'll have a chance in 2013. The conferences face off eight times, and Patriot League teams will host seven of those games.
6. Big-win opportunities - The CAA games provide a handful of chances for big wins as Patriot League teams have a total of five games against Villanova, Towson, New Hampshire and Stony Brook, all ranked in the top 15 of the FCS polls. Colgate also visits Air Force and Fordham goes to Temple as opportunities for FBS wins.
7. The Ivy League rivalries - The matchups are always tight when the two conferences get together, with the Leagues splitting games 8-8 last year. There are 15 more contests this year to break that tie.
8. Facing off with the NEC - The Patriot League has historically fared well against another regional foe, the Northeast Conference, including a 5-4 advantage last year. But after Wagner beat Colgate in last year's FCS playoffs, there will be a revenge factor for both conferences in the seven matchups this year.
9. Fordham-Columbia - Fordham has won three straight and five of the last six against its cross-town rival in the battle for the Liberty Cup, which honors the victims of Sept. 11, 2001. With the Rams ineligible for the Patriot League title, winning a trophy, even for a game, would have to feel good.
10. Significance of Fordham games - Fordham can not contend for the Patriot League title and its games do not count towards the standings. But with a tight Patriot League race expected, results against the Rams could play a role in tiebreaking purposes.
11. Gavin McCarney - The senior will almost certainly depart as the top rushing quarterback in Patriot League history...can he become even more memorable with another League title and high finish for the Walter Payton Award?
12. Carlton Koonce - Koonce was electric at times in 2012 with a pair of 200-yard games. With the Rams boasting a strong offense on paper, the running back has a great shot at an outstanding senior season.
13. Tailgating - Who doesn't love an excuse to fire up the grill at 10 a.m. on a fall Saturday?
14. Mark Ross - The Lafayette senior will look to add his name to the great line of Patriot League wide receivers with another big season.
15. September night games - The feeling of watching football under the warm air as summer winds down....does anything beat it?
16. Nigel Muhammad - The latest in the line of Lehigh linebackers, Muhammad faces the task of leading a defense that lost most of its big names.
17. No Patriot League games in September - After years of early League contests, the first Patriot League game is set for Oct. 5. Everyone has some time to work out the kinks before playing a game that affects the League race.
18. Dustin Wharton - Andrew Schaetzke. Robert McCabe. Is Wharton the next great Georgetown defensive player?
19. 12 Patriot League games in November - Because of a late Thanksgiving, there are four Saturdays on the schedule in November, meaning that the majority of the Patriot League race will be played after Halloween.
20. A three-month season - Fordham hosts Rhode Island on Aug. 29. The season can end no earlier than Nov. 30. That's at least 14 weeks of Patriot League football games, which can never be a bad thing.
21. First year of scholarships - The Patriot League moves forward in the scholarship era....will it make a difference in year one?
22. Brandon Wesley - Wesley is going to go down among the games played leaders in League history, as the Bucknell quarterback has started since the second game of his collegiate career in 2010. Can he translate the experience into a big season as a senior?
23. Lehigh-Colgate - For all that Lafayette-Lehigh brings, there was an era where the Lehigh-Colgate rivalry was just as heated. After the Raiders celebrated the title at Goodman Stadium last year, and with the teams picked at the top spots in the preseason poll, the matchup in Hamilton on Nov. 16 could be a throwback to the time where the teams battled it out almost every year for League supremacy.
24. Gary Acquah - A preseason All-Patriot Leaguer. A candidate for the AFCA Good Works Team. Can Acquah lead Holy Cross to a bounce-back season and add even more to his resume?
25. 200th game for Dick Biddle - Colgate Head Coach Dick Biddle will coach his 200th game at the school on Sept. 7 against Albany. Biddle's longevity and success is a model for Patriot League schools, and really anyone in the FCS.
26. More veteran coaches - It's not just Biddle. Frank Tavani is in his 14th year at Lafayette, Tom Gilmore enters his 10th at Holy Cross and Kevin Kelly (Georgetown) and Andy Coen (Lehigh) are in the 8th at their respective schools. In an era of constant change in college athletics, it's nice to see familiar faces on the sidelines year after year.
27. 12-game schedules - Colgate, Holy Cross and Fordham will each have 12 games in 2013. Because you can never have too much football.
28. Lafayette-Lehigh - 149th meeting. Lehigh with five straight wins against its rival. No matter the records, this one at Goodman Stadium will be huge.
Patriot League Football Preseason Central
Patriot League Information
2013 Patriot League Preview
Composite Schedule | Schedule Release
CBS Sports Network Announcement
2013 Patriot League Record Book
Sports Network FCS Top 25
FCS Coaches Poll
Walter Payton Award candidates
CFPA Performer of the Year Watch Lists
Sports Network Preseason All-Americans
USA College Football Preseason All-Americans
AFCA Good Works Team Nominees
CFPA Offensive Watch Lists
CFPA Defensive Watch Lists
CFPA Special Teams Watch Lists
2013 Team Previews
Holy Cross Crusaders
Lehigh Mountain Hawks
Holy Cross Crusaders
Lehigh Mountain Hawks
Media Day Photo Gallery
Patriot League Team Information
Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette Steven Elder to lead Holy Cross in opener
Shamokin (Pa.) News Item Bucknell looks to improve in Patriot League
Easton (Pa.) Express-Times Lehigh University receiver Josh Parris, of Palisades, continues to improve daily
Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call
Lehigh's local connection ready to create some sparks this fall
Easton (Pa.) Express-Times Lehigh University quarterback Brandon Bialkowski dealing with hamstring injury
Easton (Pa.) Express-Times Lafayette College's Kasheem Hill can help defense - after paying price for bad decision
Easton (Pa.) Express-Times Lafayette College to renew football series with Army
Easton (Pa.) Express-Times Lafayette College's full-pads scrimmage shows team's talent developing on schedule
CBS.com (Washington, D.C.)
Georgetown football primed for Patriot League title run in 2013
Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call Marcellus Irving, back from injury, tries to make in impact on Lafayette football
Easton (Pa.) Express-Times 2013 Football: Lehigh University Preview
Easton (Pa.) Express-Times 2013 Football: Lafayette College Preview
Easton (Pa.) Express-Times Lafayette Leopards hope to ride sturdy backfield to Patriot League glory
Sports Network Patriot League Football Preview
Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette Holy Cross senior defensive end Gary Acquah hopes to lead football resurgence
Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call Bottiglieri says it feels like "old times" being back at Lehigh
Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call Leopards-Owls FB: an in-your-dreams matchup?
Salem (Mass.) News Sessions healthy, ready to go for Holy Cross football
New York Post Fordham football looking to take next step
Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call
Leopards looking to break string of losing seasons
Stafford (Conn.) County Sun Black a defensive key for Lafayette football team
Easton (Pa.) Express-Times Lehigh University football team opens training camp with quarterback battle
Easton (Pa.) Express-Times Lehigh University quarterback Gerard Poutier's status for training camp in doubt
Sunbury (Pa.) Daily Item Bucknell picked last during Patriot League media day's preseason poll
Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette Holy Cross third in Patriot League football poll
Shamokin (Pa.) News Item Colgate tabbed as Patriot League favorite
Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call
Discipline problems nagging Lafayette football
Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call Getting picked second in preseason poll does not faze Lehigh
Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call Clearing the notebook from media day
Sports Network Scholarships change Patriot league's complexion
Easton (Pa.) Express-Times Lehigh University football team motivated heading into 2013 season
Easton (Pa.) Express-Times Lafayette College football players hope to prove preseason prediction
Milton (Pa.) Standard Journal Looking upward
WFMZ.com Lehigh and Lafayette talk at football media day