HERO Sports wraps up the previews with "Two-A-Days" for each FCS conference through Friday, Aug. 24 (see full schedule below). Today, we feature the Patriot League.
SUM IT UP
(NOTE: Team by team previews in this conference are below)
Is this still Colgate's league to lose? It feels that way, looking at the schedules and the rosters of the other six teams. The Raiders will have the best collection of talent in 2018 — in fact, they probably did in 2017, too, even if they lost the playoff tiebreaker to Lehigh.
Speaking of Lehigh, the Hawks should once again prove to be Colgate's biggest challenge in league play thanks to its dynamic offense. Brad Mayes and Dom Bragalone are a 1-2 punch unlike any other in the league; that firepower masked quite a few warts on defense in 2017.
Is anyone else in play here? Probably not, at least this season. But the Patriot League does have plenty of good up-and-coming players and coaches, so even if there are only two real title contenders this fall, there are plenty of other names to pay attention to.
Read on, as we preview the Patriot League.
[credit]Nick Wheeler is the Patriot League's bona fide sack master. (Colgate Athletics)[/credit]
NAMES TO KNOW
THE VETERAN COACH: Andy Coen, Lehigh
Coen, who is entering his 13th year at Lehigh, is the only current Patriot League head coach with a tenure longer than 10 years.
TOP FANBASE (*)
There are exciting things going on at both Holy Cross and Colgate, so it's no surprise to us that both previews crossed into four-digit territory. Colgate will finish inside our top 10.
(*) – Based on fan engagement with our previews this summer.
RANKING THE Patriot LEAGUE
|RK||HERO SPORTS (CHASE)||COACHES POLL|
[divider]THE DIFFERENCE: The first two seem pretty self-explanatory. After you slot Lehigh's offense in at No. 2, I think the best option is backing Bucknell, which should have a lot of strong talent along the line of scrimmage. Fordham should be in the mix, too.
After the Rams, I think there's a noticeable drop-off. Bob Chesney should build a hell of a program at Holy Cross, but 2018 will probably be a struggle. Lafayette needs to show me something on offense before I move them out of the basement. Georgetown likely isn't going anywhere.
PREVIEWS: The Patriot League