Every week will be dedicated to a conference as we break down the top teams, top players and what you need to know about the league heading into the season. We’ll have standings predictions, preseason All-Conference teams, top players to keep an eye on, podcasts and more.
THE REASONING: (Rankings below). Whether the Patriot League decides to play in the fall or the spring, here’s how I think it’ll finish.
The Patriot League was extremely competitive from top to bottom last season. Expect the same in 2020 with every team returning plenty of experience.
I kept No. 1 and No. 2 the same from last season’s finish, but I don’t think teams 3-7 are too far behind. Just look at some of the notes on what went down last season that we discussed on our Patriot League preview podcast.
Bucknell, Lehigh and Colgate all went 3-3 in league play last year. Bucknell lost two conference games by seven points or less against Holy Cross and Lafayette, the top two teams. Lehigh started 3-0 in conference play, then lost the last three by 10 points or less. Colgate started the season 0-7 but ended the year on a three-game conference winning streak.
Fordham finished 2-4, but looked good in the nonconference — narrowly lost to NEC champ CCSU 26-23, defeated the CAA’s Richmond 23-16.
Then you have a team like Georgetown, who went 1-5 in conference play. But three of those conference losses were by three points and another was by 10 points.
So you can swap teams here and there below. The top two I like. And I have Fordham as the biggest riser based on what they have coming back, as pointed out in our conference outlook article.
NOTE: These rankings are a prediction of what the standings will look like at the end of the season. It is the opinion of the author of this story and may differ from the order of our staff’s Top 25 FCS rankings. Conference schedules are taken into consideration.
Sam’s coverage of the FCS began in 2012 as the sports editor and eventual editor-in-chief of NDSU’s The Spectrum. After graduating in 2015, he spent three years in the newspaper and magazine industry while starting his work for HERO Sports in the fall of 2016 as a freelancer. In May 2018, he joined the website full time as the Senior FCS Analyst.