« on: July 21, 2016, 09:42:10 am »
I tend to agree. I think W&L will be the class of the conference and gets a boost with their conference schedule. But we all know it is pretty rare for anyone to run the conference. If H-SC can win at W&L that would be as big a confidence boosting win as W&L winning at H-SC last year. I feel the same about R-MC however. I am having a tough time putting my conference thoughts in order after W&L though.
H-SC and R-MC both could be very good. H-SC tends to reload and hasn't lost 3 or more conference games two seasons in a row since 00/01 and haven't had 3 seasons in a row with multiple conference losses since 99/00/01. So if you think H-SC is going to lose 2 this year, you are betting against Coach Favret's entire stint with the Tigers.
That being said, I think R-MC is going to be a very tough out. They should start the season 5-0, and that's a lot of confidence building. After that, trips to E&H, W&L and H-SC make for a difficult back end. So I could see them wearing down. It'll be interesting to see if they can build on last season's 3 game winning streak to close out the year. Defensively I expect them to be very, very tough. Can they score enough points to be a player, especially on the road?
E&H. I just can't like this team. What I saw last year was a team with talented pieces, but no heart and cohesiveness. Once W&L started rolling, they started yelling at each other, pointing fingers, and getting ugly. Coach Newsome is going to need to figure that problem out before I think they stand a real chance of holding it together for a full season.
GC. I've already said I think they'll have pieces waiting in the wings for what they lost last year. I don't know if those pieces will have the experience to turn it on early. I don't see any reason they can't start 4-0, but that trip to H-SC followed by W&L's visit could provided a reality check to players that are key cogs for the first time.
BC. Never count out the Eagles, though 2 of the last 3 seasons have been historically bad for Coach Clark. Though I could easily see them starting 0-2, losses to Gettysburg and TMC, before visiting NNA. Home for H-SC and at R-MC is a tough way to start the conference season. Would anyone be surprised seeing them at 1-4 and pretty broken before half the season is over. I expect them to lose to TMC by 30+ if TMC is anything like the team that shelled W&L in the playoffs and just got pipped by Wabash.
I keep expecting Shenandoah to get better. Coach Yoder did good things with Hobart, but he just can't seem to put it together yet with the Hornets. Each of the last 3 seasons they've slipped one conference win. I don't expect them to drop that last win, even having to go to D.C. in order to get it, but I don't see any reason they can take a leap forward either. This is another team H-SC seems to lose focus against, with the Tigers barely eeking out a win last year and losing the year before, but barring someone else looking past them, I don't see much more than a conference win or two for the Hornets this year.
Catholic. New interim coach. Last year in the conference. W&L and H-SC both have to travel to D.C. but I think the gulf is just too wide. Hosting the Hornets and Eagles might be their best chances for breaking two years of 1-6 conference futility on their way out.