Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Gutted in the Bronx?

Two straight years of being smashed by 40+ points by the athletic scholarship-laden Fordham Rams, not to mention the move to drop them from the schedule, probably has just about every Lions fan writing off the season opener at Rose Hill as a definite loss.

Not so fast my friend.

A quick look at the Fordham roster shows the Rams have suffered an extraordinary number of graduation losses including their star QB and the entire experienced receiving corps. The top defensive stars, except for two, are also gone.

This chart shows that Fordham has actually lost the most impact players to graduation than any other team in the FCS.

Fordham still has possibly the best RB in the FCS in sophomore Chase Edmonds who torched Columbia for 174 yards and a rushing and a receiving TD last season. His capable backup, Kendell Pearcy is also back.

And the Rams have two of the best linebackers in the FCS. First is Stephen Hodge who missed 2014 because of injury. Second is Marlon Crook, an absolute beast of a player at 6-5 and 232 pounds.

But this is where the Fordham decision to go to athletic scholarships a few years ago really meets the first test. That is, now the initial recruiting edge has been diminished by most of Fordham's Patriot League opponents also offering scholarships, can the Rams reload?

I wouldn't be surprised if they have done so, but I also find it hard to believe that Fordham will be able to field a team as good as the 2013 and 2014 squads this season. That's even though two college football magazines have picked the Rams to repeat as Patriot League champs.

Fordham is also excited that FIU transfer QB Luke Medlock is joining the team on the field this season.

But also remember that Fordham takes on Columbia after opening its season with two brutal games against Army and Villanova.

Bottom line, this is  a much more winnable game for the Lions than the games against Fordham were the last two years, (remember the 2012 game went down to the wire).

How funny would it be after we've arranged to end this series, Columbia pulls out a win in the Bronx in 67 days?


Coach said...

Why do we continue to have this discussion about playing a full scholarship school like Fordham when we are trying to survive in the Ivy League. What idiot keeps scheduling these full scholarship teams? Let Harvard and Yale continue to play teams like Fordham and Army.

Anonymous said...

A competitive game would not be unheard of at all but let's not overreach ourselves just yet. This program needs to learn to walk before running. I see the big problem as defense and special teams. Offensively, I expect a much improved approach. If they keep it close I will be impressed.

I remain, very truly yours, Richard Szathmary said...

There are "full scholarship" teams and then there are full scholarship teams. And Fordham is not Michigan or Ohio State. Besides, I think the Liberty Cup is a great, nice tradition worth commemorating annually. (Though I realize it soon won't be in football - maybe instead in basketball?)

DOC said...

After games against Army and Villanova, Fordham will be a well-honed
machine. Our chances (hope I'm wrong) are between slim and none, and slim never left the Bronx Botanical Gardens.

Don Antaky said...


First of all ,congratulations on the blog site, it's great for the fans. I am very tuned in to local football, especially Fordham recently. My father played there many years ago and I am also a Columbia grad. I followed the Lions Baseball and Basketball team also. The
school has shown it can produce athletic quality.

The Rams may be in two street fights before game with C.U., and are unranked, but don't
underestimate them. Coach Morehead is a genius and a great recruiter.

Fordham may be more explosive, bigger and faster
this year than last according to the staff. They bring back 2 pre-season All-Americans and possibly the best player in the FCS. Chase Edmonds is about the best running back I've seen in FCS in the last 25 years. There QB is a transfer from Marshall and according to some, there may not be a drop off in that area, as he has quite an arm. He doesn't run like Nebrich did, but then again, Nebrich was hobbled for the last year and a half and still threw for 3000. in addition, Hodge, who was in running for the Defensive Player of the Year in FCS before injury is back. One of the best returners in the nation is also returning after injury.

Now, they are young and it's nearly impossible to replace 4 all Americans in the receiver corps, (Jones, Ajala, Wetzel, Light), but they've brought in some athletes that are burners. Fordham will come in after a extraordinarily difficult opening two games, Army and #4 ranked Villanova. Injuries could very well play a major factor going forward for them. Dan Light had his knee damaged at Army last year and thank God, he recovered and is presently with the Chiefs. A great player and even better person.

Columbia has brought in one of the best in Bagnoli. His staff is also top notch. They have already grabbed some good recruits and I have no doubt they will improve the program. Certainly if they can't, it's impossible. I believe that as they improve, they may get to a point where they can take on a scholarship FCS team once in a while. I don't believe it serves the team or the institution to schedule teams that are not on a level playing field regarding talent, recruiting, scholarships, etc.As I said ,as the Lions hopefully climb, with the help of the community, eventually they may be able to do so. As of now, it is purposeless and injury early in the season can lead to an even tougher path down the road.

Don A

Coach said...

Penn just picked up two transfers- from Syracuse and Colorado.

Anonymous said...

DOC, I see your point. However, Villanova is a powerhouse and Army is very tough against IAA teams (which is the level they should be playing at anyway). It remains to be seen what Fordham can do with a QB change and how easy points are to come by. It could be the Rams get beat up physically and take our Lions for granted heading into the game. It is completely within the realm of possibility (slim but there is a a margin there) for the tide to turn in our favor. We will find out soon enough what Fordham and Columbia are made of this season.