Stony Brook University played football in the Big South thru their terrific 2012 season before gaining entry to the CAA. An odd collection of opponents for a Long Island school but it fit the bill (at the time) for SBU as a bridge from the NEC to the CAA.
It made sense for SBU then because they were looking for a full scholarship football league which the NEC at the time wasn't.
Monmouth's decision to join the league followed their departure from the NEC and entry into the MAAC for all sports. As a result, they were no longer welcome as an NEC football member (similar to UCONN situation with AAC). Monmouth supposedly inquired about PL football membership but there was no mutual interest and to the Big South they went. Not sure if they tried the CAA which probably had like 12 teams in it at that point.
Believe it or not, our very own womens golf team competed in the Big South when I was in school because the PL didn't sponsor and I guess we couldn't get into a more local league.
Running back is very good and so is their very experienced QB. Kenji Bahar. He's the same guy that beat us two years ago (notwithstanding PP's 500 yard game) and looking at his profile it looks like he has played in every Monmouth game the last 4 years (he is a redshirt senior). He is a passer with very good mobility (a very good athlete). Obviously, he has had great success v the PL . While I like this matchup more than a Villanova or Albany matchup, there is a reason they are the favorite v us.
Congratulations to Coach Chesney, staff, team, and everybody involved in bringing this Patriot League Championship to Mt. St. James.
Saturday was a spectacular day in every regard. The energy and pride in the pre-game tailgates, throughout the stands and on Fitton Field during the game, and then during the post-game celebration were truly spectacular.
Aside from the play of our Crusaders (and especially freshmen Ayir Asante and Jacob Dobbs, sophomore Walter Reynolds, and senior RB Dom Cozier) on the field, a few specific highlights were:
1. the pre-game walk onto the field with the Worcester Fire Department. Very moving. Major kudos to those on campus involved in making this happen. Another great example of connecting Holy Cross Football to the City of Worcester.
2. Coach Chesney the senior pulling off his primary shirt with approximately 3 minutes to go in the game to reveal his undershirt with big bold letters stating THE CROSS IS BACK. . ADMB rushed over to capture a photo of that. Great stuff.
3. Around that same time, the PA Announcer began announcing "At the end of the game, please stay off the field." Visions of Dean Wormer (not our illustrious friend here but the original) and Niedermeier ran through my mind. Let's just say I was most pleased to see the student body in the far end zone 'challenge authority' and storm the field to celebrate with the Crusaders. The scene is one that the college might want to share far and wide with their alumni. Hard not to compare these students 'taking the field' to those in New Haven but I digress.
Saturday was not a destination -- nor will next Saturday's pursuit of victory in Long Branch, NJ v Monmouth University -- but merely the next steps in the journey to establishing Holy Cross as the perennial preeminent FCS program in the country . . . both on and off the field.
Friends of Crusader Football Mission: "a commitment to excellence in helping the Crusaders win on and off the field."
They expanded the tourney to add the play-in games a few years ago
Prior to expansion, the Round of 16 still started Thanksgiving weekend. This has been the case as long as I've followed the IAA playoffs so at least 1995 or so.
Main difference now is that the chanpionship is in early January. It used to fall in mid-December prior to any of the I-A bowl games.
What's surprising about the playoffs starting this late is that Thanksgiving is as late in the calendar as possible (the 28th). Last year they started the week before Thanksgiving; Colgate got a bye and didn't play until two days afterwards.
I believe the Big South is a bit of a transient league for football...I know Stony Brook had been in there prior to moving to the CAA and I only recognize a few of the teams as teams that had been on their schedule back then. I am virtually certain that none of the associate members (Monmouth, Kennesaw State, and North Alabama) were there just a few years ago.
As for Monmouth's attendance...I went last time HC played down there and they had a big (by their stadium standards) crowd. Indeed by the time we packed up the tailgate we were relegated to standing on the sideline. I know they have improved and enlarged the stadium since then, but it couldn't have been enlarged too much if seating is still just 4,200. I looked for the last 2 years, averaged 2,800 this year and 3,200 last year. They did have crowds over the announced capacity at least once, so I assume they sell as many tickets as people show up and use sidelines, but I could be wrong. I would suspect this game will not sell out, but by game time the crowd could be pretty full.
WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ- Monmouth University's football team, ranked 12th in the nation and Big South Conference champions, will host Holy Cross in the 2019 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs at 12 PM on Saturday, November 30, the NCAA committee announced live on ESPNU on Sunday. Tickets will go on sale for any playoff game hosted at Kessler Stadium at 1:30 PM on MonmouthHawks.com. Cost is $25 per ticket for premium seating, $20 for reserved and 15 in the endzone seating. You can also purchase tickets M-F from 9AM to 5PM by heading to the OceanFirst Bank Center box office or by calling 732-263-5735.
"We are really excited about the fact that we will be at home at Kessler Stadium against a team we have a little bit of knowledge about because they are in our region and we have played them a number of times," said Monmouth Head Coach Kevin Callahan. "I know the team is excited about being able to play at home."
The Hawks, winners of eight straight, closed out the 2019 season with an 10-2 record and a perfect 6-0 Big South Conference mark. Over that eight-game winning streak the Hawks have outscored opponents 334-137 and is averaging 41.8 points per game. Monmouth won its first outright Big South Conference title after going 6-0 in league play. The Monmouth offense features two of the top players in the country in fifth-year senior quarterback Kenji Bahar (Baltimore, MD/Calvert Hall) and junior running back Pete Guerriero (Lyndhurst, NJ/Lyndhurst) who are both on the Walter Payton Award Watch List.
It will be the second time in the 27-year history of the program that Monmouth will play in the playoffs, the first coming in the 2017 season when the Hawks were selected as an at-large team. Monmouth was 6-0 at home this year, and have lost just once (16-1) since Kessler Stadium opened prior to the 2017 season. Monmouth hasn't lost since Sept. 28, when it fell to seventh-ranked Montana in a game which was a six-point game in the fourth quarter. The only other blemish on the MU record was a season-opening loss to FBS foe Western Michigan.
Game time is set for 12 PM, tickets are available now on MonmouthHawks.com The game will also air on ESPN3.
If they think they "know" Holy Cross after never playing HC with our current head coach, they may be in for a bit of a shock. I do hope that one poster gets to "eat" his quote about HC being a "walk-over."
Holy Cross' record was a mere 1-3 heading into October, but the Crusaders' difficult nonleague schedule had hardened them for the most important part of their regular season.
It's paid off with a Patriot League championship, and after Holy Cross shut out Georgetown 24-0 on Saturday with a peak performance, the STATS FCS Team of the Week will make its first appearance in the national playoffs since 2009, and just the Crusaders' third overall.
"These guys," an emotional coach Bob Chesney said, "their desire, their resolve, their commitment, their effort, their energy, those are words I think about every single day when we come to work. It's a pleasure to be able to come in here every day, and to be able to do this with this team, for this school and for this community at this moment, it's a special day."
Holy Cross (7-5, 5-1) has come a long way from the first month of the season, when it beat CAA Football power New Hampshire, but also lost to eventual Ivy League co-champ Yale and to two FBS programs, Navy and Syracuse.
The Crusaders have a 20-member senior class, and none has been more important than tailback Domenic Cozier. Against Georgetown, which was denied a winning season by the Crusaders for the second consecutive year, Cozier carried the ball 23 times for 161 yards and two touchdowns. He topped 1,000 yards for the season with his fifth 100-yard game - all in the league wins.
The defense may have been at its best, allowing just 233 yards and causing four turnovers in the shutout. Freshman linebacker Jacob Dobbs scored on a 56-yard interception return in the final minute of the first half, making it 14-0. Dobbs finished with seven tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss and two interceptions, while senior defensive back Correy Stefanik had a team-high 10 tackles.
The Crusaders, seven-time Patriot League champs, will learn their playoff opponent on Sunday.
HONORABLE MENTION: Bethune-Cookman (31-27 win over No. 12 Florida A&M); No. 8 Montana State (48-14 win over No. 3 Montana); No. 23 Nicholls (28-27 win over No. 21 Southeastern Louisiana); South Dakota (24-21 win over No. 5 South Dakota State)
Post by princetoncrusader on Nov 25, 2019 21:08:09 GMT -5
I'll be there as it's just about a 1 hour drive from Princeton. Went to the 2009 playoff game at Villanova. Hoping for a better outcome this time. Looks like a major upgrade to the stadium. It really seems like the team is peaking at the right time. Looking forward to a large crowd of HC fans. Just look for the tall guy with glasses and gray hair (what's left of it) in the wool HC cap. Go Cross!
Post by Pakachoag Phreek on Nov 26, 2019 7:59:40 GMT -5
...If you have been following our football program this season, you know that the team has had an exciting run! They defeated Georgetown, 24-0, this past Saturday to win the Patriot League title for the first time in 10 years. The team will travel to Monmouth University on November 30 to begin our post-season play in the FCS Championships. Coach Bob Chesney has truly inspired our players over the past two years, and the combined hard work of our students and coaching staff has brought us to this remarkable moment.
Geographically the PL would make a lot of sense for Monmouth and vice versa. I think they could've been a nice add at the time.
At the time, Crossports would've screamed bloody murder that they were even considered. Some were embarrassed that we even scheduled them for the 2013 / 2015 home and home. Oh, how the FCS football landscape has changed.