What’s In A Schedule…A Lot


Schedules just don’t randomly happen, but are manufactured by Head Coaches, and it reflects what the Head Coach feels about what team they can be competitive with. It also tells us what a Coach thinks about what they need to prepare for it’s conference games. A schedule in Division One may also tells us the amount of money a team may be able to spend. It also reflects the games outside of conference they can take that will not hurt their RPI, should they get to the NCAA tournament, and their ability to get an at large bid.

Spanns speeds away from a Brown player

Most teams will play up to 18 game regular season schedule, plus two exhibition games, before their conference tournament. The Big Ten, for example, with a conference of 9 teams will play 10 out of conference games. The Patriot League with 7 teams could play 12 maximum out of conference games.

This year Lafayette will play 12 out of conference games, American will play 9, Lehigh will play 12, BU will play 10, Bucknell will play 11, Holy Cross will play 11, and Colgate will play 12.

BU, while presumably repairing their field, will play all their games on the road. The league games that would have been at home, looks like they will play at Harvard or BC. I will assume they will also be practicing at BC. and Harvard. It’ll be a challenge.

Hefting was there when needed

American will be playing Queen’s College in their first year as a Division one school. Queen’s is hosting the US team at their Charlotte playing facility in the off-season. There is one other team entering Division One, Stonehill in Massachusetts, who will be playing Colgate this season.

How strong are the Patriot schedules??? It is an important question since the seeding for the NCAA tournament will depend on the RPI of the winning team, and the possibilities of an at large bid. American had an RPI of 12 at the end of last year’s regular season and played Iowa with an RPI 4 ( nearly pulling off the upset). Lafayette with an end of season RPI of 25 played Rutgers tough with an RPI of 1.

One would hope the league itself would work to improve its overall RPI, and try to improve its chances for an at large bid. This coming season the league average RPI is 45.4 for out of conference games ( derived from last year’s RPI numbers)

There are three teams who are playing an out of conference schedule with last year’s RPI over 50, Lehigh 55, Holy Cross 59, and Colgate at 53. There are four teams playing an out of conference schedule with RPI’s below 40, Lafayette at 38, American at 37 ( assigning a score of 80 to Queens), Bucknell at 39 and BU at 36!

Last year’s RPI for the League at the end of the season was 46. So the out of conference average is about right, but there is an extreme difference between the top and bottom teams. Therefore, there is a lot to be gleaned from schedules even before the first push off of the season. Let the games begin!!!!

Published by

William Rappolt

I am past chairman of the Lafayette Friends of Field Hockey and a former BOT member at Lafayette College. My wife and I are members of the Board of Trustees for USA Field Hockey Foundation. I am currently Chairman of that Board. I am the retired treasurer of M and T Bank Corporation and a 30 year fan of Division one field hockey

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