Lehigh, Fordham clear Patriot favorites

(STATS) - Maybe it's something about odd-numbered years.

The Patriot League fielded two playoff teams in 2013 and 2015, and while it's probably shortsighted to call that tiny sample a surefire indicator that the Patriot will send a pair to the playoffs in 2017, there are two rather convincing candidates.

Lehigh was tabbed as the favorite to repeat as Patriot League champion at Thursday's media day in voting by the conference's coaches and sports information directors, receiving 11 of 14 possible first-place votes. The other three went to Fordham, which finished second behind the Mountain Hawks last season and was one of the final two teams to miss the at-large playoff cut.

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Walter Payton Award
It was quite a season for Jeremiah Briscoe. So good in fact that he often didn't even play four quarters and somehow still found a way to etch his name in the record books.
Buck Buchanan Award
  • Team: UNI
  • Height: 74
  • Weight: 265
  • Position: DL
It's only fitting that Karter Schult finally became the first Northern Iowa player to win the STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award. The Tripoli, Iowa, native has made it very clear that playing for the Panthers was a dream come true.
Doris Robinson Award
To say sports has taught Tyler Swafford teamwork, sportsmanship and drive is an understatement. Especially when his life's work may be to stand up for the most vulnerable and foster freedom and democracy in places where they are fragile.
Jerry Rice Award
  • Team: Duquesne
  • Height: 71
  • Weight: 220
  • Position: RB
Perhaps by the time the FCS' top freshman is done with his college career, there will be a second Hines Field in Pittsburgh.
FCS Bracketology
STATS FCS Poll
Rankings as of 1/9/2017
Rank School Votes Prev
1 James Madison (14-1) 3850 (154) 5
2 Youngstown State (12-4) 3631 13
3 North Dakota State (12-2) 3492 4
4 Eastern Washington (12-2) 3428 3
5 Sam Houston State (12-1) 3067 1
6 South Dakota State (9-4) 2944 7
7 Jacksonville State (10-2) 2776 2
8 Richmond (10-4) 2666 12
9 Wofford (10-4) 2532 19
10 Citadel (10-2) 2386 6
11 Villanova (9-4) 2225 9
12 North Dakota (9-3) 2133 8
13 Chattanooga (9-4) 2091 11
14 Central Arkansas (10-3) 1798 14
15 Charleston Southern (7-4) 1605 10
16 Grambling State (11-1) 1496 16
17 New Hampshire (8-5) 1323 22
18 Coastal Carolina (10-2) 1164 15
19 San Diego (10-2) 956 24
20 North Carolina A&T (9-3) 915 17
21 Lehigh (9-3) 776 18
22 North Carolina Central (9-3) 716 20
23 Samford (7-5) 624 23
24 Cal Poly (7-5) 538 21
25 Weber State (7-5) 284 25
Others: Illinois State (167) , Saint Francis U (116) , Princeton (83) , Albany (65) , UT Martin (31) , Montana (30) , Penn (22) , Western Illinois (19) , Fordham (17) , Maine (17) , Southeastern Louisiana (17) , UNI (8) , Kennesaw State (8) , Duquesne (6) , Southern University (6) , Northern Arizona (5) , Tennessee State (5) , Southern Utah (4) , Stony Brook (4) , Dayton (2) , McNeese (2)
FCS Coaches Poll
Rankings as of 1/9/2017
Rank School Prev
1 James Madison (14-1) 5
2 Youngstown State (12-4) 12
3 North Dakota State (12-2) 3
4 Eastern Washington (12-2) 4
5 Sam Houston State (12-1) 1
6 Jacksonville State (10-2) 2
7 South Dakota State (9-4) 7
8 Richmond (10-4) 12
9 Citadel (10-2) 6
10 Chattanooga (9-4) 9
11 Wofford (10-4) 19
12 North Dakota (9-3) 8
13 Villanova (9-4) 11
14 Charleston Southern (7-4) 10
15 Grambling State (11-1) 14
16 Central Arkansas (10-3) 16
17 New Hampshire (8-5) 21
18 Lehigh (9-3) 15
19 North Carolina Central (9-3) 18
20 North Carolina A&T (9-3) 17
21 Cal Poly (7-5) 20
21 San Diego (10-2) 25
23 Samford (7-5) 24
24 Weber State (7-5) 23
25 Montana (6-5) 22
2017 FCS vs. FBS

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