Oct 3 / jmusport

Guest Post: A New Rival for JMU Football?

Steve Brown is one of the most loyal Dukes’ fans out there. He also won last week’s prediction contest. Here’s his piece on finding a rival for JMU football.

There are so many great rivalries in sports: Yankees v. Red Sox; North Carolina v. Duke; Auburn v. Alabama; Army v. Navy; Nadal v. Federer; and Navratilova v. Evert.  Since 2016, JMU does not have a conference rival. Over the last 5 years, JMU has won 81% of its games with a record of 59–14 through last Saturday. Since 2014, JMU has only 1 loss to Richmond and William & Mary combined, both in back to back weeks in 2015. Neither Richmond nor William & Mary are JMU’s rival. 

Before 2014, Richmond was JMU’s rival; William & Mary not so much. Over a 20-year timeframe, from 1994 – 2013 in the regular season, UR won 11 games and JMU won 9. During that same timeframe, JMU was 14-6 over William & Mary. Also, there is no other team in JMU’s CAA division that rises to the level of being a rival at this time.  So, who could be JMU’s new rival in the CAA? Is it Delaware? Not really. JMU is 4-0 since 2015 against Delaware. We should play Delaware every year by the way.  

Stony Brook could be a good rival for JMU over the next few years if they remain in the rotation.  The last visit to Stony Brook by JMU was in 2014 and it was a close, hard fought 27-24 win by the Dukes on a cold early November day.  Three of the five games we have played against Stony Brook have been decided by 3 points, but two of those three games were in 2013 and 2014. Stony Brook is on a good trajectory right now and the game on Saturday is the one I see as a good test for JMU in many ways. This should be like a first or second round playoff game for the first half of the first quarter and then JMU will settle in.  Stony Brook cannot stop JMU’s offense and JMU’s defense can shut down anyone, all night long. 

This Saturday, I am expecting to see a loaded JMU team dominate in all 3 phases, just like it has done all year long.  This JMU team does not care where the game is played; they feed off of physically beating down the other team until they tap. The waves and waves of JMU players and schemes is too over whelming and it will be that way on the north shore of Long Island on Saturday night. My prediction: JMU wins 45—9.


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  1. Drake / Oct 3 2019

    It helps that Chuck Priore is a great villain. He’s made several comments in the past that felt like he didn’t respect what JMU was doing. He’s also pissed that he’s had to travel to JMU several years in a row. My view is that he’s envious of JMU’s success while also trying to downplay it. We need more easily hateable coaches in the CAA. Rocco needs a friend.

  2. Deacon Danny / Oct 3 2019

    Nice post! I know that Richmond University (aka The Ticks) are going thru a ‘down’ period currently by I will always consider them a bitter rival. I know they don’t like us the same as we don’t like them. Go Dukes!

  3. JMUJoe1987 / Oct 3 2019

    Nice post. I’m going to say our newest rival thanks to our head coach is Elon.

  4. Gene Chianelli / Oct 4 2019

    I agree with the shout out to Danny Rocco above. With his eminently punchable face and generally high level of douchebaggery, he’s easy to dislike. But, sadly, we don’t play Delaware every year.

    Since the CAA is rolling with putting us in the “pod” with W&M, Richmond, and Elon (**cough** move to two divisions **cough**) I’m gonna put Richmond out there. It makes sense geographically and, aside from last year’s beatdown, they play us tough. Plus we all know how much their entire 235-member fanbase loves to push the “HAHAHAHA WE RUINED YOUR GAMEDAY DOE” narrative.

  5. CJ / Oct 4 2019

    Our main rivals in my opinion are Richmond and Colgate, based on those teams giving us particularly stinging losses over the past few years. Colgate, of course, knocking us out of the playoffs twice (we owe them for that), and Richmond beating us in a shoot-out on our first ESPN Game Day. Richmond also ended Vad Lee’s college career on that day, which was a bigger loss than losing the game. If Vad Lee had been able to stick with us that season, I think it’s likely we would have won the championship.

    How can we watch the Stony Brook game this Saturday? I may have to go to Spider Kelly’s in Arlington to see it. I’ll buy some beverages for any Dukes fans that actually read this post and agree to join me.

  6. Mark / Oct 7 2019

    I am not quite sure where or why the tennis rivalries fit into this thinking, nevertheless program rivalries, and all that is enjoyable about them, are based upon tradition and proximity-a point made with the first four examples. Thus, Richmond and W&M will continue as rivals as long as the teams continue to compete. Downturns in program competitiveness have neither diminished nor eroded the inherent spirit between programs and their fans, be it in the Iron Bowl, Egg Bowl, ND/Michigan, Cocktail Party, Red River Shootout, etc. A rivalry cannot be fabricated because of a few recent competitive contests-when one program does eventually falter that so called “rivalry” will soon become a distant memory-the antithesis of a true rivalry. For my money, I would like to see us regularly open up with UVa. It continues the standard FBS v FCS week 1, would guarantee a sell out due to distance and alumni within a two hour drive, and would certainly be an intriguing matchup for the Commonwealth at large.

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