Jul 20 / Todd

Maine Black Bears: JMUSB 2011 CAA Football Preview #3

Ddddaaaaammmmmmnnnn!  Or rather, dadgumit!  That mighty roar you hear is Mickey Matthews cursing his luck (or cursing the seven in the godswood – yes, I’m dorking out hardcore on BOTH SyFy channel’s Alphas AND Game of Thrones) that the Towson Tigers aren’t on the schedule this year.  (And also spitting on VCU’s recent ESPY though the CAA love is nice – and no, you are NOT forgiven Bilas and DukieV).   But somebody has to serve as the CAA’s “gimme” and this year it’s going to be the Maine Black Bears, who came out of nowhere to produce a few tough performances last year.  Yes, this is unrealistic alumni expectation and it’s perfectly possible to think other teams are thinking the same of the Dukes, but seriously, with no Towson, RhodeI looking tougher than usual, and the two of us saving our most serious venom for that putrid placenta oozing in the Hampton Roads area, somebody has to serve as the afterthought game on the home schedule, and this year it’s Maine.

Why We’re Worried

The Dukes will host Maine on Columbus Day weekend, when lots of students miss out on the opportunity for an extra weekend day in the ‘Burg (trust me, you’ll never remember that random night at Blue Iguana with your high school “friends” but you will remember that trip to the Reddish Knob area where Omar did a backflip off the watertower because his oddly attractive fat townie manager from Food Lion said he couldn’t pull it off after 17 Beast Ices).  And even more unfortunately, it’s sandwiched between two larger home dates with the Ticks for Homecoming the week before and Villanova for Parent’s Weekend following.

Oh yeah, also Maine has some decent players and a great coach.  Actually, they really don’t.  In the section of the CAA Media Guide that highlights each teams’ best returning players, their highlights include just two guys who made 3rd Team All CAA last year and a QB who “started 10 of 11 games” and is ranked roughly 98th in all-time CAA yardage.  Their coach, Jack Cosgrove, HAS been solid for years and has consistently found a way to coax 4-7 wins out of 2-win (i.e. Towson) talent, but there’s still absolutley no way we don’t pencil this in as a Dukes W this year.

Why I’m Way Out of Line for Bashing Maine

There’s no funny segue or snarky transition for the fact that Maine had a player killed in an accident this offseason.   While we’ll be rooting for the Dukes when the Black Bears visit The Purple Palace this year, there’s no team in the CAA we’ll be pulling for harder the rest of the season than Maine.  While JMU, and c ertainly ODU, managed to manufacture “tragedy” through the immature and at times felonious actions of their roster this offseason, Maine is going through something not a single team in the CAA would wish on anyone else and our thoughts are with the Black Bears family.

Secondly, for all of our jokes (and those of Hofstra’s “Defiantly Dutch” blog) about the differences and inequalities between the former CAA North and South, Maine is a seriously underrated University when it comes to how seriously they take athletics.  Besides their noted hockey team, they take both men’s and women’s hoops dead seriously and have an undergrad enrollment of 12,000 (nothing to sneer at) in a state with no real competition.  I’m just saying in all of our over-the-top, pie in the sky wishing and bullshitting about future FBS possibilities, don’t completely sleep on Maine despite the geographic nightmare they present.


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  1. Rob / Jul 20 2011

    Going on the road up to Maine always worries me because of the weather. It can be a brutal place to play late in the season. I like the Dukes’ chances at home though, despite the potential for a let-down game.

  2. 2004 Duke / Jul 27 2011

    “the two of us saving our most serious venom for that putrid placenta oozing in the Hampton Roads area”

    LOL…I can’t wait. I live in the 757 and all my co-workers are ODU alums. I can’t stand hearing about how good they are (against tough D2 competition)

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