2012 Football Schedule Sets Dukes Up for a Run
JMU announced its official 2012 Football Schedule this afternoon. And we like it. We like it a lot. First things first, there are 6 home games (regular season that is) compared to only 5 last year. And if history is any indicator, we can count the game at Richmond as at least 3/4 of a home game attendance wise anyway.
Last season’s CAA was full of surprises and proved that teams can easily outplay expectations. Be that as it may, JMU’s opponents were collectively 9 games under .500. And as I’m sure you’ve heard AD Jeff Bourne explain, he expects the JMU program to win consistently and be primed for a deep playoff run about once every four years. Well, JMU won the National Championship in 2004 and ran the table in the CAA and made it to the semi-finals in 2008. This will be the fourth season since that semi-final run. Therefore the completely un-scientific and statistically baseless conclusion is that the Dukes are going deep into the playoffs this season. Coach Matthews brings back a talented and experienced roster. With this favorable schedule, we’re drinking the Kool-Aid and setting ours sights on JMU winning it all.
Here is the full schedule with some thoughts on each game. Home games are in bold.
September 1 – St. Francis – Sacrificial lamb to start the season. Hopefully an evening kick off for some extended tailgating.
September 8 – Alcorn State – Steve McNair went there. That’s all I got folks.
September 15 – vs. West Virginia (at FedEx Field) – Agent Steinz might be poking fun at this game (and lighten up, it’s a funny post), but we’ve had it on the calendar since last summer. We’re expecting a huge crowd, some great tailgating, and a loss quite frankly. But last time WVU beat JMU, the Dukes won it all. So, good omen. Good omen.
September 22 – vs. Rhode Island – Just days before my wifes’ birthday and the Dukes coincidentally have a road game a mere 30 minutes from Newport, her favorite place on earth? Sounds like a set up for the perfect gift. Happy Birthday to me.
October 6 – Towson (Family Weekend) – Good to play the defending CAA Champs in Bridgeforth. Bad to have to do it in front of the historically subdued and boring Family Weekend crowd.
October 13 – William & Mary – Always a game to look forward to. If you’re student who has to study that weekend, stake out a spot in the library early before the visiting fans get there for their unique brand of research focused “tailgating”.
October 20 – vs. Richmond – JMU’s first chance to beat Rocco at his new home.
October 27 – Georgia State (Homecoming) – Oh gawd. Tough draw for the Panthers. Not only do they need to come to Bridgeforth in their first year of CAA play, but they have to do it on homecoming.
November 3 – vs. Maine – The least intimidating stadium in the CAA, yet still one of the most intimidating places to play purely due to the weather. A cold, wind exposed stadium. Glad that it’s early in November instead of late.
November 10 – vs. Villanova – Nova took their lumps with a very young squad last season. They should be a much tougher out this season.
November 17 – ODU – My personally most anticipated game on the schedule. Heading into the first meeting with ODU last year, we said the Monarchs were already JMU’s biggest rival. Then they beat JMU. We’ve been anxious for a rematch on our turf ever since. And we love that the CAA and both schools have said that they want this match-up to close the season annually.