That said it's kind fun to imagine potential "what if" scenarios, albeit tempered by a little dose of reality, of course. In this "game", let's take what D3football.com has posted as the teams who reportedly share the same 9/19/15 open date as the Statesmen.
Those teams are:
- Cal Lutheran
- North Central (Ill.)
- North Park
- Pacific Lutheran
- Washington and Lee
- Cal Lutheran - Thousand Oaks, CA (I used to live close by here, nice campus, beautiful new stadium but requires a long flight if not flights)
- Coe - Cedar Rapids, IA (almost 900 miles)
- Guilford - Greensboro, NC (over 600 miles)
- Linfield - McMinnville, OR (flight)
- North Central - Naperville, IL (having done the drive from Geneva to Chicago, this one's definitely too far, especially if you're in a UHaul truck and drive through a hail storm)
- North Park - Chicago, IL (see above)
- PacLu - Tacoma, WA (flight)
- Simpson - Indianola, IA (could be a Field of Dreams out there but too far)
- UW-Oshkosh - WI (too far? You betcha)
- Wartburg - Waverly, IA (see above)
That leaves us with realistically only five potential match ups which I would "lump" into these two categories:
"East Coast" teams
- Husson - Bangor, ME
- Kean - Union, NJ
- Catholic - Washington, DC
- Hampden-Sydney - H-S, VA
- Washington and Lee - Lexington, VA
Kean on the other hand is very interesting. They are a solid progran in the NJAC, one of the best conferences in the East Region. The Cougars have fallen on tough times of late, only winning two games in 2013 after only being two seasons removed from going 10-2 and making the NCAA playoffs. Union (in this case NJ, not our rivals in Schenectady, NY) is less than a five hour drive from Geneva and only 25 miles from NYC making a longer term home/away series attractive (at least from a Hobart perspective. Kean may not see the same value in going to Upstate NY).
Catholic would be a nice match up too given their location and their recent turn of getting more competitive in the ODAC. The Cardinals have posted back to back six win seasons and would be a good test for Hobart. Like Kean, it would depend on whether or not Catholic saw any reciprocal value in playing the Statesmen. DC has a lot of HWS alumni/ae and would be a nice location for Hobart to get a home and away series set up.
Both HSC and W&L are great ODAC programs as well but likely a long shot given their location (over 450 miles away from Geneva). Statesmen fans obviously remember the latter from the first round of the NCAAs in 2012. Hobart won that contest against the Generals' vaunted triple option attack by a score of 38-20. Although the chances of either of these working out aren't likely, if I could pick one game I'd like to see, I'd go with HSC. The Tigers come into 2014 as the defending ODAC Champions and would be a very tough out / great playoff preparation for the Statesmen.
Given the above I'd rank my choices as follows:
Who would you pick?
Thanks for reading and go 'Bart!