Due to time restrictions and a lack of the Web log host to consistently update Dukes Chat, this blog will be suspended until further notice.
Dukes Chat thanks its loyal readers and contributors and apologizes for any disappointment that this may cause.
Dukes Chat may resurface in the future; please stay tuned. Thank you again.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Due to time restrictions and a lack of the Web log host to consistently update Dukes Chat, this blog will be suspended until further notice.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Dukes Chat apologizes for the lack of posts recently.
In the next week, this Web log will begin a retrospective series of posts regarding some of the all-time Duquesne University Athletics facilities. From the A.J. Palumbo Center to Arthur J. Rooney Athletic Field and from Duquesne Gardens to Three Rivers Stadium, this series will prove to be very interesting and enjoyable for both the blog host and readers.
It's coming; enjoy.
at 5:59 PM
Sunday, February 24, 2008
If you're familiar with Wikipedia -- the free online encyclopedia -- then you that the Web site is an immensely valuable yet often unreliable resource.
The main problem with Wikipedia is that its content can be edited by literally anybody. Although there are careful steps taken by those that care most about the encyclopedia to ensure its accuracy, incorrect and unorganized information still exists in bunches on Wikipedia.
However, because of this open-edit system, one of Wikipedia's greatest positives is that many subjects that would not exist in more-established encyclopedias DO on Wikipedia.
For examples, there are some great Wikipedia entries out there for things related to Duquesne University Athletics.
Dukes Chat has taken it upon itself to edit and update some of these very entries.
- Duquesne University
- Duquesne Dukes
- Duquesne Dukes Men's Basketball
- Duquesne University Atlantic Ten Conference Champions
- Ron Everhart
- A.J. Palumbo Center
- Suzie McConnell-Serio
- Arthur J. Rooney Athletic Field
(Image: Wikipedia Logo, Copyright Wikimedia Foundation)
at 2:25 PM
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Lost in all of the excitement of a team flirting with even greater things this year is the fact that Duquesne Men's Basketball has clinched a winning season.
Sure, big deal, right? Well... yeah.
Think of how excited Pittsburgh sports fans would be if the Pirates ever found a way to win more games than they lost in a single season. Duquesne's recent streak of futility (no winning season before this current one since the 1993-94 campaign) was very, very close to the Pirates' (no winning season since 1992).
Granted, it's easier to turn a college basketball program around than it is a professional baseball team, but it's still a nice feather in the cap of the Dukes to beat the Pirates in a race to end the losing. Call it Dukes 1, Pirates 0.
Fingers are certainly crossed for the Buccos to end the losing too, but it feels nice as a Duquesne fan right now to no longer be a red-faced part of worse-than-mediocre sports.
(Image: Nike, the Greek Goddess of Victory, Copyright Elfwood)
at 8:43 PM
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Duquesne University is well-represented on this year's Dapper Dan Dinner & Sports Auction ballot, designed once again to honor the Pittsburgh-area's greatest sports people.
Duquesne head men's basketball coach Ron Everhart is up for the highly-respected Sportsman of the Year award, and the Pittsburgh Passion are up for the equally-impressive Sportswoman of the Year honor. The Passion's connections to Duquesne have been documented in a previous post (Championship Passion Filled With Duquesne Connections).
This year, the Dapper Dan will commemorate Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary by also honoring great teams and athletes in Pittsburgh sports history. In that regard, Duquesne head women's basketball coach Suzie McConnell-Serio is up for the honor of greatest all-time Pittsburgh athlete.
To vote, visit the ballot.
(Image: 2008 Dapper Dan Dinner & Sports Auction Logo, Copyright Dapper Dan Charities)
at 12:18 AM
Sunday, February 10, 2008
The defending College Hockey Mid-America champion Duquesne University Dukes have recently completed their regular season.
Time for an update on the Ice Dukes.
The following has been copied as is from the College Hockey Mid-America Web site.
W L OL Pts GR
West Virginia** 13 0 0 39 1
W&J*** 10 4 1 28.5 0
Duquesne* 9 6 0 26 0
Pitt* 8 4 1 25.5 1
Slippery Rock***** 8 7 1 23.5 0
IUP ****** 5 9 0 15 0
John Carroll# 4 10 1 11.5 0
Youngstown St.# 1 12 2 5 0
* Clinched playoff spot
** Clinched regular season championship
*** Clinched #2 seed
***** Clinched #5 seed
****** Clinched #6 seed
# Eliminated from playoffs
Note: One final league game remains and it has huge implications. If West Virginia defeats Pitt, then it will go undefeated in league play. The game will also determine whether Pitt or Duquesne will take the #3 seed for the playoffs.
If Pitt at least takes West Virginia to overtime, then it will capture the #3 seed. However, if Pitt loses in regulation to West Virginia, then Duquesne will take the #3 seed.
Note: All league teams play each other for a total of 6 points. Most series between teams consist of 2 games worth 3 points for each win. However, some league teams have chosen to play each other 3 times with each win being worth 2 points. Ties and overtime losses are worth half of the points that would be awarded for a win. The league members have reached and agreement that starting in 2008-2009 it will be mandatory to play each team in 2 league games and any other contest will be considered as a non-league game. Please refer to the league schedule and results for a complete understanding.
(Image: Duquesne University Men's Ice Hockey Logo, Copyright Duquesne University)
at 4:07 PM
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Okay, so what happened? In the past week, Duquesne Men's Basketball has gone from a possible NCAA Tournament bubble team to a National Invitational Tournament bubble team.
No, that's not to say that the 2007-08 season has nothing left to play for. In fact, far from it. But the Dukes do need some wins.
That starts tomorrow night at home against Saint Joseph's University. St. Joe's is currently tied for first place in the Atlantic Ten Conference. If the Dukes can find a way to beat the Hawks, it would offset the disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure University on Feb. 2 and put Duquesne back in a position to make another move up the Atlantic 10 standings.
More importantly though, it would give the Dukes a big push in the Ratings Percentage Index. A trip to the NCAA Tournament -- outside of winning the Atlantic 10 tournament -- is pretty much out of the picture now for Duquesne coming off back-to-back losses (St. Bonaventure and the University of Massachusetts on Jan. 30) and early-season losses against high-RPI teams.
But, an NIT bid is a realistic possibility. And for a team that has had 13 consecutive losing seasons, that is quite a lot to play for and would be quite a lot to be proud of.
Even if the Dukes lose to St. Joe's tomorrow, don't jump. They can still make up for that one too. But a win would sure be nice, and the Dukes can do it.
(Image: Self-Explanatory, Copyright Hearst Communications Inc.)
at 8:12 PM
Friday, February 1, 2008
Charles "Chick" Davies, Men's Basketball - You gotta love the nicknames. Anyway, this was an easy one, and readers of this blog saw it coming.
By all accounts, Charles Davies won more athletics games as a Duquesne University head coach (314 in men's basketball) than anyone else in school history. And he did it against only 106 losses. That's an amazing .748 winning percentage.
Duquesne, like this or not, is a basketball school. Davies started that.
He is truly responsible for the great moments that followed his time with the Dukes. The man set the table for the likes of fellow men's basketball head coaches on the Bluff -- "Dudey" Moore, "Red" Manning and John Cinicola -- to feast and clean-up.
"Chick" Davies is Duquesne Basketball. He coached the Dukes men from the 1924-25 season to the 1942-43 season and again from 1946-47 to 1947-48. (The program was suspended from 1943-44 to 1945-46 because of World War II.) He reached the prestigious National Invitation Tournament in 1940, 1941 and 1947 and took Duquesne to its only NCAA Final Four (in 1940). They were the NIT runner-up that same year. In fact, it was in 1940 that Duquesne became one of the first two teams (along with the University of Colorado at Boulder men) to appear in both the NIT and NCAA Tournaments.
In 1941 and 1947, the Dukes actually turned down offers to play in the NCAAs, opting to play in the NIT alone.
The A.J. Palumbo Center probably doesn't exist without Davies.
(Image: A.J. Palumbo Center, Copyright Duquesne University)
at 2:59 PM
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Donald "Dudey" Moore, Men's Basketball - What more can be said about Dudey Moore and his Duquesne University Men's Basketball teams?
Moore took the groundwork laid by his predecessor -- the great Charles Davies -- of a winning tradition at Duquesne and hit that ground running.
Moore coached the Dukes from the 1948-49 season to the 1957-58 season and went a remarkable 191-70 during that time, good for a .732 winning percentage and five rankings in the Associated Press' top nine. That resume includes six appearances in the greatest college basketball tournament in the country at the time -- the National Invitation Tournament -- and five in a row from 1952-1956. In 1952 alone, Duquesne appeared in both the NIT and NCAA Tournaments.
Moore's Dukes got steadily better in the NIT, especially from 1953 to 1955, when the team rose from third place to runner-up to champions in those three years. The 1955 NIT championship remains Duquesne's greatest athletic accomplishment.
Despite being NIT runner-up in 1954, United Press International still saw it fit to name Moore as its Coach of the Year for that season.
And Dukes Chat sees it fit to name Moore as the runner-up on this countdown, quite a respectable place among so many other outstanding coaches that have led the Red and Blue.
[Image: Duquesne University's Dick Ricketts (foreground, right) in the 1953-54 College Basketball Season, Copyright Duquesne University]
at 4:39 PM
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Greg Gattuso, Football - Let the debate begin. Is Greg Gattuso the greatest coach in Duquesne Football history? It says here that he is.
The bottom line: Coaching wins are not all that "relative." Yes, Gattuso won most of his football games at Duquesne against an NCAA Division I-AA mid-major schedule, but he was doing it with a I-AA mid-major roster. A win is a win on an even playing field.
What truly separates Gattuso from other coaches in Duquesne Football history though (other than his record 97 wins) was his ability to score upsets.
No I-AA mid-major team had more wins over I-AA scholarship teams than Duquesne during Gattuso's tenure. This is where Gattuso distinguishes himself as an outstanding coach. Among his biggest upsets were the Dukes' wins at Lafayette College (1999), at the Virginia Military Institute (2000), versus Lafayette (2000), vs. VMI (2001), vs. Bucknell University (2002), vs. Lafayette (2002) and at the College of the Holy Cross (2004).
Some followers of Duquesne Football will point-out even more upsets, and some others will argue that some of these wins were not even upsets given how good Duquesne was in these seasons. Well, credit that to Gattuso as well.
The Dukes were remarkably consistent at their level of play during Gattuso's tenure as well. Never mind the upsets for a minute. Duquesne won eight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) championships under Gattuso from 1995-2004, including six straight from 1999-2004. Amazingly, the team won 33 straight MAAC games during that run.
The ability to avoid an upset loss in the conference during a six-year span like this is incredible and speaks volumes to the quality of head coach that Gattuso was at Duquesne.
Throw in a 2003 NCAA Division I-AA Mid-Major national championship, a runner-up finish to that championship in 2002 after an 11-0 regular season, a 10-0 regular season in 1996, two ECAC Bowl victories (1995 and 2003) and a school-record 19-game winning streak from 1995-1996 and you are very hard-pressed to keep Gattuso out of the top three in this countdown, especially given that Gattuso took over the Dukes in 1993 in their first year of I-AA football.
(Image: Greg Gattuso with the Duquesne University Football Team, Copyright Duquesne University)
at 2:22 PM
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Dan McCann, Football - Although his greatest coaching accomplishments at Duquesne University came as the head of a club football program, "The Big Guy" Dan McCann belongs no lower than this spot on a countdown of Duquesne's greatest coaches.
McCann was hired to lead Dukes Football beginning with the 1970 season -- shortly after a group of Duquesne students (led by student Sam Costanzo) put together a collection of Duquesne gridders in 1969.
The school had not fielded a football team since the sport made a minor comeback at Duquesne (1947-1950) after its World War II hiatus.
McCann wasted little time with his group of dedicated student-athletes, quickly turning the program into a serious contender for the National Club Football Association (NCFA) championship. In just his first year at the helm (1970), McCann landed Duquesne a No. 15 national ranking at its club level and even used his Pittsburgh-area connections to start grabbing the Dukes a few home games at prestigious Three Rivers Stadium.
In fact, it was at Three Rivers that McCann and the Dukes -- fresh off of 7-1-0 and No. 3-ranked season in 1972, capped an undefeated and untied 1973 season (10-0-0) with a 13-7 win over Mattatuck Community College in the NCFA title game. The 1973 Dukes have since been inducted into the Duquesne Athletics Hall of Fame.
Far from done, McCann coached Dukes Football to four more top-seven rankings from 1974-1978, including a runner-up finish at the NCFA title game in 1977.
In 1979, McCann oversaw Duquesne's venture into varsity football at the NCAA Division III level. He stuck around until 1983 before handing over head coaching duties to one of his former players in 1984 -- Terry Russell.
But McCann did eventually come back, head coaching the team again from 1988-1992, long enough to finish his career at Duquesne with 91 wins, which stood as a record until 1993 replacement Greg Gattuso broke the mark in 2004.
It was indeed 1993 -- the end of the second McCann term -- that Duquesne moved up another level of college football, this time to NCAA Division I-AA.
Neither that move, nor Duquesne's current move into I-AA scholarship football in 2008, would ever be possible without Sam Costanzo and the 1960s-1970s club football Dukes... and of course, their leader Dan McCann.
(Image: Duquesne University 1992 Football Media Guide, Copyright Duquesne University)
at 6:30 PM
Friday, January 4, 2008
Bruce Hocker is going to the Hula Bowl.
And seriously, he might be selected in the NFL Draft.
Some followers of Duquesne Football have been pessimistic about the future of the program after a disappointing 2007 season, but Hocker's invitation and acceptance to play in one of the best showcases of college football talent in the country gives the Dukes a much-needed recruiting edge heading into scholarship football in 2008.
The effects of Duquesne alumnus Leigh Bodden's success in the NFL have not yet worn off, but coupling that success with having an athlete compete in the Hula Bowl is something that Duquesne coaches will undoubtedly throw at potential recruits.
Imagine if Hocker gets drafted. Don't rule it out.
And if he does, you can rule in about eight to 10 years at least of more unbelievable recruiting for Dukes Football.
(Image: Bruce Hocker, Copyright Duquesne University)
at 10:26 PM
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
John "Red" Manning, Men's Basketball - Officially the second Duquesne University Men's Basketball coach to appear in this countdown (ahead of Father Eugene McGuigan), "Red" Manning was the last of three-straight magnificent (and nicknamed) coaches to lead the Dukes Ballers from the mid-1920s to the mid-1970s -- Charles "Chick" Davies (1924-25 to 1942-43 and 1946-47 to 1947-48), Donald "Dudey" Moore (1948-49 to 1957-58) and Manning (1958-59 to 1973-74).
Manning's record during his time at the Dukes' reigns was an outstanding 247-138, good for a .642 winning percentage and the second-most head coaching wins in program history.
Among Manning's accomplishments at Duquesne were four appearances in the National Invitation Tournament -- 1962, 1964, 1968 and 1970 -- and more impressively, two appearances in the NCAA Championship -- 1969 and 1971 -- when that tournament was established as the premiere college basketball event in the country.
The 1961-62 Dukes, perhaps Manning's finest club, saw the team finish with a No. 14 ranking in the Associated Press college basketball poll and earn fourth-place honors at the NIT. Duquesne actually reached as high as No. 3 in the AP poll that season.
The 1968-69 Dukes finished the season ranked No. 9 by the AP and advanced to the NCAA Regional Semifinals, while the 1970-71 Duquesne squad ended its campaign with a No. 15 AP ranking.
[Image (left to right): Clyde Arnold, Bill Stromple, Willie Somerset, Coach John "Red" Manning, Mike Rice, John Cegalis and Paul Benec of the 1961-62 Duquesne University Men's Basketball Team, Copyright Duquesne University]
at 3:13 PM
Saturday, December 22, 2007
RealTimeRPI.com has emerged as an amazing resource for college sports fans, for the RPI, or Ratings Percentage Index, has been a determining factor in NCAA Championship Tournament selection.
The Web site -- updated every five minutes -- ranks, men-wise for example, all 341 NCAA Division I Basketball teams based on a formula that factors a team's winning percentage (25%), its opponents' winning percentage (50%) and its opponents' opponents winning percentage (25%). (Only games against other NCAA Division I teams are factored into the equation.)
What makes the RPI so interesting to Duquesne University Men's Basketball fans right now is that Duquesne is currently ranked 53rd in the rating. When the NCAA begins to select at-large bids to its Division I Men's Basketball Championship, an RPI this high at the end of the Dukes' 2007-08 season -- barring a large number of automatic bids to the tournament from teams with a lower RPI ranking -- would matter-of-factly garner Duquesne serious consideration for tournament selection.
While it is certainly too early in the season to conclude that the Dukes can keep up their stellar play of the first calendar year of the campaign, it is a tremendous blessing to Duquesne so far that its three losses have come to teams with a current combined record of 25-2. And perhaps more importantly, the Dukes' upcoming Atlantic Ten Conference schedule will feature games against fellow teams from currently the sixth-highest rated conference in the nation.
A look at Duquesne's 2007-08 teams with RPI rankings in seasons still underway:
Men's Basketball: 53 of 341
Women's Basketball: 125 of 337
Football: 186 of 242 (actually higher than three NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision teams)
A look at Duquesne's 2007-08 teams with RPI rankings in seasons completed:
Women's Soccer (for some reason, only available through Nov. 4, 2007): 95 of 314
Men's Soccer (final): 151 of 202
Women's Volleyball (final): 211 of 324
(Image: RealTimeRPI.com Logo, Copyright RealTimeRPI.com)
at 11:41 AM
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Elmer Layden, Football - Elmer Layden was the coach that introduced Duquesne University Football to the land of big-time college sports.
As one of the University of Notre Dame's "Four Horsemen," Layden came from a school and a program used to success and large-scale popularity. He was, simply, able to effectively transfer his success as a high-profile player to that as a high-profile coach of the same sport.
Layden was at the helm of Duquesne Football for the seasons from 1927-1933 and put together an amazing 48-16-6 record (.716 winning percentage).
Nine of those wins came in 1929 when Duquesne went 9-0-1 in easily its best season-to-date at that point.
Layden's final game as Duquesne head coach came in the Festival of Palms Bowl played on New Year's Day, 1934. Though not officially recognized by the NCAA as a legitimate bowl game, Duquesne's win over the University of Miami (Fla.) in this game was the program's most important victory and the school's biggest athletics moment up to that point.
The Festival of Palms game would become the Orange Bowl game the very next season.
(Image: Elmer Layden, Copyright Pro Football Hall of Fame)
at 9:48 AM
Sunday, December 16, 2007
DISCLAIMER: Dukes Chat is again featuring a guest opinion piece. This piece regards the state of Duquesne University Football as opined by one of the better-known names of Pittsburgh sports blogging, particularly Duquesne Football blogging -- Mark Draskovich (a.k.a. Coffee).
Only under extreme circumstances will Dukes Chat ever censor someone's opinion on this Web log. Therefore, other than simple copy editing, this piece by Mr. Draskovich will appear as is.
*IT MUST BE NOTED THOUGH THAT DUKES CHAT DOES NOT NECESSARILY AGREE WITH DRASKOVICH'S OPINION.* The opinion is his, and it is much appreciated.
If anyone else wishes to post a guest opinion piece on Dukes Chat, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, feel free to comment on this story and read other people's comments by clicking on the "_ comments" link at the bottom of the post.
"Lack of Support for Duquesne Football" - Mark Draskovich
There are mixed messages coming from the Duquesne University administration in support of the Duquesne Football program. While it's great that we are awarding scholarships and building a new stadium, we must make the effort consistent.
Athletic Director Greg Amodio is immensely talented but comes from a school that did not have a football team. There are some basics that every NCAA Division I-A or I-AA team needs to be able to recruit and be successful:
1. A decent stadium (not a Beaver Stadium, but one that seats at least 7,500). A recruit wants to play on a field at least comparable to his high school field.
2. A radio station (not just Internet) to broadcast the game to those who can't make it every time.
3. Active public relations, including support on the department's Web site.
4. A marching band/color guard/et cetera for decent halftime shows. Football can be a family event. Some dads feel better bringing their families on the weekend rather than being away for another day. College games must add as much pageantry as possible to include students and families. Families come to see their kids play on the field whether they throw the football or play the tuba. Marching bands at halftime are part of a proven formula for football just as the pep band is right for basketball.
- The upcoming new stadium is an improvement, but nine rows of stands from the 20-yard line to the other 20-yard line are not going to attract anybody. It is a statement to a recruit that we don't take the program seriously.
There is space atop the little picnic tables for a few more rows, and the department can extend the rows from end zone-to-end zone with little added expense.
- Local media must be convinced that attracting a mostly higher-educated group once a week for 10 weeks will be a win for them too. We have our own radio station on campus that broadcast basketball when they had too.
Greg, we respect the work that you are doing for basketball, and the results are obvious. You have a core of loyal alumni and fans, and we want to follow the athletic program year-round. Do just a bit more for football, and the returns will be enormous.
(Image: Coffee Bean, Copyright Royal Society of Chemistry)
at 10:31 AM
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Buff Donelli, Football - Aldo Teo "Buff" Donelli coached two of Duquesne University Football's greatest teams ever and arguably its greatest. The architect of Duquesne Football's undefeated 1939 (8-0-1) and 1941 (9-0-0) teams, Donelli compiled an astounding 29-4-2 record (.857 winning percentage) as Head Coach from 1939-1942.
Had Donelli coached longer at Duquesne, he could have landed much higher on this list. The same can be said for Donelli not winning a major bowl game, though the fact that Duquesne went uninvited to a bowl game after the '41 season -- when they were ranked No. 8 in the country and led the nation in scoring, rushing and total defense -- is still regarded as a terrible injustice.
From the Duquesne Football Media Guide:
"The 1941 Duquesne defense surrendered just 21 points all season. Only one other team has given up 21 or fewer points in a season since. In 1941, Donelli had the distinction of coaching two teams at the same time, as he also coached the National Football League's Pittsburgh Steelers. Former [Duquesne Football Head Coach Elmer] Layden, who was by then the commissioner of the NFL, made Donelli choose between the two and Donelli elected to remain at Duquesne."
(Image: Aldo Donelli, Copyright Columbia University in the City of New York)
at 7:32 PM
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
Sept. 1 – vs. Bucknell (L, 28-19)
Patriot League wins have always been special for mid-major teams, including Duquesne, but the success that the Dukes have had over the last handful of years against teams like Bucknell has made them somewhat commonplace… not expected but not extraordinary either. Bucknell was anything but an extraordinary team in 2007.
In fact, the Bison beat only three of 11 opponents this year -- Duquesne, Marist and Fordham. The Fordham win was Bucknell’s most impressive, but the game was meaningless for the already-postseason-bound Rams. This is a game that the Dukes should have won. It’s time to start beating football teams from Bucknell. 0-1 (0-0).
Sept. 15 – at Brown (L, 28-17)
As tough as Patriot League opponents can be for mid-major teams to beat, Ivy League opponents are even tougher. If Brown had not won a game in a year, Duquesne would still not be expected to win. Duquesne was in this game, so give Schmitt and the Dukes gridders some credit here. 0-2 (0-0).
Sept. 22 – at Sacred Heart (W, 30-23 OT)
Sacred Heart Football has been a very beatable program for the last several years. This year was no exception. The 2007 Pioneers finished 3-8. One of those eight losses came against Duquesne. Not a whole lot else to say here. It did take overtime, but the Dukes got the job done this week. 1-2 (0-0).
Sept. 29 – vs. Frostburg State (W, 37-10)
A gimme game. Duquesne was forced to schedule this tilt when St. Peter’s College dropped varsity football after the annual Dukes-St. Peter’s game had already been scheduled.
Given that Duquesne would only be playing nine games in 2007 if this were made into a bye week, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, this was the Dukes’ Homecoming Saturday, Frostburg State had to show up and lose. They did, and everyone was happy. The Dukes padded their stats and evened their record. A loss to Frostburg State—an NCAA Division III team—would have been the worst in university history. It didn’t happen. Thank God. 2-2 (0-0).
Oct. 6 – at Marist (W, 31-21)
Duquesne was playing this game on the road in front of the largest crowd in Marist Football history. Make no mistake; the 2007 Red Foxes were bad (3-8), but Marist always gears up for the Duquesne game. This was certainly not a gimme, and the score made the game look closer than it actually was. Good win. Good conference win. 3-2 (1-0).
Oct. 13 – at St. Francis (Pa.) (W, 24-17)
If the Dukes were playing for an at-large bid to the NCAA Division I Championship -- not that realistic this year -- their schedule certainly wouldn’t help them. In fact, their schedule even hurt their chances of winning their second Sports Network Cup. The 2007 St. Francis (Pa.) squad was the sixth-straight poor team that the Dukes faced this year.
But a win is, yes, a win. It’s always good to beat another local team, especially one that Duquesne probably competes for recruits with. 4-2 (1-0).
Oct. 20 – vs. Robert Morris (W, 17-14)
Speaking of beating local teams, it doesn’t get better for Duquesne than beating Robert Morris. The best win of 2007, especially considering that the Colonials finished 4-6 this year with a very ambitious schedule. 5-2 (1-0).
Oct. 27 – at Iona (L, 28-23)
Ouch. Duquesne would need help again if it was to repeat as league champions/co-champions. Give credit to Iona. Have the Gaels finally caught the Dukes?
Indeed, it will certainly be interesting to see what happens to Iona Football with the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Football League all but officially disbanded at this point. This was another tough loss to swallow. Worst of the year. Worst in a while. 5-3 (1-1).
Nov. 10 – vs. La Salle (W, 51-8)
The season wasn’t over. Give the Dukes players and coaching staff a lot of credit here for responding to a lot of criticism by getting back to the business of demolishing fellow MAAC teams.
Granted, La Salle –- who finished 2007 0-10 –- was the perfect medicine for Duquesne, but the Dukes could easily have unraveled after the Iona loss and a bye week to think about it. They didn’t, and for the second year in a row, fortune shined on Duquesne. Iona blew sole possession of the MAAC crown by losing to Marist this week. A tri-championship of a four-team league is certainly bittersweet, but it could have been worse.
The championship streak stays intact, and Duquesne will look to extend it next year with a Northeast Conference championship. 6-3 (2-1).
Nov. 17 – at Monmouth (L, 31-20)
This game shouldn’t have been meaningless for Duquesne. It had a chance to equal its win total of last season and avoid the program’s lowest win total in a season since 1994 (6-4). But, the Dukes lost.
This game was meaningless for Monmouth, but they proved to be, frankly, the better team. 6-4 (2-1).
Looking Ahead: The streak somehow survives, but next year will bring more challenges. Recruiting, player responsibility, coaching and off-season training will all need to improve for Duquesne to survive in the NEC, let alone compete for the league title.
With NEC Football most likely soon to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Championship for its champion, the competition for the chance to win an undisputed NCAA Division I Football championship will be fierce in the conference.
Here’s hoping that the Dukes can handle it. Shoo shoo. Rah rah.
(Image: Bruce Hocker, Copyright Duquesne University)
at 10:41 PM