The Northeast-10 Conference unveiled the 2015 Football Coaches’ Poll on Friday, and the Merrimack College football team found itself eighth in the 10-team field after finishing seventh in the conference a year ago.
Just ahead of Merrimack was Bentley (38 points), while the Warriors were picked in front of Southern Connecticut (20) and Pace (10).
Despite the prognostications, Merrimack was one of only two teams in the league to defeat LIU Post last season, and the Warriors nearly knocked off AIC, as well.
McMahon’s Analysis: This is my biggest issue with coaches polls, to be honest. Take a look at the final 2014 standings, and then take a look at the 2015 coaches poll. It’s nearly identical. LIU Post and AIC are flipped, and Merrimack and Bentley are for whatever reason flipped. Other than that, it’s exactly the same as the 2014 standings. That’s no surprise, really, and I get it. Some coaches hate voting in the poll and just put down last year’s standings. Other coaches have their SIDs do it, because they don’t want to. Other coaches are so controlled and try not to give any other team motivation, so they use last year’s standings as a vehicle to not upset anyone in the league.
So take it with a grain of salt.
I’d personally rank Merrimack higher. They finished seventh last season but did that with a young team — they return almost everyone — and they were also littered with injuries. I’d rank Merrimack ahead of Bentley, Stonehill, St. Anselm and Assumption, and if they stay healthy, I think they could finish top-4 in the league. There’s a lot of new pieces that, if they perform as well as expected, could make for a dangerous team.
Merrimack beat LIU Post last season and also nearly beat AIC, coming back from down 24-0 in the second half to nearly pull the amazing come-from-behind win, falling 24-21.