One of the final teams to release their schedule for the upcoming season — Long Island University is another school that has yet to release their schedule — Dartmouth and coach Paul Cormier have pieced together a pedestrian 14 game non-conference schedule that is highlighted with games at Illinois and St. John’s.
Ironically enough, however, the Big Green’s two most challenging games of the season will most likely come against Ivy League foe Harvard, rather than the two BCS teams on the slate.
While Dartmouth’s non-conference schedule is hardly challenging for many teams — even decent mid-major squads — it is a realistic one for them. This is a program that hasn’t had a winning season since 1998-99, and have averaged a meager 7.5 wins over the last 14 seasons. Case in point, their first three games of the season are at home against Lyndon State, Bryant, and UMass Lowell — several years ago these were all sub-Division 1 programs with Lyndon State still a Division 3 school.
Some mid-major programs of Dartmouth’s level take on the “triple AAA” approach — anytime, anyone, anywhere — in order to gain maximum exposure and attract prospective recruits. Cormier explains his scheduling philosophy, which is a different approach, yet looks to achieve the same goal: “My scheduling philosophy is to try and play games in areas we would like to recruit and also near the hometowns of our players.”
With nine games being played in the state of New Hampshire — eight at home in Hanover and one in Durham at the University of New Hampshire — one may infer that Cormier strives to recruit players around the New England area, however, seven of the 16 players on the roster are from either New York or New Jersey. It is worth nothing that three of their five road non-conference games are against Illinois, Northern Illinois, and IPFW, and two players do hail from Illinois.
The Big Green are one of the youngest teams in the country with just four upperclassmen on the roster.