It’s been a match up on the schedule for several years now. A game that puts two of the better college teams playing in the FCS (I still catch myself calling it “1-AA”) each year. It’s also the two “Major” college teams playing on Long Island. While both teams recruit outside of the region, it’s also a showcase for local talent as well. Both coaches are well rounded and respected football men who come from the same “coaching family tree” so to speak. They were both assistants under Coach Bob Ford at the University of Albany.
Hofstra has put many players into the NFL over the years, most recently OL Willie Colon of the SB XLIII winning Steelers and Marques Colston of the Saints. They play in the CAA conference, which is considered by many to be the top conference in the FCS. Even in “down” seasons the program has remained competitive in play and continues to draw recruits from many areas. Last year the field surface at Shuart Stadium was replaced, and is among the best I have ever set foot on. They return several starters from the 2006 and 2007 seasons, including QB Corey Christopher, who at 250 lbs and just over 6’1” looks more like an Inside Linebacker or a Fullback and is just as hard to bring down. Senior Linebacker Luke Bonus is the leader of a resurgent defense that will make life hard for every opponent they face this season.
The Seawolves may not have any players in the NFL just yet, but a move to a new conference(the Big South), a seasoned staff of assistants, a quality stadium of their own, and their share of televised games make them a tough opponent as well. The 1-2 punch of Conte Cuttino and Edwin Gowins from the backfield makes it difficult for the opposing defenses to key on just one rusher. Like Hofstra’s Dave Cohen, Coach Chuck Priore is also a master teacher of the game. Both teams also have a loyal fanbase, and the respect of opposing coaches. They both follow the tenant of honoring the great game of Football at it’s core.
So why will this match up end after next season? Shouldn’t this be a highlight of the start of the season for both these teams? Shouldn’t it be treated like the “classic” games that are played among teams in the southeast? Why not make it a “worthy cause” game that benefits a local charity or two.
Hofstra would most likely want to get a game or two a year against
Higher graded division 1 teams like Army or even Rutgers. Stonybrook would probably love to get a televised game against a higher ranked “1-AA” team like Appalachian State (even though Costal Carolina is a huge match up for them this year). But why take on those steep climbs at the cost of eliminating this game?
Hopefully the School’s presidents will come to terms on extending this yearly match up which I now call “The Long Island Classic.”