/notables/2014/01/cortland-joins-archrival-in-empire-8

Cortland to join archrival in Empire 8

In the definitive response to those who would cancel the Cortaca Jug game because of its rowdy crowds, Cortland State and Ithaca's annual game will now be an Empire 8 conference game.
Photo for Cortland athletics by Darl Zehr Photography

The Cortland State football team will join the Empire 8 as an affiliate member at the start of the 2015 season.

Cortland will join Brockport, Buffalo State, Frostburg State and Salisbury as affiliate members of the E8 in the sport of football. Full members Alfred, Hartwick, Ithaca, St. John Fisher and Utica comprise the remainder of the football playing institutions in the league.

"Cortland is a strong academic institution with a rich football history with many of the Empire 8 institutions,” said Empire 8 Commissioner Chuck Mitrano. “They are a perfect fit and further enhance the competitive level of what is already the toughest conference in Division III."

Cortland has been a football-only member of the New Jersey Athletic Conference since 2000. Cortland was the first non-New Jersey school to join the NJAC for football and was later joined as affiliate members by Western Connecticut State, Buffalo State, Brockport and Morrisville. Buffalo State, however, joined the Empire 8 in 2012 and Brockport will play its first season in the Empire 8 this fall. Western Connecticut joined the newly formed Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference football league in 2013.

 “Cortland is excited to have the opportunity to play football in the Empire 8 conference,” said Cortland president Erik J. Bitterbaum. “The schools in this conference are outstanding both athletically and academically, and we look forward to this new beginning for Red Dragon football.”

Familiar foes

Cortland has faced some of its future Empire 8 opponents on a regular basis, while others haven't played the Red Dragons in some time, if at all. The last time Cortland has met each of its future conference opponents in football:
Ithaca 2013
Alfred 2013
St. John Fisher 2013
Buffalo State 2013
Brockport  2013
Utica 2003
Salisbury 1983
Hartwick 1950
Frostburg State Never

“We look forward to meeting new challenges in the Empire 8 and to creating new relationships with some of these institutions that are so close to us geographically but that we haven't had the opportunity to compete against on a regular basis in years past,” said Cortland athletic director Mike Urtz. “We hope we can bring added value to an already great and highly competitive conference.”

Cortland has finished at least tied for first in the NJAC six of the last nine years (2005-08, 2010, 2012). The Red Dragons were outright league champions in 2008 and 2012 and won a tiebreaker to earn the league's NCAA automatic bid in 2010.

In all, Cortland has qualified for the NCAA playoffs eight times – three consecutive years from 1988-90, along with appearances in 1997, 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2012. The Red Dragons advanced to the national quarterfinals in 1988 and 2008. Cortland has also been selected to compete in ECAC bowl games 11 times.

“It's an exciting time for Cortland football as we embrace change,” said Red Dragons coach Dan MacNeill.  “Thanks to the Empire 8 for accepting Cortland football into their prestigious conference, where we look to build stronger relationships with familiar competitors and establish new regional rivalries.”

Empire 8 football teams finished 21-10 in non-conference play in 2013 and have a mark of 259-122 against non-conference Division III opponents since 2002 for a .680 winning percentage. There have been 33 postseason victories in the last 12 seasons with reigning conference champion Ithaca advancing to the second round and at-large selection St. John Fisher advancing to the national quarterfinals in 2013.

Aug. 31: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Moravian at King's
Live stats Tickets
7:00 PM
Methodist at Campbell
7:00 PM
Alfred State at Coast Guard
Live stats
7:00 PM
Allegheny at Thiel
Live stats
7:00 PM
Stevenson at Frostburg State
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Wesley at Delaware Valley
7:00 PM
Mayville St. at Buena Vista
7:30 PM
Manchester at Trine
Video Live stats
8:00 PM
McMurry at Okla. Panhandle
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
8:00 PM
Greenville at Millikin
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Salisbury at Albright
7:00 PM
Mount Ida at Mass-Dartmouth
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Curry
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Washington and Lee
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
FDU-Florham at TCNJ
7:00 PM
MIT at Becker
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Westfield State at Nichols
Video Live stats
7:30 PM
Anna Maria at WPI
Video Live stats
7:30 PM
Gettysburg at Bridgewater
Video Live stats
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Grove City at Juniata
Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Endicott
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Worcester State at Salve Regina
Live stats
12:00 PM
Maine Maritime at SUNY-Maritime
Live stats
12:00 PM
Norwich at Morrisville State
Live stats
12:00 PM
Bethany at Ursinus
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Brockport at Hobart
12:00 PM
Augustana at Cortland
12:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Buffalo State
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Washington U.
Video Live stats Live stats
12:30 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Mount Union
Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wilkes at Muhlenberg
1:00 PM
Kalamazoo at Oberlin
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Catholic at McDaniel
1:00 PM
Heidelberg at Olivet
Live stats
1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Lebanon Valley
1:00 PM
Alma at St. Vincent
1:00 PM
Castleton at Plymouth State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Lycoming at Susquehanna
1:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at John Carroll
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Alfred at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Misericordia at Merchant Marine
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Albion at Wabash
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Dickinson at Randolph-Macon
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Bluffton at Wooster
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Union at Husson
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Springfield at Western New England
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at Westminster (Pa.)
1:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Ferrum at Emory and Henry
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Averett at Hampden-Sydney
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Waynesburg at Muskingum
Live stats
1:00 PM
William Paterson at RPI
1:00 PM
Franklin at Thomas More
Live stats
1:00 PM
Greensboro at Apprentice
1:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Chicago
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Kenyon at Sewanee
1:30 PM
Centre at Hanover
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Capital
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Defiance
Live stats
1:30 PM
Earlham at Wilmington
Live stats
2:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at LaGrange
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Norbert at UW-Stevens Point
2:00 PM
Carthage at Aurora
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Guilford at Huntingdon
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Simpson
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Nebraska Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Rockford at MacMurray
2:00 PM
Finlandia at Concordia (Wis.)
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Bethel
2:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Macalester at Carleton
2:00 PM
Grinnell at St. Olaf
2:00 PM
Hamline at Crown
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at Illinois Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Whitworth at Central
2:00 PM
Coe at UW-River Falls
2:00 PM
Loras at Elmhurst
2:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Ripon
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Presentation at Lawrence
Video
2:00 PM
George Fox at UW-Platteville
Live stats
2:00 PM
Lake Forest at Beloit
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
Austin at Bacone
4:00 PM
Puget Sound at La Verne
5:00 PM
Western Connecticut at Hartwick
6:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Adrian
Live stats Audio
6:00 PM
North Park at Anderson
7:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Southern Virginia
Live stats
7:00 PM
Brevard at Davidson
7:00 PM
Gallaudet at Shenandoah
Live stats
7:00 PM
Otterbein at Ohio Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Marietta at Geneva
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
7:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Utica
7:00 PM
Southwestern at Denison
7:00 PM
Martin Luther at Minnesota-Morris
7:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
7:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Illinois College
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Trinity Int'l at Wisconsin Lutheran
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas-Permian Basin
7:00 PM
Luther at UW-La Crosse
7:00 PM
Wayland Baptist at Louisiana College
7:00 PM
Knox at Eureka
Video Live stats
8:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Augsburg
8:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Cornell
8:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at North Central (Ill.)
Video Live stats Audio
8:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Benedictine
8:00 PM
Lyon at Hendrix
8:00 PM
Howard Payne at Southwestern Assemblies
10:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Redlands
10:00 PM
Rhodes at Willamette
Live stats
Maintenance in progress.