January 30, 2014

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.

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