With 5 of their 10 regular season games completed, Ferrum sits in the middle of the USA South standings with a 3-2 (1-1 ) record. The road ahead is somewhat uncertain as the picture is still fuzzy as to who is the strength of the conference. Christopher Newport, selected as the favorite is tied with Maryville and NC Wesleyan at 3-2 (2-0) Averett and Ferrum are tied for fourth with a 3-2 (1-1) record.
Greensboro is alone in fifth place with a 2-3 (0-2) record, and is followed closely by Methodist and Shenandoah who are tied for sixth at 1-4 (0-2).
For me, the surprise team is Maryville. I had also been impressed with Averett as they had seemed quite strong before running into the CNU juggernaut. In my eyes, the disappointments are Shenandoah and Ferrum. The Hornets had high hopes coming into this year, and so far are below where I expected. I see them winning some more games, but at 1-4, they will need to get busy to make my predicted finish of 5-5.
Ferrum is coming off of their first conference win, but is in somewhat of a hole as they are just 3-2. I had predicted a 9-1 season, but this was spoiled by Emory and Henry in week 1. To contend for the conference title, the Panthers must play near perfect from here out, and get some help from two of the many capable teams in the conference. NCW will have to be beaten twice for Ferrum to contend. Ferrum will also have to give CNU many "tricks" and very few "treats" in their Halloween game.
Christopher Newport, who had looked mediocre (compared to their past ) has had a lot of injuries, and it looked like they may be mortal this year. Their performance against Averett releived a lot of Captain fans, and made me quickly remember why they are the favorite to win the USA South.
Maryville had many roster losses from last year, and I had my doubts about them as I felt this would be a rebuilding year for the Scots. This is a well coached team, and looks strong at the halfway mark. They have reason to be excited about where they are
Methodist and Greensboro are both coming off of disappointing campaigns in 2008, and I felt would have rebuilding years. While they have both shown better than I expected, I do think they will finish at the bottom of the conference this year, but both will take many positives into next year..
With half of the season gone, I already see that my preseason predictions will be pretty far off. I am not sure who will win the conference, but for Ferrum to have a chance, they need to only worry about the next game. Preparation will be the key, and securing a win should be the goal. Beyond that, the Panthers have no control over what happens.