Wagner and VMI -- two of Reverse Survivor's marquee contenders -- are officially removed as challengers for this season's Reverse Survivor title. This is . . . weird. The Seahawks' victory over Monmouth last week and VMI's stunning defeat of Air Force on Sunday put numbers in each team's win column at an exceptionally early date for both programs:
- Since 2005, the earliest date on the calendar that featured a Wagner win was on March 3, 2009, when the Seahawks beat Presbyterian (12-7).
- Since 2005, the earliest date on the calendar that featured a VMI win was on February 26, 2011, when the Keydets beat Mercer (15-9).
Both programs were expected to serve as favorites in the 2014 Reverse Survivor competition but now own residences on Winners Circle, a cul-de-sac where happiness powers the development. The two teams' departure from the race leaves a vacuum in which six teams -- Hobart, Holy Cross, Jacksonville, Manhattan, Mount St. Mary's, and Sacred Heart -- will compete for Reverse Survivor honors.
THE FINAL SIX: REVERSE SURVIVOR'S REMAINING PARTICIPANT POOL
Next Opponent: Colgate -- March 4th
Chance of Victory: Pretty slim. The Raiders aren't an elite team, but Colgate has played fairly well this year despite a confusing loss to Lafayette. The Statesmen have the firepower necessary to drop the Raiders in Hamilton, but there is still a noted gap between Hobart and Colgate.
Next Reasonable Chance of Victory: Canisius -- March 11th. The Statesmen will see Colgate and Brown before taking a trip west to face the Griffins, and the Statesmen need to get well against Canisius or else things could spiral for Hobart: After facing the Griffs, Hobart will host Robert Morris before traveling to Bryant in late-March.
Holy Cross (0-4)
Next Opponent: Richmond -- March 4th
Chance of Victory: Pretty decent. The Spiders have come back to reality after almost doing the impossible against Virginia to open their season. The Spiders are dangerous, but Jim Morrissey's mastery of the dark arts should put Holy Cross in a position to earn a victory against Richmond
Next Reasonable Chance of Victory: Richmond -- March 4th. If Holy Cross fails to beat the Spiders, things get tricky for the Crusaders: Consecutive dates against Army, Bucknell, and Fairfield follow the team's game against Richmond. There is little potential relief until late-March.
Next Opponent: Marquette -- March 8th
Chance of Victory: Unlikely, although the Golden Eagles aren't pure stone. The Eagles have played better ball than the Dolphins this season, and it's going to take both a big effort from Pete DeLuca in the net and Jacksonville's uneven offense to drop Marquette at home.
Next Reasonable Chance of Victory: VMI -- April 5th. Here's the problem for the Dolphins: The team's upcoming schedule is somewhat unrelenting. After facing Marquette, Jacksonville will host Air Force, travel to Robert Morris, and make a trip to Ohio State. The date against the Falcons could provide an opportunity for a victory, but this is still a tough path that reasonably throws losses Jacksonville's way until they host the Keydets.
Next Opponent: Mount St. Mary's -- March 8th
Chance of Victory: Pretty good. The Mountaineers have been a mess offensively and the Jaspers are finally facing an opponent that is more aligned to their level. This isn't a guarantee game for Manhattan, but it's the closest to that status that the Jaspers have experienced so far in 2014.
Next Reasonable Chance of Victory: Mount St. Mary's -- March 8th. If it doesn't happen for Manhattan against The Mount, the Jaspers may need to wait until early April for potential victories against Canisius, Lafayette, and Monmouth.
Mount St. Mary's (0-5)
Next Opponent: Johns Hopkins -- March 4th
Chance of Victory: Noooooooooooope.
Next Reasonable Chance of Victory: Manhattan -- March 8th. In a Reverse Survivor-off, anything is possible (including blood falling from the sky). If the Mountaineers can't beat the Jaspers, the possibility for wins drastically declines until the calendar approaches April.
Sacred Heart (0-3)
Next Opponent: Providence -- March 8th
Chance of Victory: Potentially possible. The Friars don't seem to have the sense of purpose that they did last year and the Pioneers haven't been awful against their opposition this season. I'm not sure this is a 50-50 game, but Sacred Heart has the potential to snatch a win against Providence.
Next Reasonable Chance of Victory: Vermont -- March 22nd. The two teams share a common opponent: Dartmouth. The Catamounts beat the Green while Sacred Heart fell to Dartmouth this past weekend in Dallas. I'm not sold that the results against the Big Green mean much, but it's something to keep in mind.