Reverse Survivor remains a two-team combat theater.1 VMI and Manhattan were unable to collar victories last week, the Keydets falling 4-12 to Wagner and 7-17 to Bellarmine while the Jaspers suffered a 5-12 defeat at the hands of Delaware and a 9-22 shellacking against Brown. It's possible that Reverse Survivor will not crown One True Champion -- stand up, Big 12! -- but it's not a guaranteed draw between the two wounded and staggering warriors. Both VMI and Manhattan have opportunities to feel the cool triumph of a Gatorade bath this season; the question as to whether either can lead a victory parade turns on (a) when beatable opponents appear on each team's schedule, and (b) if either the Keydets or Jaspers can put together 60 minutes of victory-infused lacrosse.
The Final Two: Reverse Survivor's Remaining Participant Pool
Next Opponent: at Detroit -- March 28th
Chance of Victory: Not all that great. LaxPower notes Manhattan as a six-goal 'dog to the Titans and the Massey ratings only give the Jaspers a nine percent chance of victory against the Titans. This is like going to the DMV thinking that it'll only take 30 minutes to get your license renewed and discovering that you have to visit six representatives at eight different counters -- all of whom seem to have slept on thumbtacks the night before -- only to find out that you have to go to another DMV location located six miles away because this location's camera broke two weeks ago.
Next Reasonable Chance of Victory: NJIT -- March 31st. This is probably going to be the only game that Manhattan will be favored in for the rest of the 2015 season. The Massey ratings illustrate the Japsers as having an 85 percent chance of beating the Highlanders with an average margin of victory of 11-6. LaxPower also tabs Manhattan as a favorite, seeing the Jaspers as two goals stronger than NJIT. If Manhattan fails to drop the Highlanders, things look dicey for the Jaspers the rest of the way.
Next Opponent: Virginia -- March 24th
Chance of Victory: There are a lot of ridiculous records in the official NCAA record book. The most bonkers of them all may be the pounding that Virginia put on the Keydets on April 9, 1996. In that game (a 38-5 victory for the 'Hoos), the Cavaliers set the NCAA record for points in a game (63), goals in a game (38), assists in a game (25), and largest margin of victory (33). The only way that VMI beats Virginia is if the Keydets poison Virginia's water jugs, and even then I'd give the Cavs odds to limp to victory before lurching toward an ambulance and the hospital.
Next Reasonable Chance of Victory: Mercer -- April 4th. This is far from a slam dunk for VMI -- the Bears are on a two-game winning bonanza after earning one-goal overtime victories against High Point and Furman -- but it's not unreasonable to think that the Keydets could beat Mercer in Lexington. LaxPower reflects the Keydets as a three-ish goal underdog to the Bears and the Massey ratings only propose VMI as having a 27 percent chance of victory, but . . . that's not an obscene situation for the Keydets. It's a stretch, but it's not like picking a Jack Russel Terrier to bark out commands from the Oval Office as our nation's adorable Commander in Chief.
1 New programs aren't eligible for Reverse Survivor. To include new programs in this competition misses the point as they're still learning how to get on and off the bus.