Playing in the highly competitive Atlantic 10, the Fordham Rams are getting closer to knowing the full picture of what's in store for the 2014-15 season.
The A-10, as CBSSports.com's Matt Norlander points out, "has averaged five NCAA tournament bids over the past three years." Now, the Rams will see more of the conference than they have in the past.
Last week, the league announced its pairings for the upcoming season. Teams will play 18 games against conference opponents for the first time since the 1990-91 season.
Next season, the A-10 will expand to 14 teams when Davidson College comes aboard.
Fordham will play five home-and-home matchups and eight single games against conference schools.
The Rams will face Dayton, La Salle, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Saint Joseph's twice while facing the remaining schools once next season.
Duquesne, George Washington, Saint Louis, and Virginia Commonwealth University will come to Rose Hill while the Rams will travel to Davidson, George Mason, Richmond and St. Bonaventure.
Though the opponents were announced last Thursday, the dates and times of games are not yet known.
What is known is that Fordham has not had a winning record in league play since the 2006-07 season, which only magnifies the importance of conference games.
In the seven seasons since, the Rams are a combined 16-96 against A-10 schools.
Fordham has been a member of the league since 1995. In 19 seasons, it's 72-232 against conference opponents.
After winning 39 games overall in the past six seasons—34 in Tom Pecora's first four years at Fordham—the 2014-15 season will be one of the most important in the program's history.
There is a sense of optimism heading into next season, however. With the arrival of Eric Paschall, the recent signings by Nemanja Zarkovic and Christian Sengfelder, the additions of Antwoine Anderson and Manny Suarez and the experience of Jon Severe and others, the Rams will have more talent on the floor.
Expectations will also be higher.
What may help Fordham is that the Atlantic 10, which saw six teams qualify for the NCAA tournament this past season, should come back down to earth a bit next year.
ESPN.com's Eamonn Brennan took a look at the conference recently and highlighted some important departures. But at least five of the six tournament teams that are losing key contributors (Saint Louis may be the exception because it started five seniors last season) are bringing back significant talent.
And as Dayton proved last year with its postseason run, in this conference, anything can happen.
Dayton and VCU are two early favorites to win the A-10. Fordham will play Dayton twice and VCU once. There will be no breaks, making the Rams' non-conference schedule (not yet released) that much more important.
Here is a complete list of Fordham's conference opponents, courtesy of FordhamSports.com:
Charles Costello covers the Fordham Rams for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @CFCostello.
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