Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lehigh 21, Harvard 19, Final

It looked, for all practical purposes, like another Mountain Hawk egg that was about to be laid against an elite opponent.

It seemed like Lehigh could not do much right in their first half against Harvard. Two turnovers led directly to Crimson touchdowns. Only two offensive drives in the half yielded and first downs. And - in a chilling similarity to the New Hampshire game - Lehigh's defense and special teams handed the Lehigh offense two golden opportunities to score points, and both times Lehigh came away with nothing.

But head coach Andy Coen must have channeled his inner Knute Rockne at halftime, for the team that came out in the second half was transformed.

Against an elite team of the Ivy League, Lehigh came back from a three-score deficit and sent notice to the rest of the Patriot League that Lehigh is back. (more)

Week Seven Football Predictions, 10/16/2010

For those who are interested - below the flip are my selection of picks today's Patriot League football games being played.

For my picks of the rest of the week, click here to visit the College Sporting News and read: "Injuries No Laughing Matter", where I pick the Sports Network Top 25.  (No funny picks this week, but I do pick all the games.)

Last weekend I got back in the pink concerning my Patriot League picks. I went 5-1, only missing the Holy Cross/Brown game.  (A helpful reader pointed out that I picked the Crusaders' point total correctly - 17 - but missed Brown's score by, ah, more than 30 points.)  I did pick Penn to beat Bucknell, Columbia to best Lafayette,  Colgate to grind Princeton (though I thought the game would be closer), Wagner to topple Georgetown and Lehigh, of course, to beat Fordham. This great week puts me at a respectable 23-11 on the year. (more)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Water Cooler: Harvard Is The Epicenter of Screw-Ups

(Photo Credit: Campus Media Group Blog)

It's an old story, but still a great one: at a classic meeting of Harvard and Yale - you know, that Game where the Crimson and Eli try to catch up to Lehigh and Lafayette in terms of most played college football rivalry - a group known as the Yale Pundits convinced many Harvard fans at halftime that their poster boards would spell out "Go Harvard" - but instead spelled out the words you see to your left. As old as the prank was, it never fails to make me smile.

Less obvious that the truism that the Pundits exposed on that fateful November day is a dirty little secret: that there are an awful lot of folks who have passed through Cambridge and have been screw-ups. Behind that demeanor of faux-competence, over-confidence and just flat out arrogance, Harvard folks screw up a lot.

This matters, too: for if I screw up on my blog, maybe a dozen people are offended, and never hurt. When one of these yahoos screws up, the entire global economy can be run into the ditch, or - worse - a guy like Carl Palladino can credibly run for Governor of New York and not have an incumbent to challenge him.

Let's look at the top Ten Harvard Screwups. (more)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Game Preview: Lehigh at Harvard, 10/16/2010

Harvard is the dynasty nobody knows about.

Part of that is the Ivy League's fault, and part of that is Harvard's fault. But make no mistake, they are a dynasty and they are a team that, year in and year out, are filled with talented players.

Look at this week's Gridiron Power Index, and you'll see the Crimson in the middle of the pack, at No. 59.  But that's no indication of the talent on this team at all.  There are currently five players in the NFL that came from Cambridge, and this list details the number of pros that have come from Harvard - and fourteen of those, you'll note, have played for the Crimson in the last ten years - and have faced off against Lehigh in non-league action.

But thanks to the stubbornness of the Ivy League President's office, the (presumed) intransigence of Harvard's presidents, and the unwillingness of the Ivy League's or Harvard's sports information directors to much care about the Crimson's status nationally, most of the wider FCS world doesn't know that Harvard is a dynasty that rivals Montana's dominance. This has made these Crimson games, unfortunately, a high-risk, low reward game nationally. (more)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

LFN's Players of the Week, Fordham vs. Lehigh

This week's LFN Players of the Week awards go to:

Offense: Junior QB Chris Lum (14-23 passing, 146 yards passing, 2 TDsm 0 INT's)
Defense: Junior LB Mike Groome (11 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
Special Teams: Junior P Alex Smith (6 punts, 36.8 yard average, 2 punts downed inside 20 yard line)
Underclassman: Sophomore WR Ryan Spadola (3 catches, 30 yards, heady play to score first TD of game)

Congratulations to the winners!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

FCS East Wrapup: The Big Red Machine

Going into this weekend, there was one team that the casual sports fan might associate with the words "Big Red Machine": the Cincinnati Reds, who were anything but a well-oiled operation after feebly, among a host of errors and strikeouts, falling to the Phillies in three games.

More immediately to the Patriot League, though, is a Big Red Machine that is currently running on all cylinders.

After two straight annihilations, of Georgetown two weeks ago and of Princeton last weekend, Colgate emphatically sent notice that they are The. Machine. To. Beat. This. Year. (more)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Last Look: Fordham vs. Lehigh

(Photo Credit: Kevin Mingora/The Morning Call)

Lehigh's close 21-17 victory over Fordham was well attended by members of the Lehigh Valley press - even if reporters the student newspaper were not there, as they were on pacing break - though no press came, or covered the game, from the Media Capital of the World.

For a game that ended in victory, the coverage was surprisingly nuanced, which was partially a reflection of head coach Andy Coen's assessment that Lehigh's offense missed several opportunities to put the game away.

But that didn't totally take away from a crushing defensive performance, which stood up Fordham when it counted, over and over again. (more)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday's Word: Terminator

So many possibilites for "words" this weekend.  A weekend where the Phillies are poised to sweep the Reds in the NLDS.  A day where the date is 10/10/10, a quirk of the calendar that won't recur until November 11th of next year.  Even the Eagles are in play, after not looking half bad in the beginning of their game against the 49ers.

But an intriguing nickname - and a monster performance - leads me to the movie franchise, headlined by the "Gubernator", Arnold Schwarzenneger, and more recently by Christian Bale, as this Sunday's Word.

Early in the year, junior LB Mike Groome looked like he would have to bide his time to get serious playing time, sitting behind senior LB Troy Taylor on the depth chart. But once Taylor pulled up injured before the Drake game, the player his friends and family call the "Groominator" stepped into the starting role and made sure that the Lehigh defense didn't miss a beat next to senior LB Al Pierce in the middle of the defense.

You could even say that Lehigh's defense "terminated" a pretty strong Fordham offense this weekend.  (more)

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