Saturday, November 20, 2010

Where Will Lehigh Go?

I know Lehigh won.  And you'll be able to read my full recap of the game tomorrow in all it's glory, I promise.

But I'm going to make this very quick blog posting to let you, dear reader, know what I think might happen tomorrow during the playoff selection show.

Lehigh might get a first-round bye.  The chance is very, very real.  (more)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Water Cooler: The Complicated Postseason Situation

I know, I know, as a Lehigh fan I'm not supposed to speculate about the postseason right now.  There's ONE season, and it's LAFAYETTE season right now.  Just win this weekend, and everything that will happen involved with the playoffs will happen.

But I can't help it.  I'm a national columnist, and part of what I do is speculate on playoff positioning.  In this column for College Sporting News I do so, prognosticating that Lehigh will host Robert Morris in the first round of the playoffs.

(While we're speculating, looking at the picture on the left, I'll speculate that someone photoshopped the heads of Alec Baldwin and Merryl Streep onto somebody else's heads.  No, really, is that all I need to do to get involved in show business?  I've got better cut-and-paste skills - not that that's hard or anything.)

So let's say - for the sake of argument - that it's 2:30 PM, and Lehigh is beating Lafayette 50 to 0.  What should a Lehigh fan be looking for in the scores around the nation. What scenarios result in a trip across country, which involve a first-round bye, and which involve one more home game at Murray Goodman? (more)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Preview of the 146th: Lehigh at Lafayette, "The Rivalry"

The game means nothing in the rest of the Patriot League race.  The Mountain Hawks will be playing another game after the one this Saturday, no matter what happens.  Sure, there's a better chance that Lehigh has a home game in the playoffs and/or a first round bye if they win, but Lehigh's football players will get their rings anyway.

But for Lehigh's players and fans, this return to Fisher Field represents a kind-of victory tour to the place where - arguably - the tides turned for this program.

Two years ago, Lafayette was 7-3 going into this age-old "Rivalry" game, looking for an outside shot at an at-large bid to the playoffs.  Lehigh, at 4-6, already was resigned to the fact that they were playing out the string - and that a win in a "bowl" atmosphere at Lafayette was the only thing that could salvage the season.

Now, the tables are turned. It's not a perfect analogy - since Lafayette cannot ruin Lehigh's postseason hopes - but they sure can establish this entire offseason and hope for next year if they beat the Mountain Hawks this weekend. After all, that's exactly what happened in 2008. (more)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"The Rivalry" - The History of the Craziness

(Photo Credit: The Brown & White)

For passionate alumni, "The Rivalry" signifies the last throes of the year before family items occupy the schedule, where the focus comes on turkeys, hams, and presents. The weekend before Thanksgiving offers the one chance a year many alumni get to see many of their own outside their busy lives.

And for students, "The Rivary" means the nearing of the end of a semester of tough classes, which all comes together with an outpouring of directed energy.

"For us students we have class from 8 to 4, eat dinner at 6, and then have to go do 6 to 7 hours of homework," one current Lehigh student said in regards to going to athletics events. "So priorities have to be taken into account. After all we are paying $51,050 a year, so sacrifices have to be made to ensure a stable future."

"Rivalry week" happens the week before Thanksgiving, in between four o'clock exams and final exams. It's not surprising once the students are over the hump of the academic boot camp which is the Lehigh curriculum, the students let loose. (more)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"The Rivalry" - The History of the Series

(Photo Credit: Jane Therese, 2004, New York Times)

In years past, I've tended to recycle a lot of my previous years' posts when it comes to talking about "The Rivalry". That tradition will continue to some degree - as, really, the history doesn't actually change - but this year I'm going to less recycling and more new writing on this subject on which entire books have been written and documentaries have been made.

The story of college football's most-played rivalry is a great one, and worth retelling. So many young Lehigh and Lafayette young men have participated in something truly special and unique in the world for more than 100 years. NFL players, future business leaders, athletic directors, football coaches and countless other young men have participated in this game to end all games. Harvard/Yale might be older. Ohio State/Michigan might be better known. But when it comes to the number of games played and just the sheer intensity of rivalry, you cannot match the one, the only, matchup between Lehigh and Lafayette when it comes to trying to define what a rivalry actually is. Others have their "Game". Others have rivalries, with a lower case r. But Lehigh and Lafayette have "The Rivalry", the one which all others are measured against. (more)

LFN Players of the Week, Lehigh vs. Georgetown

A tiny bit of housekeeping to do before the 146th. The LFN Players of the Week awards go to:

Offense: Senior TE Alex "Wojdo" Wojdowski (5 catches for 69 yards, with every one, it seems, converting a crucial 3rd or 4th down) and senior RB Jay Campbell (118 yards, 1 TD)
Defense: Senior LB Mike Groome (11 tackles, 1 pass-break-up to force a punt)
Special Teams: Senior PK Tom "Razza-Dazza" Randazza (3/3 on FGs of 32, 23, and 31 yards, 59.7 average on kickoffs, and living out a kicker's dream, recovering a football on the kickoff to set up his last championship-clinching score)
Underclassman: Sophomore WR Ryan Spadola (6 catches, 113 yards, including a 25 yard reception that set up Campbell's TD)

What a surprise: Spadola wins the Underclassman of the week award again. (When he becomes a junior, who the heck am I going to give it to?) Congratulations to all the winners!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Last Look: Lehigh vs. Georgetown

(Photo Credit: Ben Caffrey)

Though it is "Rivalry Week", before we get to hating on our 2-8 rivals - you know, "that school in Easton" - it's worth taking a peek back at the win that got the Mountain Hawks the outright Patriot League Championship, and a host of other weekly awards: a Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week award to senior PK Tom "Razza-Dazza" Randazza, and Lehigh's first appearance in the national rankings at No. 22 in the Sports Network Top 25, Any Given Saturday and FCS Coaches' Poll.

Oh yeah - there's also the Lehigh Sports Magazine, too, where the Patriot League championship trophy makes a surprise cameo visit, too. "It's back where it belongs," head coach Andy Coen said.

I'm not sure anything could really top, however, the picture here, grabbed from former football player OL Ben Caffrey. Hope you don't mind, Ben. (more)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday's Word: Hangover

You'd think on this weekend - one of rings, championships, a restoration of the natural order that all Lehigh fans aspire the Patriot League to be, a huge winning streak - that I'd come up with a different "Sunday Word" this weekend.  "How about 'Glorious'", I hear fictional fans tell me?  "Or 'Rings', something the football team clearly had on their minds going into the game?  (Radio Man Matt Markus reported that one unidentified Mountain Hawk was heckling the Hoyas by pointing at his ring finger during the game.)

Strangely, I really struggled to find the right word. Yes, there was a lot of 'glory'. Yes, the 24-7 win over Georgetown does guarantee that this team will get the 'rings' they so desperately wanted. Yes, 'playoffs' would also be a legitimate "Word", too, since now the Mountain Hawks will be playoff-bound for the first time since 2004.

And yet - and yet - the regular season is not over. For the Mountain Hawks - who were clearly not as crisp as they could have been this Saturday in their championship-clinching win over the Hoyas - have to guard against a dangerous "hangover" against their bitter rivals this weekend. Regarding the game against the Leopards as anything but a "absolute must-win" would be a real mistake. (more)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...