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Some Final Words on Lehigh/Villanova; Rankings; Abdullah signs with Patriots

Lehigh/Villanova game wrapup
The local media had 2 more follow-up pieces today on the Lehigh/Villanova game:

Morning Call:
Despite loss, Hawks' effort deserves kudos
Express-Times:
Lehigh cut to the chase by 'Nova

Some more cut-and-pastes from these two articles:
"[A] member of the media asked him if he thought Lehigh's injuries, particularly one to star defensive tackle Royce Morgan, had a factor in Villanova rallying from a 16-0 to beat Lehigh 22-16 in the much anticipated Division I-AA top 25 showdown.

''I would think that might have an impact to lose one of your best defensive lineman; obviously, that's going to make a difference against the run game in the second half,'' Lembo said.

"[F]rom this corner, there is nothing but kudos to be given for the way Lehigh, particularly its defense, played on Saturday.If Villanova is truly the eighth best I-AA team in the country — and the Wildcats are certainly big, physical and fast — then Lehigh isn't far behind and seems headed for a good season, as long as the injuries don't mount."

"Maybe the wear and tear of an all-day chase for a remarkable upset victory left Lehigh University's football team gasping a bit too much at the end... Or perhaps it got away from the Mountain Hawks on one gutsy coaching call... Quite possibly, it was taken away with two consecutive crushing penalties... When Lehigh finally figured out how a 16-point lead disappeared in a sea of 22 unanswered Villanova points, maybe it'll be better able to accept Saturday's maddening 22-16 loss... Or not. "

Sounds like the press reflects weird sort of relief.. frustration.. and promise that Lehigh fans are encountering right now.

One last view from the Nest
Think losing to #8 Villanova would lose us respect around 1-AA Nation? Well, check out this week's rankings.

Sports Network (#24)
ESPN/USA Today (#25)
Any Given Saturday (#22)
Dopke.Com (#16)

It's clear that the media, and the poll voters around the nation, have spoken. Not one poll had us drop from the Top 25 for losing this past weekend. Dopke.Com still is the "official' poll of Lehigh Football Nation for correctly placing us at #16 nationally.

It's time to put the griping about coulda, woulda, shoulda's to an end. It's time to put Villanova in the rear-view mirror and look ahead instead to full scholarship Liberty next week in Lynchburg, Va.

(Incidentally, if hurricane Ivan continues on its present course, this Saturday it could very well be in Lynchburg on gameday. Thanks to yukiama to pointing this out.)

Rabih Abdullah on the Patriots
It's true - with the uncertainty in the Patriots' backfield, the Pats have signed Lehigh RB Rabih Abdullah ('97) to a contract:
Patriots Notes: Monday 13 Sept

Congratulations to Rabih! He was one of the best running backs to come out of Lehigh in a long time. I was there when he broke the Lehigh (and I think Patriot League) single-game rushing record by rushing for 228 yards versus Cornell. Hope he gets a chance to show what he can do.

A look around 1-AA Nation: Quick Hits
Think I could have been more wrong about Rutgers beating UNH 56-0? I guess UNH is for real in the A-10.

Former Patriot League member Towson St. gave Delaware everything it could handle after falling 21-17, a gmae I thought would be so lopsided I didn't even pick the game. It's looking like transfers... aren't... everything. (Think Professor Snape in the movie Harry Potter.)

Maine, UNH, and Villanova are looking very tough this year. None of these schools have been invited (yet) to be part of the new Colonial Athletic Association (who in my opinion are going to found their football conference next year), as full-time or part-time members. Could it be that these schools are auditioning for the part of "future CAA member?"

Think that's outlandish? Think again. Late in July, the CAA talked to the America East in order to release Northeastern a year early from its contract so it could join the CAA in 2005 (Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 30th) . Rumor has it, though, that the CAA and America East talked about something else - the possible addition of Maine and UNH as football-only members to an expanded CAA.

For the CAA, this make a lot of sense. Northeastern gets more local games against more regional competition. Maine, and (now) UNH would look like a great addition to any football league. In 2005, will that be the A-10, or the CAA?

Coming up this week:
Preview of the first-ever meeting of the school that Jerry Fallwell founded, Liberty University, and Lehigh; Review of PBS Special.

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