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Weekend recap; Polls; Yahoo!; Stealing Signs

Weekend Recap
Since there was no game this week, I've decided to very briefly recap the week that was in 1-AA - where I was really right, where I was really wrong, and the impact to Lehigh.

Really right:
N'Eastern/Towson. Predicted score: NE 35, Towson 3. Real score: NE 34, Towson 3.

Portland St./McNeese St. Predicted score: PSU 27, McNeese 14. Real score: PSU 35, McNeese 14.

Should have been right:
Lafayette/Richmond. If the "wild" finish to the game had gone Richmond's way, I would have almost been dead-on (Richmond 23, Lafayette 22). Richmond's QB Stacey Tutt hauled a hail-mary pass that was roped in by a freshman wideout that was ultimately ruled an ineligible receiver (after ten minutes of confusion on the field).

Villanova/Penn. If Penn was able to finish one of at least 4 or 5 opportunities in the red zone in the game, the Quakers could have put a major scare in the Wildcats. Even with their problems they had a chance to win the game in the last play - but Dan Castles, their normally sure-handed wideout, dropped a lateral pass to end the game.

Was I ever wrong!
Cornell/Bucknell. Bucknell dominated the Big Red and never looked back. I was surprised that the Bison looked so strong. It wasn't the close field-goal game I predicted.

Delaware/UMass. I thought UMass and Delaware talent-wise. Watching the game, the talent gap was painfully evident as Delaware dominated the Minutemen 21-7 in a game that easily could have been a much bigger blowout. The Blue Hens are going to be tough to beat the rest of the way - like Lehigh, they are getting better every week.

The impact on Lehigh
Lehigh benefitted handsomely from a few big losses among the Top 25 last week. McNeese St.'s loss to PSU, Montana St.'s loss to 1-A Colorado St., Appalachian St.'s loss to Northwestern St., Penn's loss to Villanova, and James Madison's loss to 1-A West Virginia caused Lehigh to jump up 4 spots to #21 in the Sports Network poll this week! All this without taking a snap! If only it were this easy every week.

LehighSports.Com: #21
Dopke.Com: #25
Any Given Saturday: #21

This is very good news for Lehigh. With some more tough games among the Top 25 in the weeks to come, Lehigh has Albany at home and Holy Cross on the road, two very winnable games. This brings up the possibility of being ranked in the Top 15 when we face Yale on the road, if we can keep racking up some wins.

Yahoo! does not suck as much as previously reported
All the loyal blog readers are very aware of my frustration during the Lehigh/Liberty game on the 18th of September with Yahoo! Broadcast. This service was my only link to the game, and for a good chunk of the 2nd quarter, all of halftime, and a good chunk of the 3rd quarter, there was no feed to the game. My frustration spilled out to the blogosphere. And other Lehigh fans were extremely frustrated, making their opinions known to me as well.

Well, Lehigh Athletic Diector Jeff Tourial wrote me last week to offer an explanation. I think the explanation is well worth reprinting here:

"Just thought you should know that Saturday night wasn't their fault at all; Mother Nature was to blame. The originating station lost power several times due to the heavy rains and floods and downed limbs, etc., and each time that happened, the coupler reset and Yahoo! lost the feed. I spent about an hour on the phone (from Lynchburg) working with them and with the station in Easton to get the feed back up and running. I think they actually did a very diligent job with keeping the stream up as best they could despite the circumstances and frustrations of that night."

Jeff could have also said, "Geez Chuck, the Lehigh Valley WAS experiencing flooding not seen since 1955, could you cut us all a break please?" But he doesn't have to. All is forgiven with ESPN Radio, Yahoo! Broadcast. And I'd also like to give Mr. Tourial some high praise for getting the feed back up that night. Without that feed, there wouldn't have been any broadcast for anyone - or any blog entries either.

I wonder when Jeff took the job of athletic director, if "Getting conference calls together with Yahoo! and radio stations in the middle of national emergencies" was part of the job description.

Stealing Signs
Finally, let me clear something up. Coach Lembo made very clear to me personally, in detail and in no uncertain terms, that Andy Talley and Villanova did not steal Lehigh's plays at the line of scrimmage as Coach Talley initmated in the post-game press conference. He also mentioned this in his Lehigh/Liberty press conference, and in the pregame comments on the Liberty game on the radio.

I can't explain coach Talley's comments, but I think that he feels that he escaped Lehigh with a win. But this whole incident isn't something Lehigh Football Nation will be forgetting anytime soon.

I want another shot at 'Nova in the playoffs.

Coming soon this week:
Lehigh/Albany Preview

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