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University of Central Florida in the Patriot League?

UCF and rumors
When your favorite blogger is not out fighting crime, creating good jobs at good wages in swing states, or listening to his Greenday CDs, he's out there defending Lehigh (and the Patriot League) from the worst sort of rogues - rogue reporters.

Yukiama, on the voy.com message boards, posted the following link to an article from columnist Mike Bianchi about the Golden Knights of UCF and the moribund state of their football program after losing to Buffalo of the MAC (a team that Lehigh beat in 2002, I hasten to add):

Orlando Sentinel (registration required):
Sad But True: UCF May Be Nation's Worst

What jumps out is the following crack:

"[Coach] O'Leary might as well be building this program from scratch. That's how dark these days are for the [University of Central Florida] Knights. For the past few years, UCF fans have compared the progress of their program to the progress at USF. Forget about that. UCF might not be as good as [1-A] Florida International or [1-A] Florida Atlantic.

"UCF is moving up to Conference USA next year. Is it too late to move down to the Patriot League?"

Being a Lehigh fan, I found it impossible to not respond to this unnecessary crack against our league, especially from a fan of a team who probably isn't as good as Lehigh, Colgate or Bucknell. I find it hard to beleive that UCF, a team in the pathetic 1-A MAC conference, filled with teams that struggle to meet even the basic requirements of 1-A membership, would think that going to the Patriot League would be a step "down".

So here's what I wrote him:

"While flattered that you think UCF might be Patriot League material, I'm not sure if academically or athletically UCF is in the same class as the upper echelon of Patriot League teams this year. Although in the Sagarin Rankings UCF (#143) is currently ranked above Lehigh (#154), Colgate (#161) and Bucknell (#163), check back at the end of the year, as it's likely one or more of these teams will be ranked ahead of UCF should they continue to struggle against other MAC teams.

"Furthermore, Lehigh and Colgate beat Buffalo in 2002 and 2003, something that UCF was unable to do this year. So I'm not sure UCF is good enough to contend for the Patriot League football championship and 1-AA playoffs.

"If UCF and their fans are so sure of being so much better than the Patriot League, why don't you push for UCF to schedule Lehigh, Colgate or Bucknell in the next few years? I'm sure all three schools would eagerly oblige."


No response yet from Mike.

Tomorrow: Lehigh/Holy Cross Preview, or: The "Benedict Arnold" Bowl

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