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Lehigh at #9; Playoff Scenarios

Polls
Lehigh is currently ranked as high as #9 in the latest polls!
Sports Network (#9)
Any Given Saturday (#9)
ESPN/USA Today (#12)
Dopke.Com (#14)

The only issue I have is, why in Sam Hill is Lehigh ranked only #12 in the ESPN/USA Today poll? Montana (who lost to a bad Portland St. team last week), Wofford (who haven't beaten anybody), and Cal Poly (who lost to UC Davis) are still ranked ahead of them.

Personally I don't think anybody gives credence to the ESPN/USA Today poll over the Sports Network poll, and (looking at this week) for good reason.

Playoff Possibilities in the Patriot League
With the playoffs looming at the end of this month, the 1-AA football season enters its home stretch. In the Patriot League, we have 4 teams that have a chance to win the title and/or make the postseason.

Surprisingly, one team in the driver's seat for a possible title is Lafayette, a team that most people (including this reporter) picked to finish 5th or worse. Now they are having the last laugh.

In control of their own destiny:
Lehigh. With a 3-0 record in division, and a 7-1 record overall, should Lehigh win the rest of their games versus Fordham, Georgetown and Lafayette, they will win the Patriot League, get the automatic playoff bid, and have made a very strong case for a home playoff game. Should they lose 1 game and the Patriot title, they would still have a chance as an at-large team - but keep in mind the 1-AA playoff selection committee has not been kind in regards to a second Patriot League team making it to the playoffs. They would probably need several teams in the SoCon and A-10 to drop out of 1-AA playoff contention by having 4 losses.

Lafayette. With a 3-0 record in division, and a 6-2 record overall, should the Leopards win the rest of their games versus Colgate, Holy Cross, and Lehigh, they will win the Patriot League title and get to the 1-AA playoffs for the first time in their history. Should they beat Colgate and Holy Cross, they would set up a Lehigh/Lafayette showdown that would be for the Patriot League title. Should they lose a game, their 8-3 record with a win over at least one ranked team (Colgate or Lehigh) and a scholarship A-10 team (Richmond, on the road) would be a good case for an at-large bid only if a significant number of playoff-eligible teams have 4 losses. Detractors would look at their loss to Princeton as a big negative. Would need help.

Have a chance but need some help:
Colgate. With a 2-1 record in division, and a 5-3 record overall, should Colgate beat Lafayette, Bucknell, and Fordham, they would need help in the form of 2 losses by Lehigh and 1 loss by Lafayette - a very unlikely scenario. However, they do have a chance for an at-large berth on the strength of their 1-AA playoff run last year should a significant number of playoff-eligible teams have 4 or more losses. Losses to UMass and Lehigh are quality losses, but the Yale loss might really hurt. Would need help.

Fordham. With a 2-1 record in division, and a 5-3 record overall, should Fordham beat Bucknell, Lehigh, and Colgate, they would need help in the form of 1 other loss by Lafayette in order to win the Patriot League outright (with a tiebreaker versus Lehigh). This scenario is eminently possible. Without the scenario winning the league title outright, it is hard to see Fordham getting an at-large bid.

Coming later: Preview of Lehigh/Georgetown

Comments

Anonymous said…
What happens if Colgate beats Lafayette and if by some miracle Lafayette manages to beat Lehigh (assuming everybody wins their other games and finishes 5-1)?

BTW: Like I said in my other comment, great site.

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