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Thoughts after Georgetown game; Patriot Playoff situation; Prediction Results

Thoughts after Georgetown game
Well, we got the win 49-18. Pretty? At times. Ugly? For sure at times. But pretty or ugly Lehigh did what they had to do, and they won the game.

The number that pops out at me is 384 yards of total offense from one of the weaker offensive teams in the Patriot League this year. Not only that, they mixed things up pretty well too - 197 yards rushing and 187 yards passing. Think about that a minute. The defense that completely shut down Payton award-winner Jamaal Branch the previous week turns around and gives up nearly 200 yards rushing to the Hoyas. Yep, and those were the same guys in the uniforms this week - I checked.

Kickoffs, punts, and kickoff coverage had one nice play at the beginning of the game... and then, seemed to decide to take a nap the rest of the day. Kickoffs out of bounds... kickoffs almost out of bounds... the long-snapper snaps the ball over P Kyle Keating's head, resulting (admirably) in a 7 yard punt... a kickoff right down the middle of the field, resulting in the Hoya's first-ever kickoff return for a touchdown in the history of their program... a missed field goal.

For such a blowout win, coach Lembo and the troops sure have a lot to work on this week.

Patriot Playoff Situation
Here's the early report on the Patriot League possibilities for the playoffs. Eliminated this week from the race was Fordham, who got their second league loss in Lewisburg against Bucknell by the score of 21-20.

In control of their own destiny:
Lehigh. Should Lehigh beat Fordham this weekend, they would at least clinch a shared Patriot League title. Winning against Fordham and Lafayette would guarantee Lehigh the Patriot League title, a I-AA playoff berth, and (IMO) probably a home playoff game.

Lehigh has an outside chance to get the top seed in the east by running the table, and having a variety of upsets happen in the A-10 in the final 2 regular season games involving James Madison, William & Mary, and New Hampshire. Stranger things have happened; however, it will require bottom-dwellers Richmond and Towson to spring an upset or two.

Still alive but need help:
Lafayette. Lafayette needs to win their last two games versus Holy Cross and Lehigh. Should Fordham also run the table by beating Lehigh and Colgate (or any combination of 2 Lehigh losses and 1 Colgate loss), Lafayette would win the Patriot title outright. Possible, but unlikely.

More likely, if Lehigh were to win against Fordham and Lafayette beats Holy Cross next week, the 140th meeting between Lehigh and Lafayette would involve a battle for a share the Patriot League title.

Should Lafayette win "The Game", and Colgate loses at least once versus Colgate or Bucknell, Lafayette would share the Patriot Title with Lehigh, and by virtue of head-to-head tiebreaker win the automatic I-AA playoff berth. This is a distinct possibility.

Should Lafayette win "The Game", and Colgate win both of their games, a strange situation arises with 3 co-champions. The I-AA playoff representative would be voted in by the four other league members. I've got to believe that Lehigh would win this vote, but of course, stranger things have happened.

Colgate. Colgate needs to win their remaining games versus Bucknell and Fordham and hope Lafayette beats Lehigh on November 20th for a shot at a co-championship. As mentioned above, the I-AA playoff representative would be voted upon, but I don't think Colgate would win that vote.

No matter what happens in "The Game", by winning their remaining games the Raiders would at least be a possibility for a road I-AA playoff game as an at-large bid. The at-large possibilities are a huge muddle right now, however.

Clear division contenders in the OVC (Jacksonville St.) and MEAC (Hampton) need to win some games and clinch, so they don't take any extra I-AA playoff spots.

In the SoCon, Furman's win over Georgia Southern didn't help matters for Colgate, as it looks like the Golden Eagles will be taking up a precious at-large spot. Wofford could be a bubble team (unless they beat Furman this weekend), but you have to count them in at this point.

In the A-10, 1 division champion and up to 3 at-large spots are possibilities for Delaware, James Madison, William & Mary, and New Hampshire. Only 3-loss Delaware looks to realisitically have a shot to be eliminated from contention - unless Richmond and Towson can pull some upsets.

Colgate will be big Montana St. fans this week... and then big Montana fans the following week. Should Montana St. beat Eastern Washington, and Montana beat Montana St. the following week, there will be no Big Sky at-large teams invited to the party.

Similarly, for the Southland, Colgate fans will be rooting hard for Sam Houston St. to beat Northwestern St., and give NW St. their 4th loss. Nicholls St. losing one of their last two games would also be a big help, although I think Colgate would be in over Nicholls St.

Basically, Colgate is asking for a lot from the football gods if they want to make the I-AA playoffs. Personally I'd love for them to make it. But it won't be easy.

Weekend Pick Recap
Another very good week, going 13-5 overall. If you take the notoriously unpredicatable Southland and Atlantic 10 games out of my picks, it becomes an even-more impressive 10-2. Lehigh, Holy Cross, New Hampshire, Southern Illinois, Montana, Hampton, Western Kentucky, Eastern Washington, and Sam Houston St. helped me out. Delaware didn't, losing to James Madison.

Really right:
Harvard/Columbia. Predicted score: Harvard 38, Columbia 7. Real score: Harvard 38, Columbia 0. Guess I thought Columbia was going to get a fumble return for a TD, because they weren't going to score a TD any other way.

Nicholls St./Stephen F. Austin. Predicted score: Nicholls St. 40, SFA 17. Real score: Nicholls St. 41, SFA 23. What makes this prediction even more impressive was that SFA was the team that was ranked in the Top 25, not Nicholls St.!

Kinda right:
Lafayette/Colgate. I thought Colgate would win the game a bit more than the 22-19 margin, but I was right that about the outcome - Colgate simply willed themselves to win the game at home.

Penn/Princeton. I thought this would be a very close game, and a field goal miss by Princeton missing right by about the length of a football kept me in the win column. Less scoring than I thought, but I'll take the 2 point win 15-13.

Should have been right:
Furman/Georgia Southern. The Golden Eagles has opportunity after opportunity to put this game away... and couldn't. Had they converted one - just one - I'd have knocked this one out of the park.

Fordham/Bucknell. The Fordham special teams lost this one for me, as the long snappers' two-hopper to the holder spelled doom for the go-ahead field goal that would have put me in the winner's circle here.

Was I ever wrong!
Texas St./Northwestern St. Um, I meant Northwestern St. was going to score 44 points! Not Texas St.! What you read my prediction on the blog last week that Texas St. was a good team? You must have been reading the Bucknell blog... yeah that's it...

William & Mary/Villanova. After making me look like a genius in the first half, the bad bad Villanova offense from the beginning of the year reared its ugly head, and all of a sudden William and Mary had a rout on their hands.

Tomorrow: Press; Game Balls


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