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My I-AA Top 25 for Any Given Saturday

I was going to wait for tomorrow to post this, but I got excited about the 2005 season and decided to print my ballot for the Any Given Saturday Top 25. Here it is:

1. James Madison
2. Eastern Washington
3. Furman
4. Northwestern St
5. Western Kentucky
6. Harvard
7. Delaware
8. Georgia Southern
9. Northern Iowa
10. New Hampshire
11. Lafayette
12. Montana
13. Lehigh
14. William & Mary
15. Southern Illinois
16. Cal Poly
17. Montana St
18. Hampton
19. Penn
20. Eastern Kentucky
21. Sam Houston St
22. Alabama St
23. Appalachian St
24. North Dakota St
25. Bucknell

There you have it - in its 4 A-10, 3 Patriot League, 2 Ivy League-team glory. I tried to be very fair, including ranking Lafayette in front of Lehigh.

OK, I just heard all of Lehigh Football Nation choking in their Monday morning coffee. Look, Lafayette returns basically their entire defense next year, their sophomore QB, and they boast some pretty damn good receivers. And the RB replacing McCourt is also pretty damn good. The Leopards are going to be a force next year.

Another one Lehigh fans should look at very closely is Harvard ranked at #6. Harvard may have lost their QB to graduation (taken in the NFL draft by St. Louis), but make no mistake - this is a veteran team which will by any measure be outstanding. (If only they played in the I-AA playoffs.)

Finally (and this is just a hunch) I think Bucknell will also not be an easy out. They lose QB Darius Wilson but on defense return lots of talent, including possibly the best defensive player in the Patriot League, DL Sean Conover. They may not be ranked in a lot of polls (indeed any) yet, but by the end of the year they may just surprise some people.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Surprised by these:
7. Delaware (too high)
19. Penn ???
20. Eastern Kentucky ???
23. Appalachian St ???
25. Bucknell ???
Roy Briggs said…
I think Lehigh should be in the Top 10 somewhere. They will prove they belong there if they knock off Delaware on September 10. WE WANT THAT ONE BADLY!!! I'm convinced they will beat Delaware. at their "HELLHOLE". I expect great thing this season if the team can stay healthy.
Anonymous said…
I just a bit concerned about the defense. The coaching changes and graduation losses make me nervous while Lafayette's reinvigoration of their program scares the hell outta me.
Anonymous said…
The future of Lehigh football is easy to predict. They're going down, down, down. Lembo is why.
IN THE KNOW said…
Can "Anonymous" give any exlanation for his opinion? Lehigh lost by a point to the eventual National Champion James Madison, lost in a "fluky " fashion to Villanova, and has plenty coming back. The entire receiving corps is back, which is about 6 players. Mark Borda and the entire backfield is back. The offensive line has size with some good talent coming up. The defense should be sound. The recruiting classes since Lembo took over have been excellent.

What is he talking about? The schedule is tough with Delaware, Harvard, Colgate and Lafayette the toughest games, but this is a potential Top 10 team this season.

The only legitimate losses (games
where Lehigh was clearly beaten) since Lembo took over were Furman in 2001, Colgate in 2002, Connecticut in 2003, and Lafayette last season, and I personally think the Lafayette game was a true "upset". THAT'S 4 GAMES IN 4 YEARS!!!!!!!! Look at the history - Lehigh was in every other game until the very end and easily could have won any of them. To say the program is going down just does not make any sense.

Lehigh was in the playoffs in 2001 and won the Lambert Cup, certainly should have been in the playoffs in 2003, and they made it last year. IMO, the 2002 team had the potential to be the best team Lembo had and could have gone deep in the playoffs, but a horrendous string of injuries to starting players ended that possibilty. season
In The Know said…
Please pardon the typos.- "explanation"
strike the word "season"
Anonymous said…
Greetings from Mr. Anonymous - sorry but I've been out of the country for nearly three weeks. I am happy to explain why I think Lehigh is in trouble under Lembo. But do you really care to know why? Would the truth impact your opinion?
Let's start with naming the main sponsor of Lehigh's 2004 Southside Boosters.
Anonymous said…
Like I said, What are you talking about?
Anonymous said…
I guess I don't know what I'm talking about, and you obviously do. For a moment there I thought Lehigh deserved an undefeated season and an undisputed Patriot League crown. That would have happened if not for Lembo. The answer is within reach if you want to know the truth. Like I said, find out what entity donated the most money to the South Side Boosters last season. There is only one main sponsor amidst the usual suspects. Your answer lies there...
Anonymous said…
Official Preseason AGS Poll Announced

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Preseason Any Given Saturday Poll 5/23/2005

(First place votes in parenthesis)
1. James Madison (45)
2. Furman (12)
3. Eastern Washington (10)
4. Montana (2)
5. Georgia Southern (2)
6. Western Kentucky (1)
7. Delaware
8. Northwestern State (1)
9. New Hampshire (1)
10. Northern Iowa
11. Southern Illinois (1)
12. William & Mary
13. Lehigh
14. Sam Houston State
15. Harvard (1)
16. Massachusetts
17. Cal Poly
18. North Dakota State
19. Jacksonville State
20. Lafayette
21. Montana State
22. Hampton
23. Appalachian State
24. Maine
25. Hofstra

Others receiving votes (minimum of 5 votes): Villanova (35), South Carolina State (33), Wofford (31), Portland State (30), Alabama State (16), Eastern Kentucky (16), McNeese State (15), Coastal Carolina (14), Pennsylvania (14), Southern University (11), Grambling (10), Colgate (9), Northern Arizona (9), Texas State (8), UC Davis (7), South Dakota State (6), Western Carolina (6), Brown (5), Stephen F. Austin (5).
__________________
I-AA ALL THE WAY!

Where are our wonderful Jacksonville State University
GAMECOCKS!!!

Eastern Kentucky ???

When do you think your school will move up to 1A like Troy or Marshall? You have been
in 1AA since 1979. The year before you guys played JSU in Texas for the National Championship in Division II.
Anonymous said…
Explain the South Side Boosters situation. What the hell does that have to do with a Coached ability? What the hell are you talking about????????????????
Connie Spiracy said…
My careful research has shown me that the South Side Boosters' primary supporter is the Tally-Ho Tavern. The words "Tally-Ho" are an English fox hunting term used when the gentry gather together to socialize in the British countryside. The English aristocracy are close-knit, tight-lipped group that band together to advance their political agenda. At the present the English are united across all class lines as they see their National Pastime, "football" (soccer), threatened by an American millionaire, Malcolm Glazer, purchasing Manchester United. In an effort to get back at America, the English have conspired through their agents implanted at the Tally-Ho, to strike back by keeping Pete Lembo employed as Lehigh's football coach. Rearrange "Lembo" and you get the first 5 letters of "embolism" which is what the dastardly English hope to cause among the students and alumni at America's most prestigious technical college.

It's so obvious I can't believe all of you haven't figured this out yet!
Anonymous said…
You guys are suffering from delusions of grandeur. The Delaware/Lehigh game won't even be close. The Hens will so totally dominate that it will be embarrassing for you. Stay home & listen to it on the radio so you won't witness the carnage!
Anonymous said…
We will show up Delaware chicken.
Anonymous said…
Delaware is a shadow of their former selves. Academically any dolt can get in. Even those with IQ's under double digits are allowed admission if they play football. The non scholarship players at Lehigh have chosen the school primarily due to academics, with future concerns paramount. They play smash mouth football with the best of them and will certainly be up for the challenge of Delaware. By the way, why won't fatty I mean Tubby come to the mountain. I know, because he'd have his chicken ass handed to him. All in all when the sheepskins are handed out after 4 years the difference between Delaware degrees and Lehigh degrees is about $50k a year. I still think I will make the trip to the dentist's dream state in September for the Mountain Hawks victory. Last time I was at the packed stadium there were probably only two full sets of teeth in the whole stadium. One question: Why did the Delaware State police pull the Lehigh bus over last year and arrest them for trying to smuggle books into Delaware? Lehigh 17-14!
Anonymous said…
That's a big IF...

Lehigh has a shot, good luck.

-Delaware Fan Absolut Blue Hen.
Anonymous said…
Coincidentally the Southside Boosters sole platinum contributor in 2004 was a prominent local accounting firm. One of the partners has a son on the team. Oddly enough the same firm handles the accounting needs of The Morning Call, The Express Times, and even Murray Goodman himself. You gotta love it!

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