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Friday Water Cooler: Colgate/Lehigh

It's Friday, and in about 24 hours Colgate/Lehigh will be kicking off at Murray Goodman. What do you need to know before the game starts? First, the weather report still points to a sunny, high 40s/low 50s sort of day - in other words, perfect for football. Second, you can scroll down and read "10 Reasons to Hate the 'Gate" in case you forgot why Lehigh needs a win this week. Scroll down further and you'll read my detailed breakdown of the 'Gate. With that, and this week's water cooler and press roundup, what else do you really need?

Well, yeah, it would be cool if Borat could visit this weekend's Colgate/Lehigh game. But unless I start a rumor that Pamela Anderson Lee will also be attending the game, I seriously doubt that the "glorious pride of Kazakhstan Nation" will be able to get to the game. (Perhaps the Uzbeks might be interested?)

Some Serious Stuff
Next week, ALSA will be sponsoring an ALS walk as a part of the ALS Call to C.A.R.E. initiative. ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), more commonly known as Lou Gerhig's disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. You may remember last year that I mentioned that football alumnus FB Brett Snyder ('00) was diagnosed with ALS, and Lehigh fans responded with donations to ALSA and the Snyder family. This year, Lehigh athetics and the Lehigh Alumni association have sponsored the Call to C.A.R.E. for alumni to contribute and sponsor walkers for ALS.

The walk is next Saturday, November 11th, at Valley Forge Military Academy. Registration starts at 10:00AM and the walk begins at 11:00AM. Even if you can't attend the walk (you can arrange to do so through the Lehigh Alumni club of Philadelphia), you can sponsor walkers through the Walk to D'Feet ALS website. You can even walk virtually (which is great for those of you that want to tailgate at Fordham as well as "walk"!) I'd like to encourage folks to visit the sites listed here and consider donating your money or your feet for this worthy cause.

What's Chuck Been Doing?
I've been busy insulting Lafayette, Colgate, Holy Cross and Fordham in my latest installment of the Chuck Fan Index on I-AA.org. (And you thought I just insulted these schools on this blog!) What's really great is that I got a lengthy email from a passionate alumnus of one of the schools I wrote about giving me a complicated mathematical formula as to why his school should be ranked higher! Those CFI pieces are not easy, but it's really gratifying when I get emails like that who "get it".

What's Chuck Going To Be Doing?
I'll be at the Colgate/Lehigh game this weekend, making a I-AA Diary for I-AA.org. As of this writing, my wife and son will also be going to take pictures and cover the "complete game experience" with me. There's nothing I'd rather be doing than seeing this game this weekend. If you can't make it out to the game the broadcast will be on Sevice Electric 2, FCS-Atlantic, and FSN-Pittsburgh live. If you're not lucky enough to get those stations (I'm not), you can follow along on lehighsports.com. Of course, for the fan on the go there is also AM ESPN 1230/1320 for all the action as well.

Friday Water Cooler Picks: Patriot League, Week 10
Holy Cross over Bucknell. I think Bucknell will have surprising effectiveness against Holy Cross' run defense, but to win the Bison would have to stop them on defense, which I don't think they will be able to do enough. Purple People Eaters 35, Bison Burgers 17.

Lafayette over Fordham. Fordham's starting a freshman QB and simply hasn't been able to generate much offense all year. A Leopard squad just starting to hit its stride should dispatch Fordham easily. Leopards 37, Also-Rams 6.

Georgetown over Marist. Borat is from Kazakhstan, nowhere near Wasington, DC, US of A. His hometown name Kuzcek. It near Almaty - please you visit!!! Kazakhs score plenty! You watch filthy Uzbek Red Foxes with bones in their brain defeat! Kazakh Hoyas 27, Uzbek Red Foxes 7.

Friday Water Cooler Picks: I-AA Top 25, Week 10
#1 Appalachian State over The Citadel. In the tour of ex-Lehigh coaches facing the Boone juggernaut, it's time for coach Higgins to go down fighting this week. Jerry Moore-s 37, Kevin Higgins' 14.

#7 Cal Poly over #2 Montana. Somtimes it boils down to something simple: the more desperate team wins. Montana can really afford to lose, and haven't been tested much in the past few week. Cal Poly takes this round again. Mustangs 24, Grizaholics 17.

#9 New Hampshire over #3 UMass. This is another game where the more desperate team takes the cake. Though the Wildcats have been struggling of late, I think they will respond here with a win that reminds us how good they actually are. New Hampshire wins and makes this A-10 title chase very interesting. Caged Wildcats 35, ZooMass 17.

Delaware over #4 James Madison. Playing another hunch, the Blue Hens respond after their heartbreaking defeat to Towson last week by upsetting the Dukes in a situation where they have nothing to lose. Very Blue Hens 32, Dukes 24.

#5 North Dakota State over UC-Davis. These Bison are damned good, and UC-Davis has been overrated all year. Give me the Bison. Best Bison 42, Aggravated Aggies 17.

#6 Youngstown State over #13 Southern Illinois. It just seems like the Penguins are peaking, while a strong Southern Illinois squad is going in the other direction. The surging Penguins get a win they need to stay in the lead of the Gateway, while the Salukis start wondering if they'll even make the field. Icebirds 41, Hotdogs 24.

#8 Illinois State over Missouri State. It couldn't come at a better time with the Redbirds needing a feel-good win after last week's loss to Y-Town. They'll get it. Redbirds 49, Cubbies 12.

#10 Tennessee-Martin over Southeast Missouri State. Let me get this straight - the Skyhawks could be undefeated in the OVC, yet lose the I-AA playoff autobid to a coin-flip with unranked Tennessee State? I'd be outraged, and SEMO will be the unhappy victims to a motivated Tennessee-Martin team. Carrier Pigeons 41, Fictional Birds 10.

#11 Furman over Elon. As much as I'd love to take Lembo and the Phoenix here, Furman should be dangerous since every game from here on out is a playoff game for them. Furman will struggle, but should get the better of the day here. Purple Punching Bags 31, Lembo's Spoilers 24.

Western Kentucky over #12 Northern Iowa. Basically a playoff game, here's another battle of teams going in opposite directions. I love the UNI Panthers, but I think Western Kentucky, who will be transitioning to I-A after this season is over, will be playing motivated the rest of the way. "New Orleans Bowl in 2015" 38, Schitzo Panthers 35.

#14 Hampton over Bethune-Cookman. This game was played yesterday, but through the benefit of hindsight I will predict a Hampton victory. Hampton 30, B-CC 29.

#15 Harvard over Columbia. Columbia hasn't been able to score on many Ivy opponents this year, and a motivated Crimson squad will not be where they start. Crimson Tide 31, Baby Blue Lions 0.

#16 Richmond over Villanova. Richmond's in "every game is a playoff" mode, and shouldn't disappoint against Talley's squad. Villanova has already forgotten about football season at this point anyway. Spiders 31, "It's Basketball Season" 17.

#17 Princeton over Penn. Unless my eyes deceived me the first six weeks of the season, the Tigers at home should have no problem dispatching a rapidly fading Penn team. Did my eyes deceive me? Tigers 31, Quackers 21.

#18 Montana State over Northern Colorado. Welcome to the Big Sky, NoCo. Bobcats 44, Googly Bears 7.

#19 San Diego over Jacksonville. If there were ever a game that was Borat's dream, it would clearly be this one. "Coach Harbaugh, nice man as friend - no sexytime. Take me to Jacksonville beach, yes?" Beach Toreros 78, Beached Fish 0.

#20 Coastal Carolina over Savannah State. Or would this be Borat's game? "Back home, we dress goats in teal for "Teal-Out" in Almaty. Like home! Can buy Teal G-String, yes? Can get Beach Chicken to bring home to Kuzcek?" Beach Chickens 55, "We Lost to Johnson C. Smith" 0.

#21 Eastern Illinois over Tennessee State. I think the Panthers sharpen their long-shot at a playoff bid and make the OVC administrators heave a huge sigh of relief by dispatching the Tigers here. Desperate Panthers 35, Surprising Tigers 28.

#22 South Dakota State over D-II William Penn. This will NOT be the latest D-II over D-I-AA upset. No way. Jackrabbits 49, Statesmen 0.

Northern Arizona over #23 Portland State. Playing another hunch, I think the Lumberjacks at home cling to their desperate bid for the Big Sky title and hand the Vikings their elimination from the playoff race. Lumberjacks 38, Vendi Vidi Vikings 21.

Northeastern over #24 Maine. Maine is desperate, but I feel like scoring 0 points against hapless Rhode Island last week has to be an indicator of worse problems on this team. A surprisingly decent Northeastern team pulls off another upset. Surging Huskies 27, Falling Bears 14.

#25 Towson over William & Mary. Surging Towson has to believe that they have a great shot at the playoffs, and the struggling Tribe shouldn't stand in their way. Tigers 35, Tribe 17.

Press Roundup
Allentown Morning Call:
Lehigh Hitting Stride At Right Time
Upshot: Coach Coen: "They have played the last few weeks with a sense of urgency. They knew what was at stake at Holy Cross. And when that game was over, they congratulated each other and immediately went into the mind-set of knowing what was coming up this week. So far, they have prepared well for Colgate because they know the challenge they face." About Colgate: "They may not be as big and physical as they have been in the past, and they're playing a lot of young kids up front. But it's still a good football team, and it's still a Lehigh-Colgate game and they'll come in here crazy to beat us."

Easton Express-Times:
Thompson Legs Carrying Lehigh To Top
Upshot: "Yeah, I'm a mudder, they call me," said Thompson, who was covered with the gunk after gashing Holy Cross. "I like any weather. I'm very quick, and I try to use that to my advantage." "We'll do what we need to do," Coen said. "There wasn't a happier guy on the field than Sedale, and we only let him throw the ball 14 times. That's what makes Sedale neat." [Yep, Marques "Mud" Thompson."]

Launching Point
Upshot: "We're 3-5 and still control our own destiny, to a point," said [Colgate OL Jake] Sulovski, who was named a third-team preseason All-American by Football Gazette magazine. "If we win these next three games, we've still got a chance at the Patriot League title. Everything we want is right in front of us. I don't think any part of this team has given up. Everyone's looking forward to going down and playing Lehigh."

Brown & White:
Perfection At Stake Versus The Raiders
Upshot: Some players are viewing this game as one of the most important games of the season, including junior offensive lineman Brendan Caffrey. “We have been playing great football these past few weeks and we are working harder and harder every day to get better and to make sure we are the only team left standing come Thanksgiving,” Caffrey said. The Hawks’ defense knows what needs to be done to stop the Raider’s running game. “Consistency,” senior linebacker Micah Greene said. “It’s very simple. The more consistency we have in our game, the better. The games are always a battle, but this one will mean a lot more.”

Utica Times-Dispatch:
Saraceno, Raiders Looking For Answers
Upshot: Mike Saraceno sat quietly in the postgame interview room Saturday, beaten and angry. "This is how we're all going to be remembered as seniors, what we do here and for the rest of the season," said Saraceno following Colgate's 27-10 loss to Lafayette. "It's now or never." "Mike Saraceno is the toughest player I've ever been around," said coach Dick Biddle. "We just haven't done the things we need to do to win, and our margin of error is down from past seasons because of lack of depth. I just want to see us go out and have some fun in the last three games. We haven't done that this year, just have fun and let loose."

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