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Sunday's Word: Rematch

Against the advice of some of the readers of this blog, Sunday's word isn't going to be the word "apologist" (for my Leopardphilia this week) or "unprofessional" (for my humorous post about UMass).

Instead, I'm going for "rematch".

There is going to be plenty of time to recap the 2006 Patriot League season, which ended Saturday with Lafayette's loss to UMass 35-14. There's time to go over the performance of coach Coen and to start thinking of the offseason. But it's still playoff time, and the two games everyone must be following are a pair of regular-season rematches between bitter leaguemates.

It's somewhat ironic that in the BCS world we're very likely going to be denied the rematch that most fans would rather see (Ohio State/Michigan) in favor of a game which will be a whitewash in Ohio State/USC. In the world of the FCS playoffs, however, we get two interiguing second-round matchups that are very special rematches that could demonstrate exactly why the NCAA shouldn't shy away from them in any postseason, BCS or FCS.

Illinois State made no bones about who they wanted to play next Saturday. "Bring on Youngstown State!" Illinois State's Gateway title hopes were somewhat dashed after losing to Youngstown State 27-13 in their "worst performance of the year" as some fans put it. In that game, the Redbirds only scored 6 offensive points at home to the eventual Gateway champions. Illinois State is coming off a dominating performance on the road against Eastern Illinois 24-13, while Youngstown had to come from behind (and get a huge assist from James Madison head coach Mickey Matthews) to squeak to victory 31-28. Next week at the Ice Palace Youngstown I think will have their hands full with an Illinois State team which is eager to avenge the memory of that loss.

The UMass/New Hampshire game should be another nailbiter with a lot of emotion. In a 28-20 victory for the Minutemen four weeks ago, New Hampshire was denied on the UMass 3 yard line with under a minute to play. You have to believe Wildcat QB Ricky Santos has to be dying to get another shot at a team that many believe belong in Chattanooga this year. Still, the Wildcats barely squeaked by Hampton 41-38 after converting a 4th down 25 yard TD reception to RB Chad Kackert.

Southern Illinois/Montana and Montana State/Appalachian State will easily be eclipsed by these two other second-round matchups. Although it will be interesting to see both of those games, it's the "rematches" that will probably be the highlight of next weeks' slate of games.

It's not the first time the BCS could look to the FCS as to how they should run their postseason, nor will it be the last. But "rematches" are great games and great theater. They should be encouraged, not denied the chance to happen.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Can you post the 2007 Lehigh football schedule?
dennisdent said…
The least you could do is quote me correctly: I never used the word "unprofessional" in my comments. That might be your interpretation--but I was questioning your "objectivity" more then anything else.

You advertise your blog in the "discussion" section of the AGS forum that busts-on UMass; while at later time you post your write-up of the game as a journalist in the same section.

Your blog dissing UMass, at the minimum, belonged in the "smack" section of AGS.
Chuck B '92 said…
dennis, on umass74's blog you referred to my post as "not very professional". You're entitled to feel that way - but just wanted to set the record straight.

First, yes, I did bust on UMass on my post saying why Lehigh fans should root for Lafayette over UMass, but I think it was clearly a piece that was meant to be funny and not meant to be taken seriously. Read through the site; I've joked about Liberty, Monmouth, Colgate, Lafayette...

Second, if you read my CSTV writeup of the game, you can tell that the sendup of UMass didn't leach its way into my writeup of the game. Read it again and tell me it's not objective or busts on UMass in any way. If anything, it heaps praise on RB Steve Baylark.

Comment on my blog all you want, but do not question my objectivity on CSN or CSTV.
dennisdent said…
If you read through my first comments, I said you did a "great job" on your game write-up. I just feel that there is a fine line between being a professional journalist and a blogger (at least try to hide the fact that you're both the journalist who covered the game and the blogger who busted-on one of the teams that played in the game).

One person's humor is another's smack...Lets leave it at that.

I love your map project and have used it a few times already.
Ngineer said…
Sorry Chuck, I'm already thinking about next year. Picking the away games I will try to travel to, as well as figuring out who we have coming back and where they may be playing. Offense looks fairly potent, but the D is going to have to ratchet up if we're getting to the next level. Championships are won with defense. Secondary should be experienced, but the front seven will have a lot of newcomers.
Anonymous said…
this is coming from a recent grad/player from your lehigh team, our program is a hault right now and in order for us to become a premier team in the league again we have to compete on and off the field with the other teams, the rest of the league yes i said the rest is moving ahead of us..from facilities,recruiting, the way they treat their athletes and the whole experience. im telling you all this in all honesty but about 99% of the team is on board but all 99% feel like they arent getting the full experience of a real program, there is alot of little things such as getting one grey workout shirt,gold shorts,grey undershorts for 4 years! one pair of cleats for the WHOLE year as well as not having up to date nutriotion and workout supplements that other patriot league schools are getting. If lehigh wants this program to remain close to the top alot of changes have to be made, in order to remain on top you have to recruit better than everbody else..i give it 3 aybe 4 more years and lehigh will be the 4th best team in the league why? because the program hasnt advanced since the 70' if you think im bullshitting ask any current or former player.....lehigh needs to keep up with the rest of the pack the sprint is downhill now and lehigh athletic dept still thinks we are miles ahead like we use to be little have they understood that everybody else has opened up stride and is now a few steps ahead...tradition isnt old time sakes tradition is Winning in order to keep winning you have to be bigger, badder, and better than everybody else..someone please express this to joe sterett, hell the basketball team can get renovated locker rooms and football cant? please...were are behind the 8-ball i want to see lehigh back as the team! no a team in a league!
Anonymous said…
Well, finger crossing time for Lehigh football fans... a possible transfer. One of the true "impact" freshmen from another Patriot League team ( who won a rookie of the week award and could have/should have won several) is looking to transfer to Lehigh. He came to visit friends after the season ended and says he's willing to sit out in order to play for the Hawks. This isn't a knee jerk reaction...he's been saying this all fall to his friends.

This brings up an interesting point. His first choice out of high school was Lehigh... but ran into trouble in Admissions. I was told by one of the Lehigh coaches that he was #1 on the Lehigh board for his position but didn't get through the process, yet ended up at a rival school with the same stringent admission policies. I was told that this is not uncommon in the Patriot League where schools make their decisions on athletes independently. The Ivies have the band system which breaks a student down numerically and thus if he doesn't get into one because he's below the bottom number, he won't get into any of the others. Period. Anyway, keep yor fingers crossed, great player.... better kid. No name for now...don't want to jinx!
Lehigh74 said…
To LUFB07 - Please send an email to Joe Sterrett and express your concerns. He needs to hear it from a former player not a fan on this board. I guarantee you, he will read and respond to your email.
Ngineer said…
I fully agree with what Lehigh74 said. Sterrett will take former player's views with much more credibility than anonymous posters.
HOWEVER, on a related point, if we are going to ratchet up our program--whether it be equipment, supplements, and the other little perks that people identify I first class program with, then more $ needs to be committed to the program from friends and alumni through the Athletic Partnership.
Talk is cheap. Hopefully those complaining will see fit to put their money where their mouths are and give to the Partnership. You better believe our competitors are hitting their alums for bucks as well. IF we're going to play at this level, we have to pay at this level....Lehigh has so much to offer a true student athlete, but we have to recognize that we're not the only island in the stream.
Lehigh74 said…
I'm with you Ngineer. Last year the Athletic Partnership raised $790,000 this year the goal is $1,000,000. Any one that cares enough about Lehigh football, to read this Blog on a regular basis, open up your check book. Ngineer, do you know why Lehigh doesn't have a football booster club like many of the other schools in the Patriot League?
Ngineer said…
Lehigh74--don't know the exact answer to your question; but I'd surmise on a couple thoughts: First, it would be counterproductive with the Athletics Partnership which is supposed to 'boost' all sports at Lehigh and not lead to a 'balkanization' of athletic teams. Yes, the wrestling team does have it's separate Club, but wrestling has always had its individual, historic identity with Lehigh.
The Partnership, however, does allow for contributors to earmark their gifts to particular sports, so we do need a separate 'club' soley for the purpose of raising money. A club just for football could lead to the improper 'influence' we see at the 'big time' schools.
I'm not sure about the other PL's. Lafayette's Maroon Club is similar to our Partnership--supports all sports, though b-ball and football get the most emphasis.
The Partnership money is used to supplement the school's athletic budget to help us recruit on a national basis--very expensive. Also goes toward buying the other equipement that the budget can't reach--the 'extras' such as video machines for breaking down tape, etc...
Ngineer said…
Edit--my prior post has a typo. I meant to say "we DON'T need a separate club soley to raise money for football" Fingers don't move as fast as the brain..:-)
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