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Lehigh Formally Announces 2008 Schedule

It wasn't exactly a secret, but Lehigh did formally announce their 2008 schedule today on Lehighsports.com.

Aside from being able to take "tentative" off my version of the schedule, there are a variety of commentary on the new schedule from both the official release and from Keith Groller over at the Morning Call.

The biggest news was the addition of Drake of the Pioneer Football League to the schedule. Think just because they are non-scholarship it's going to be a walkover? Coach Coen says think again.

"It's harder and harder to find nonleague games when you need them, especially a home game, because everybody has things done years in advance," Lehigh coach Andy Coen said. "This took a long time to complete. We were scrambling and at one point, I was concerned we weren't going to be able to fill it. Initially, we tried to fill it by word-of-mouth and then we checked schedules on the Internet.

"We were looking at a few Division II schools, although I really didn't want to go that route, and at least one other Division I program. Drake sent out a memo and contacted the Patriot League office that they needed a game and I'm happy we were able to work things out. It should be a good game."

The opening in Lehigh's schedule was created when Liberty University pulled out of its scheduled date.

"They were going through a transition down there with a new head coach and athletic director and at one point they had three games scheduled for the same date," Coen said. "So, they contacted us last fall already and said they couldn't play."

"This won't be a cupcake," Coen said. "It's going to be a challenge, since we don't know much about them and even if we get tapes of their games last year, those games were played with a different staff. We'll have to adjust on the fly. We do know they had an impressive victory over a Gateway Conference school (nationally ranked Illinois State) to open up last season, and they have a new head coach (Chris Creighton) who has been very successful wherever he’s been.”

He also talked about the Ivy League schedule, which features the return of Cornell to Goodman, a short trip for the second consecutive year to Princeton, and a long trip to Cambridge to take on Harvard:

“We’re excited to play against this pair of Ivy League schools in back-to-back weeks,” Coen explained. “It will be nice to return to Princeton, which is a great setting for a college football game and was the site of our first victory in 2007.” Coen continued, “Cornell is always a tough, physical football team and we expect nothing less when we meet them this season.”

“Traveling up to Massachusetts to play Harvard, the defending Ivy League Champions, will be tough, no question about it,” said Coen. “We have a large alumni contingent up there though and we’ll be looking forward to giving them a good show.”

Don't forget that this Thursday starts spring practice... so there's more football on the way.

In other news, Lehigh's draws for nationals just were announced on LehighSports.com as well... and talk about five daunting challenges. For those of you that are playing hooky *I mean sick this Thursday, the opening rounds are going to be audio broadcast for free through the Lehighsports.com website. Something to get you pumped up for basketball!

Finally, the Washington Post talks about American's crashing of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in their history, coming so close (once against Lehigh) and the Eagles' long-suffering fans. For those of you who haven't been paying attention, American has been capturing the imagination of a lot of different quarters in the college basketball fan's world... including unlikely places such as former White House Correspondent David Gregory's new show on MSNBC. (Yes, Mr. Gregory is an American alum.)

Too bad they'll get destroyed by Tennessee. I'm not saying that as sour grapes - I always root for the Patriot League tournament winner in the tournament - but Tennessee is a team that could definitely make it to San Antonio. To me, it screams "bad matchup".

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