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Has FCS Forgotten About Us?

If it's summer, that means the latest college football magazines have come out with their rankings of FCS schools. The Any Given Saturday community and Lindy's College Football have unveiled theirs yesterday - and it's as if the Patriot League barely existed.

Now, I'm not going to be a homer and say I expected Lehigh (who was 5-6 last year) to be ranked in the Top 25 or anything.

But the omission of Fordham, the winner of the Patriot League last year from Lindy's entire Top 25 was disheartening, not to mention front-runners Colgate (boasting the nation's leading rusher last year in rising senior RB Jordan Scott) and Holy Cross (who will have rising senior QB Dominic Randolph returning next year, who almost put up a point-a-minute on Lehigh in a 59-10 shellacking last year).

The Any Given Saturday poll had the Patriot League little better, with Fordham at #23 (and, for good measure, Yale at #24). Both were ranked behind SIX CAA teams: James Madison (#2), Richmond(#3), UMass (#6), Delaware (#11), Villanova (#17), and New Hampshire (#20).

Harvard, last year's Ivy League champion, weren't even dignified with a ranking in either poll.

Why?

The Ivy League's snub, who at times seem to not want to get their "hands dirty" with the Delaware's and Appalachian State's of the world, maybe isn't all that surprising. (Of course, I can guarantee that Harvard, Yale, or both are better than more than half the teams on that Top 25 list, and it's very likely that they will prove it next year as they bulldoze through their schedules.)

But the Patriot League's snub is more surprising considering they were very close to having two teams in the FCS playoffs, Fordham made an excellent run at UMass in the first round of the playoffs, and (most importantly) have all their key elements back together for another run at the Patriot League title.

Whether the Patriot League suffers from "guilt of association" with the Ivy League, or that FCS followers nationally chronically underrate the powerful Ivy League and Patriot League teams (trust me: they do), it probably means it will be an uphill battle for respect and rankings in 2008. To me, out-of-conference games carry even more weight not only for the schools involved, but for the entire League as well.

The best way for FCS not to forget about the Patriot League is for us to win these head-to-head games.

Here's Lindy's preseason predictions for the Patriot League this year:

PATRIOT LEAGUE

OFF POY: Jordan Scott, RB, Colgate
DEF POY: Andy Romans, LB, Lafayette

1. Holy Cross
2. Colgate
3. Fordham
4. Lehigh
5. Lafayette
6. Bucknell
7. Georgetown

You can bet that Lafayette fans are up in arms that Lehigh is not only ranked above Lafayette, but that's with "that school in Easton" having the preseason defensive player of the year, too.

All that's certain for Lehigh is that it will not be easy if they hope to get a Patriot League championship and a FCS playoff invite.

Comments

Anonymous said…
What is new really???? Other than the late 90's when Lehigh had its big run and had very good seasons, why should the national magazines an commentators that give a hoot about FCS ( half of them still say 1-AA still anyway) give much say to Patriot League or Ivies... We don't give athletic scholarships in football so really can't be serious is what I think they would say.. And frankly, with the rise of the the NE Conference and Big South who do give some scholarships ( maybe not everyone allowed), they figure that Patriot League and Ivy League teams will fold up because they can't get the athletes anymore at the pricetags of the schools.. It is a shame but reality is what it is... If I were a decent HS football player, why go to a school that only gives me money based on what my parents have????

I think that the realities will hit programs like Lehigh in the face eventually and either they'll have to step up and offer non-need money for football or the programs will fall to the depths of the Pioneer League... The only thing holding it together in my opinion is tradition but that won't pay the bills for long...
Anonymous said…
Anyone notice that ELON is highly ranked in both polls? Looks like the ole coach is still working his magic...too bad it's not for Lehigh anymore. Our magician has a limp wand.
Anonymous said…
Interesting that Elon IS ranked so highly. I thought by now all of his players would be sick of him and his program. At least that was the rap here. By now every football recruit at Elon should've transferred elsewhere because he's so mean to the widdle fellers. He was such a horrible coach who benefited solely from the regime of his predecessor. (Insert sarcasm as you wish)

Lehigh will continue to rue the day they let this bright, young innovative coach go. Lafayette's been loving it.
ngineer said…
There was nothing to keep Lembo here. After 5 years, he couldn't do anymore for someone with an eye toward getting to a BCS school. When Elon job opened it was a natural jump for him to go to a school that gave scholarships with a chance to build up a losing program and make a name. It was a 'no lose' proposition for him. As long as he was here, he was constantly in Higgins' shadow.
Anonymous said…
Call me crazy but you still have to give Coach Coen a couple more years before you knock the crap out of him. Hes a very hard worker, very knowledgable and this years recruits are terrific. There is a very skilled base of talent on this team. The problem is thatthey are not solid at all posirtions. The glaring weaknesses will be exposed. The qb situation is the toughest to call. I would predict that Chris Lum will be the guy almost right away. The O line is relatively weak with only bayani an all patriot league caliber player. The linebacking corps and secondary are exceptional. The running backs Vegas and Matt including fullback Watson are the best in the league. D line is suspect but they are talented. The new linemen Coen brought in are actually the type of lineman in terms of size, speed, skill and attitude, that one would expect at a very high level of college football. The first year was a bust, it was very late to call that Coens first year. last year was his first for all intents and purposes. give him this yeare and two more and Im sure you will be pleased with the return to prominence regardless of how they spread the money around. Its still Lehigh, its still and educationin the top 10% of all universities nationwide. There is a draw for the right kid. Good luck coach...lembo sucked. Also to the sarcastic dweeb calling the players widdle fellers: You're a fat guy with stains from all the food you drooled on your shirts and in your lap. You never played a down, you dont know the game, you never coached at any level and quite frankly your naysaying commentary is something thatshould be ignored. You're like the plague buddy! have any friends? Are you married? Do your kids like you? You dont have to answer here, you can just answer yourself.
Anonymous said…
Mr. Your knowledge, or lack there of, of the game and this program is more than obvious.
Anonymous said…
good solid comeback there naysayer
Anonymous said…
I love the pot calling the kettle black attitude some of you dopes employ anytime someone dares criticize this rapidly disintegrating athletic department. This big fat guy drooling food all over his clothes has probably played in and attended 5 times the number of games you've ever heard of, junior.

All I know about Coen is that the program has steadily declined in his tenure. Keep making excuses for him and the rest of the middle of the pack sports teams Lehigh is fielding in the PL. Personally I find it a little sad that a big money school like Lehigh is continually embarassed by the mighty Bucknell and Colgate sports teams.

That coach that "sucks" never subjected us to the kind of dreck this current second rate hack has foisted on us.

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