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Friday Water Cooler: Autobids

I figured I'd make my life really easy this afternoon - aside from the "Phillies Fever" that has overtaken my workplace (and the fact I was up late last night watching the Phillies lose to the Dev* I mean Rays 4-2) means that I think I'll tackle only one subject that I've written about elsewhere.

On second thought... make that two subjects. But before I do that let me quickly mention that Lehigh's game will be on local and national TV this weekend: on WFMZ Channel 69 at 1:00 p.m. and nationally at 1:00 p.m. on FCS Atlantic, as well as on radio on AM 1230 and 1320 in the Lehigh Valley. If you can't get any of these media outlets, surf on over to - you can get streaming video of the game online.

First, Lehigh beat writer Keith Groller had the opportunity to travel down to Tampa to cover games 1 and two for the Morning Call (lucky dog), and he's been blogging about it. It's real good stuff: witness:

One of the funniest Saturday Night Live skits in recent years featured Christopher Walken and Will Ferrell and Walken's desire "for more cowbell" to add juice to a studio session for his rock group. Ferrell was the cowbell man eager to oblige Walken's desire..

The cowbell is the favorite noisermaker for Tampa Bay Rays fans. There's probably a couple thousand of them in here tonight for Game 1 of the World Series.

But really, this is a sterile, emotionless atmosphere for a World Series game. It could use more cowbell and much more.

These fans, you get the feeling, haven't paid their dues for this moment. This "worst to first" rise has caught them by surprise. They don't know what this is all about, how important it is. They're going through the motions, trying to rev it up for the national audience without any real sincerity or heart put into it.

Philadelphia knows how important it is and the city will let it all hang out for Games 3,4 and 5 Saturday thru Monday. There's no doubt about that.

I'm still a Red Sox fan - it's in my blood - but I'm sure I'll be real happy for the Phillies fans around here if they take care of business here in the next three games and beat the sterile, hyped-out Rays. It's a bit overdone, but Philadelphia has needed a winner for a long time, and it would be great if they get a shot in the sun.

(Besides, Yankee fans would then have to suffer with the fact that the Red Sox and Phillies would have both won World Series titles since the Yankees have won their latest Series. If you throw a Mets title in there in the next couple years, better put some new gun-control laws on the books in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area.)

Back to college football. In this week's CSN Way I talk about the playoff scenarios for all of FCS and take a peek as to which teams might make the Field of Sixteen this Thanksgiving. If you're a Patriot League fan, it's worth reading the whole thing:

It all started, as it sometimes does, as a phone call with the executive director of the College Sporting News, Ralph Wallace. We started shooting the breeze about our favorite football players in Football Championship Subdivision, games we’ve been to, fun times we’ve had at games this year.

Then, the conversation took a turn towards something else: Brackets. Conference Champions. “What about the autobids?” Ralph said.

He was right. The fun times of FBS matchups, interesting out-of-conference games, and following a team just to admire the band is over. It’s time to get serious. It’s time to talk conference champions, autobids - and who’s going to be in the coveted field of sixteen playoff participants to be announced the week before Thanksgiving.

In other words, it’s time to get serious.

In the article I talk about the chances of the Patriot League in getting an at-large team in the party this year. Looking at the number of power conference teams still in the hunt, the early returns say: if Lafayette, Colgate or Bucknell need to rely on an at-large bid to make the playoffs(the only three teams with a chance at an at-large bid without winning the autobid), they're very likely going to need some help.

Patriot League Picks: Week 9
I went a mediocre 3-3 last week, bringing my yearly total to an awful 17-14. I must get better, with the following picks! (All of these picks are, oddly enough, also covered in the CSN Way this week, too.)

Georgetown at No. 9 Richmond. When folks generally mention the Hoyas, it’s usually preceded by the word ‘poor’. Georgetown, led by young quarterback Keerome Lawrence, haven’t enjoyed a winning season since coming to the Patriot League in 2001. Their second win on the year won’t come against a rejuvenated Spiders team - led on defense by defensive back Justin Rogers - that can’t afford any missteps if they want to get back to the playoffs.
Spider Men 55, Hoya Boyas 6

No. 24 Lafayette at Fordham. The Leopards offense sure didn’t look like they were struggling much after leaving Lynchburg, Virginia last weekend. THe main criticism from Leopards fans of their team was a lack of offensive output: but set up by two big special teams plays (including a blocked punt from linebacker Andy Romans) the Leopards routed the No. 14 ranked Flames 35-21. They face last years’ Patriot League champions Fordham, whose dizzying inconsistency has been hard to understand: losing to Lehigh one week 45-21 and then beating Ivy League championship co-favorite Yale 12-10 the following week. Will this be the type of week that quarterback John Skelton puts everything together and gets the upset? The answer is: yes it is, but it won’t be enough against a Lafayette team that may have just become a Patriot League title-quality team last weekend.
Romans in the Gloamin’ 28, Skelton’s Offense Still In the Closet 18

Colgate at Bucknell. It’s a chance for Bison quarterback Marcelo Trigg (QB rating: 172.2, 1,112 passing yards, 16 touchdowns) to show the FCS world that Bucknell isn’t just a basketball school. At 4-2, a win for the Bison would put them squarely in the running for the Patriot League title. But they’ll have to stop either Colgate runningback Jordan Scott (971 yards, 11 touchdowns) or the runningback that came in when Scott got inujred last week, freshman Nate Eachus (241 yards, 3 touchdowns). Their rushing defense isn’t impressive enough to stop whoever plays, Eachus or Scott.
Good Year for Raider Runningbacks 42, Bad Year for Bison 21


Anonymous said…
Let us get one thing clear. A true Yankee Fan does not care whatsoever about the Phillies. We did enjoy seeing the Red Sox choke away game 7 to the Miracle Rays!

A true great champion can string at least 2 World Series titles in a row. Not that the Red Sox would ever understand that feeling. They are in the same boat as the Marlins. They have both won the same number of titles, since the Marlins came into the league.

Besides, Philly is a football town, not a baseball town.

I know it must be tough on you to have 2 NFL teams in the Saints and Eagles who have to bow down to the Super Bowl Champion Giants.

Perhaps you can add another team to your list.
Anonymous said…
Chuck - you should require that posters be over the age of 10 to comment on this board. Typical idiot Yankee fan.
Anonymous said…
Oh tough guy talk over the safety of the interent, gotta love it!

Here's one back at you - If he required an IQ over 100 to comment on this board, it would eliminate you!
Anonymous said…
Yeah - I work in Philly and this is definitely a football town. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar. In fact the Flyers are more talked about than the Phillies for heavens sake.

People only started to care about the Phillies once they made the playoffs! The bandwagon is full now!
Doug H said…
How many people actually go to Eagles games???? The Phillies have 81 games that people can go to... That scene last night looked terrific... that was a real home field last night not the sterile atmosphere in St. Pete... it's not the Rays fault but you saw some intense fandom last night... I hope the Rays bats wake up tonight....

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