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Showing posts from October 5, 2008

Lehigh 45, Fordham 24, Final

I don't think Yuenglings in the Lehigh Valley have tasted this good for Mountain Hawks fans in quite a while.

I mean, are you kidding me? 45 points? Sophomore J.B. Clark? Five touchdowns? Four through the air, and a fifth on the ground? And the 45 points came against last year's Patriot League champions - and the clear preseason favorite to repeat as champions.

Coach Coen's teams have scored 45 points before against opponents in the past two years - once against Georgetown in 2007 (45-0) and another against Fordham in 2006 (45-14). But those were against a 1-10 Hoya team and a 3-8 Ram team respectively. This one was much, much different.

Simply put, it was the offensive explosion that Lehigh fans have been waiting for - against a big-time team.

It didn't seem, at first, that a victory would come easy for Lehigh in this game. After Fordham's opening drive ended with an interception by senior CB Steve Santora, Lehigh's initial offensive drive stalled at the …

Friday Water Cooler: Patriot League Expansion

It's another Freaky Friday around the Office (if not an actual office, just imagine Steve Carrell and the gang instead) - filled with baseball intrigue (the Phillies actually won last night?), financial intrigue (do I have any 401k left?), and, of course, an inconclusive second round of the presidential debate - this time, a town hall style that pretty much everyone thought, well, sucked.

But in the world of the Patriot League, the discussion has turned to expansion of the league in all sports, including football.

This started a worthwhile thread over on the Any Given Saturday message board. On it, carney2 (my favorite Lafayette poster, and my dear online friend for, well, 363 1/2 days out of the year) quotes Keith Groller's print edition of the Morning Call, where Keith details his conversation with Carolyn Schlie Femovich, the Patriot League executive director:

"...expansion for the league 'is not urgent, but is something we're pursuing.'"

"The defini…

Preview of Fordham at Lehigh

A year ago, I wrote of Fordham, "Fordham is good, they're dangerous, and they're playing at home." I was nervous about the young Rams, who had already beaten Colgate at that point 31-24, and rightfully so.

The only people with expectations for the Rams, picked to finish sixth of seven Patriot League teams in the preseason media poll, were themselves. But even at this time last year there were signs that this wasn't the same as the 3-8 team that struggled though 2005. At 3-2, they had already turned some heads despite their losses to Dayton and Albany. Their wins over Rhode Island of the CAA and a resounding win over Columbia in the Liberty Cup made some take notice.

If folks still weren't paying attention, their shock win over many people's dark-horse pick for the Patriot League title, Colgate, demanded it. Their new offense and defense were starting to click. Coach Tom Massella, the former firefighter, put out the fires at Fordham. Take them lightly…

Zurn Is Player of the Week... And Clark

OK, I hear you say, how come there are co-Reader's Choice Players of the week this week? Sophomore WR Craig Zurn, who had 55 all-purpose yards and - most importantly - gave Lehigh six points at the end of the first half with his amazing downfield block of a Cornell special-teams player to seal the touchdown. His great play on offense and special teams might ordinarily be enough to give him those honors...

...had I not been tracking the poll from the get-go. Until about, oh, say one hour before the polls were closing, an amazing number of votes came in for the local kid from Jim Thorpe, PA. Before that time, sophomore QB J.B. Clark had a comfortable lead in votes (and he also had his best day as Lehigh's quarterback, going 24-35 passing with 264 yards passing, 1 passing touchdown, and 1 rushing touchdown that gave Lehigh the lead.)

This one time, I'm going to be offering Player of the Week honors to both.

Game balls will be going to:

Readers' Choice: Sophomore WR Craig …

Lambert Power Rankings, 10/4/2008

In the spirit of the release of the GPI and other official ranking systems this week, I'm going to once again try something new and attempt to devise a "power ranking" for all of FCS East schools from DC to Maine. Let's call them the "Lambert Power Rankings".

It's formula-based and it's not something too difficult for my tiny little head to wrap itself around. Rising up the "Lambert Power Rankings" is easy: win games on your schedule, especially conference games and games vs. Eastern teams. Oh yeah, and play good teams, too: there's a "degree of difficulty" to my power rankings: beat up on patsies and it won't count as much as an FBS win.

Here are the first power rankings:

1. James Madison (CAA, 5-1, 59.5 points)
2. Richmond (CAA, 4-2, 52 points)
3. New Hampshire (CAA, 4-0, 45 points)
4. Villanova (CAA, 4-1, 45 points)
5. Cornell (Ivy, 3-0, 34.5 points)
6T. UMass (CAA, 4-1, 33 points)
6T. Central Connecticut State (NEC, 4-1, 33 p…

Official Release: Lehigh 24, Cornell 25

The official release of the gut-wrenching game on Saturday has been released on Lehighsports.com:

With Lehigh and Cornell swapping the lead back and forth throughout the final quarter at Goodman Stadium on Saturday, it was all about who had the ball last. Cornell quarterback Nathan Ford was the last player to take a snap from the Lehigh 20 yard line, and he made it count by throwing a touchdown pass to Jesse Baker for the 25-24 victory in front of 10,460 fans.I've added my weekly poll to your left for "Player of the Game" to the left: I'm going to start to close it a day earlier so that fans can spend their Wednesdays looking ahead rather than behind. Also, in the Lehighsports.com writeup they have a Yahoo! video clip of the final play and postgame reaction as well as a free podcast on iTunes of the post-game press conference. (I also cross-post the Yahoo! video on my Facebook page as well.)

There's also a nice feature on our star quarterback from 1986, Marty Hor…

Sunday's Word: Lagom

I know, you're all wondering: what in h-e-double hockey sticks is the word this time? Let me explain, and I hope everyone thinks it's worth it.

"Lagom" is actually a Swedish word with no direct translation into English. In a nutshell, though, it describes the Swedish worldview. According to Wikipedia, it means the following: "enough, sufficient, adequate, just the right amount." Swedes take great national pride at being well-balanced: not too hot, not too cold. Just right. "Lagom".

I found myself on the way home from the game, genuinely depressed after the loss but needing to stop at a store to run an errand. I passed by a happy anonymous local couple, walking their young daughter around Main Street.

They seemed perfectly "Lagom": blissfully in a wonderful disposition. Not too hot, not too cold.

Evidently, they were unaware of the cruel fate the Gods (or perhaps just Cornell QB Nathan Ford and WR Jesse Baker) had bestowed upon the Le…