Skip to main content

The 2016 Patsy Ratings: No. 1 - Lehigh

The Committee member popped the DVD in the player once again.  "The Top 25 Moments in Murray Goodman history."

"What'cha doin'?", another Committee member said.

"In a way, I hate this time of year," she said.  "With the Patsy Ratings done, all we have left to get us through the offseason are all these videos.  Sure, there's spring football, of course, but fall always feels so far away in March."

"Is that a VHS copy of Colgate beating Florida Atlantic in 2003?  Didn't Howard Schnellenberger order that all surviving copies of that game be destroyed?"

"That was a heck of a find," she said.  "Apparently they were cleaning up some house in Ithaca and the kids were going to throw out an old shopping bag filled with videos.  Incredibly, they found it, along with rare footage of Cornell playing a competitive game with Colgate."

"Do we have any Yuenglings in the fridge?"

"Sure.  Pull up a chair.  The 1991 Holy Cross/Lehigh showdown is on."

THE GOOD:  Coach Andy Coen's team ended up with such a high score not from one or two "ringers" but from decent starred players across the board.  There's no special award for winning the "quality point" championship, but the Brown and White got the most from a broad-based group.  The Patsy System measures quantity and quality, and they got both.

Pretty Sure I Could Have Broken Some Union To Get More Patsy Points
THE BAD:  In a way, the Hawks needed broad-based talent to get to the top of the heap this season, because they didn't get much help in other aspects of the ratings.

You'll see below that there are a number of goose eggs that, had there even been a few points in there, would have really put separation between the Iacoccas and the rest of the literates in the Patriot league.

CLASS SIZE: 0.  The first goose egg shows up here.  With 17 recruits, Lehigh doesn't qualify for "Class Size" points, just one under the cutoff.

"What about that Twitter announcement to put Lehigh at 18 recruits?" one Committee member asked.  "Did it come from an official source?", another growled.  "It did not," he said.  "Therefore, he does not count," the other concluded.

QUALITY: 39.  In the area of "quality points," the Mountain Climbers' class stood out in every significant way over the rest of the Patriot League.   In a year when every other class had less than 50% of their recruits generating points, 11 out of 17 Lehigh players generated some sort of points for the Lehighs, or just under 70%.  Additionally, five of them generated quality points for their stars as well.

DISTRIBUTION: 7.   All positions, except for kicker and RB, were covered.  "That kicker, though..." the hopeful Committee member said.  "Shut up," the other Committee member replied.

TRIGGER: 0.   There was one quarterback listed on the release, but he didn't have a profile on the recruiting sites, so they didn't get any points in this category.

Pretty Sure The Recruits Were Merely Following Instructions
SPEED: 0.  In a way it was unfortunate.  Three future Bethelehemites had speed information on their official recruiting profiles - but two were linemen, and the third player just missed the cutoff for Patsy Points.
JUMBO: 4.  1 out of 2 DL and 3 out of 5 OL tipped the right side of the scales and generated Jumbo Points.


1. DL: 2 (out of 5).   The Committee thought the athletes the Feathered Ones got in this area were outstanding.  What they did not think was outstanding, however, was the fact that there were only two of them.  "With a top need area, they needed more than two guys for depth," the Committee released in a statement.

2.  DB: 2 (out of 4).   "They got three guys, which was good.  They got one guy with stars, which was even better.  However, they didn't get depth.  That's good enough for half the needs points."

3. OL: 3 (out of 3).  "Five guys satisfies the depth needed on the OL, and they also got the quality, nabbing one two star recruit.  They get all three points here."

A Job "Well Done"
ADJUSTMENT:  0.  The Committee members, with their final adjustment meeting of the Patsy Point season finished, stepped away from their secure, undisclosed location and shared some cigars.  There really wasn't much debate as to whether to adjust Lehigh's score further; there was that tiny voice to give Lehigh credit for that late, undeclared kicker, which would have been three Patsy points, but he was shouted down rather quickly.  A tweet from a head coach was one thing, as would have been an official announcement.  Neither came, so the adjustment never happened.

"I can't get over these numbers," one grouchy Committee member said.  "I am really shocked that the top Patsy numbers on this recruiting class are 57.  It's basically a five-way tie for the top.  No one school really, in a clear way, distanced themselves.

"And a 57 this year, you have to remember, would have been SEVENTH PLACE last year!

"Holy Cross was SIXTH PLACE last season, and scored 58 points with a class that looked a lot like the best class of 2016, Lehigh's.  They had five starred players, approximately the same number of "quality points", and generally a similar class.

"Now, it may be that some of the classes that are being recruited are by necessity smaller than before.  In the last three years, schools have been ramping up to 60 scholarships, so perhaps all the schools had plenty of opportunity to fill their roster over the last three years.  Perhaps this is the 'new normal'.

"There's also the matter of starred players.  The recruiting websites' star system has always been flawed.  Who's to say Lafayette's recruited QB, which didn't get any stars, doesn't become all-League four years running?  Some years, the recruiting websites give out stars like they're ninjas, and other years they barely give them out to anyone in the FCS.  It varies a lot from year to year.

"Still, the overall dropoff has been striking and something the entire Committee has noted.  Last year, Fordham's No. 1 class netted 88 Patsy Points.  This year, if you add Fordham's 2016 score and Lehigh's 2016 score, you only barely beat last year's Patsy point score.

"The debate we'll be having this offseason: why is this the case?"

The Ratings:



Popular posts from this blog

Nick Shafnisky Is Pushing Hard to Get To Play at the Next Level in Football

"Don't take anything for granted, just keep pushing."
Those are the words of QB Nick Shafnisky, told to The Whitehall-Coplay Press all the way back in 2013, about his preparation as a high school athlete.
And they seem to summarize the Whitehall, PA native perfectly, then as now.
Dubbed the "Male Athlete of the Year" by that publication, the article goes on about Shaf's many exploits at Whitehall high school - leading the Zephyr football team to a co-Lehigh Valley Conference title, becoming the first player ever in that conference to rush and pass for over 1,000 yards, and earning the league's co-MVP award as well.
He also was a member of the Zephyrs playoff basketball team, and for good measure also helped set a record for the 4x100 relay team as well.
At Whitehall, and at Lehigh, coaches pushed him, but it was his own hard work that helped make him the best athlete he could be.
This weekend, Shaf, like every eligible college football player, will be …

#TheRivalry Flashback: November 21st, 1987: Lehigh 17, Lafayette 10

Since becoming an undergrad at Lehigh back in the late 1980s, I first heard about the historic nature of the football team and "The Rivalry" through the stories that fellow students would share.

I did not attend the final meeting between Lehigh and Lafayette at Taylor Stadium, which was the final time a football game would be played there.

Those that did attend said that was that it was cold.

"I remember it being one of the coldest games ever," Mark Redmann recollected, "with strong Northwesterly winds and the temperature hovering around 20.  By the end of the game, the stands were half empty because most of the fans just couldn't take the cold.

"Fortunately, several of my fraternity brothers snuck in flasks to help fend off the chill."

Dominick Bragalone Goes Into Monster Mode As Lehigh Is One Win Away From Title

It has been a most unusual season for Lehigh.

Starting the year off at 0-5 and getting swept in their out-of-conference schedule, the Mountain Hawks were in danger of having their season go off the rails.

But two things have come together over the last five football games that have put Lehigh on the brink of back-to-back championships.

The first is the late blooming of the Lehigh defense, which kept battling every week since the low point of the September 30th loss to Wagner to do the job in four of their five Patriot League conference games. 

The second is the development of junior RB Dominick Bragalone into a bellcow running back, a back who has to be in the conversation for Patriot League offensive player of the year.

In five Patriot League games, Bragalone has run for 863 yards in 5 games, rushing for 11 touchdowns and adding two more receiving touchdowns as well. 

The South Williamsport, PA native certainly wasn't unknown before this week - after all, as a freshman and a sop…