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2016 Lehigh Football Schedule Features Every Nearby FCS Rival You Can Think Of

As we hit the 92 day mark before the 2016 Lehigh football season officially starts, it's time to take a look at the overall schedule - and opponents - the Mountain Hawks will be facing.

Every Lehigh football fan knows that their Rival of Rivals, Lafayette, is only 18 miles away from Bethlehem.

What fans may not know is that, by drawing a circle around Lehigh on Google Maps, you can surround seven of the Mountain Hawks eleven 2016 opponents.  (The site NCAA Savant has an interactive, zoomable map that shows the schools quite clearly.)

The only FCS programs within the circle that Lehigh doesn't play are Delaware, Wagner, and Columbia.

Lehigh will be hosting Monmouth, Bucknell, Fordham, and Princeton, all of whose fan bases are within two and a half hour's drive, and will have "road trips" to Penn, Villanova, and Lafayette, which couldn't be easier for Lehigh football fans.

However, if you wanted to earn frequent flyer miles supporting Lehigh football, you had better hope the Mountain Hawks make the FCS playoffs.

As the summer progresses, you'll see more extensive previews from me of Lehigh's 2016 opponents.

But until I release the first one, here's Lehigh's official 2016 schedule and some preliminary facts about each game.

* Of the eleven foes for 2016, nine of them are the same ones that Lehigh faced last year - all six Patriot League teams, Yale, Penn, and Princeton.

* Of the eleven foes for 2016, ten of them have played Lehigh in the last two years - the aforementioned nine teams plus Monmouth.

* Linked to each team below is my game recap that I wrote for each game, to get an idea of the story that unfolded during each game.

* For the first time in many years, Lehigh's bye week will come during the second to final weekend of the season, giving Lehigh fans two weeks after Bucknell to prepare for the 152nd meeting of The Rivalry.

* Had Bethlehem and Easton still had commercial train stations, it would have been possible to attend every road football game by rail (games at Villanova, PA, Philadelphia, PA, New Haven, CT, Worcester, MA, Georgetown, DC, and Easton, PA).

* For the first time in a long time, every 2016 out-of-conference opponent of Lehigh's has a winning record or better.

* Athlon Sports lists Villanova, Lehigh's Week 2 opponent, as the 20th-best team in the nation in the preseason.

Sept 3: 
MONMOUTH
Nickname: Hawks
2015: T3rd in Big South Conference, 6-5 (3-3)
Series Record vs. Lehigh: 1-5
Last meeting: 9/27/2014, Monmouth 28, Lehigh 21
Murray Goodman Stadium, Bethlehem PA


Sept 10:
at Villanova
Nickname: Wildcats
2015: T4th in Colonial Athletic Conference, 6-5 (5-3)
Series Record vs. Lehigh: 7-5
Last meeting: 9/11/2010, Villanova 35, Lehigh 0
Villanova Stadium, Villanova, PA
Distance from Lehigh: Around 50 miles, 1 hr drive




Sept 17:
at Penn
Nickname: Quakers
2015: T1st in Ivy League, 7-3 (6-1)
Series Record vs. Lehigh: 44-14
Last meeting: 9/15/2015, Lehigh 42, Penn 21
Franklin Field, Philadelphia, PA
Distance from Lehigh: Around 60 miles, 1 1/2 hr drive




Sept 24:
PRINCETON
Nickname: Tigers
2015: 6th in Ivy League, 5-5 (2-5)
Series Record vs. Lehigh: 40-16-2
Last meeting: 9/26/2015, Princeton 52, Lehigh 26
Murray Goodman Stadium, Bethlehem, PA



Oct 1:
at Yale
Nickname: Bulldogs
2015: T4th in Ivy League, 6-4 (3-4)
Series Record vs. Lehigh: 17-6
Last meeting: 10/3/2015, Yale 27, Lehigh 12
Yale Bowl, New Haven, CT
Distance from Lehigh: 170 miles, 3 hr drive


Oct 8:
COLGATE (Patriot League Game)
Nickname: Raiders
2015: 1st in Patriot League, 7-4 (6-0)
2015 Playoffs: 2-1 (Wins over New Hampshire, James Madison, Loss to Sam Houston State)
Series Record vs. Lehigh: 29-32
Last meeting: 11/14/2015, Colgate 49. Lehigh 42
Murray Goodman Stadium, Bethlehem, PA


Oct 15:
at Georgetown (Patriot League Game)
Nickname: Hoyas
2015: 5th in Patriot League, 4-7 (2-4)
Series Record vs. Lehigh: 5-15
Last meeting: 10/31/2015, Lehigh 33, Georgetown 28
Multi-Sport Field, Washington, DC
Distance from Lehigh: 200 miles, 3 1/2 hr drive


Oct 22:
at Holy Cross (Patriot League Game)
Nickname: Crusaders
2015: 4th in Patriot League, 6-5 (3-3)
Series Record vs. Lehigh: 13-17-1
Last meeting: 11/7/2015, Lehigh 51, Holy Cross 38
Fitton Field, Worcester, MA
Distance from Lehigh: 270 miles, 4 1/2 hr drive




Oct 29:
FORDHAM (Patriot League Game)
Nickname: Rams
2015: 2nd in Patriot League, 9-2 (5-1)
2015 Playoffs: 0-1 (Loss to Chattanooga)
Series Record vs. Lehigh: 5-23
Last meeting: 10/24/2015, Fordham 59. Lehigh 42
Murray Goodman Stadium, Bethlehem, PA



Nov 5:
BUCKNELL (Patriot League Game)
Nickname: Bison
2015: 6th in Patriot League, 4-7 (1-5)
Series Record vs. Lehigh: 31-45
Last meeting: 10/10/2015, Lehigh 21, Bucknell 10
Murray Goodman Stadium, Bethlehem, PA

Nov 12:
BYE WEEK

Nov 19:
The 152nd Meeting of The Rivalry
at Lafayette (Patriot League Game)
Nickname: Leopards
2015: 7th in Patriot League, 1-10 (0-6)
Series Record vs. Lehigh: 13-17-1
Last meeting: 11/21/2015, Lehigh 49, Lafayette 35
Fisher Field, Easton PA
Distance from Lehigh: 18 miles, 20 min drive

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