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Showing posts from 2021

Eleven Guys Who Might Be Lafayette's Next Head Football Coach

It was a surprise.  Well, to me, anyway. Most people assumed that Lafayette head coach John Garrett was safe as the Leopards' head coach.  Though his five year record wasn't great, he had beaten bitter Rival Lehigh in two out of the last three Rivalry games, despite a tough 17-10 loss to Lehigh the final week of the year. Listening to the post-game press conference, I also didn't pick up on some of the signs that his job security might be in jeopardy.  Garrett was a bit prickly, but it was understandable - he had just lost a game to Lafayette's Rivals.  "The future is bright for Lafayette football," he said, not letting on that he might not be a part of that future. But by Monday, the announcement was made - after five years leading the Leopard football team, "Lafayette College will not renew the contract of head football coach John Garrett," a short press release stated.  "A national search for his replacement will begin immediately.  Defensive

If the Patriot League Thought Bigger, This Is What They Would Do In Reaction To James Madison's Departure For The Sun Belt

I wish I thought this would actually happen. I wish the Patriot League was proactive, and thinking several steps ahead. But as an observer of the Patriot League for more than twenty years, I don't think the Patriot League Presidents, or any of their athletic representatives, are nimble enough and proactive enough to actually take a look at what's happening with the CAA right now in regards to James Madison possibly leaving for the Sun Belt . If they were like me, they'd take a look at the CAA in football in a post-James Madison world.  They'd see an extremely unwieldy 11 team conference without much of a theme. Only four CAA members would be a part of "CAA Football" - Delaware, Towson, William and Mary, and Elon.  There would be just as many America East Members as CAA members - UNH, Maine, Stony Brook, and Albany.  The other three - Richmond, Villanova and Rhode Island - are in hoops-only conferences. Could they soldier on as a divisional conference?  Maybe. 


I was trying to figure out the worst Lehigh/Colgate game I have ever witnessed. My history goes way back with Lehigh, of course, and I really had to rack my brain.  What loss to Colgate that I had witnessed was worse than this one?   I wasn't at Andy Kerr Stadium when Lehigh lost 61-28 in 1997 to a Colgate team that would win the Patriot League title - as a matter of fact, I'm fairly certain I didn't even find out about the score of the game until that night on ESPN, since the game wasn't televised where I was living at the time.  The win set a Colgate school record for points scored vs. Lehigh - one that still stands today.  QB Phil Stambaugh and RB Rabih Abdullah, both Lehigh football legends today, fumbled the very first exchange, and the game snowballed from there after Colgate converted the gift into an early 7-0 lead. I wasn't at Andy Kerr Stadium when Lehigh lost 21-7 in 2007 , but I remember following the game on TV, when an injured QB Sedale Threatt was red

Competitive Disadvantage

2015 was a great year for Patriot League football.   It was a season where two Patriot League schools would qualify for the FCS Playoffs, and Dan Hunt's Colgate team would have a one of the Patriot League's most epic runs through the bracket on the road - beating New Hampshire 27-20, then becoming James Madison's Kryptonite in an epic 44-38 win over the perennial FCS powerhouse.   A third straight road game ended their run at Sam Houston State with a 48-21 defeat, but the Raiders had nothing to hang their heads about. At the time, there was no way of knowing that the 2015 season would be the high water mark for the league for the next six years - or that the drop would be so precipitous. What happened? 2015 was not only notable for its playoff success - it also featured four teams who finished above .500.  Fordham won the Patriot League with a 9-2 record, while Colgate barely made it as an at-large team at 7-4.  Lehigh (6-5) and Holy Cross (6-5) had plenty to be optimistic

A 47-3 Loss to Villanova Simply Isn't Acceptable

Over the years, the Lehigh football program has always had very high expectations in every sense.   The expectations at Lehigh, as I've observed it, are: * That Lehigh football teams always have top football students academically as a member of their classes. * That Lehigh football teams always compete for Patriot League Championships, every year.  There is no such thing as a rebuilding year.  Championship droughts, and losing records, are supposed to be aberrations. * That Lehigh football, in the preseason has, as their goal, to win the FCS National Championship. Are those goals unrealistic?  At a point in time for this program, although the goals were lofty, they were not unrealistic.   Patriot League schools in the past have made it to the FCS National Championship game, and won multiple rounds in the FCS Playoffs.  Twice Lehigh had the ball with under two minutes to play against teams who would end up being FCS National Champions, with Lehigh in a position to win.  The history

Remembering Paul Reinhard

The year was 2004.   For about a year I had been blogging about Lehigh football, thanks to the relatively new Blogger platform that allowed me to collect my thoughts (as soon as I could get to a computer) and post them instantly on the internet.  It allowed me to post my thoughts mere hours after attending an event, well before the newspaper rolled off the presses early the next morning!  It was what separated me from being just an ordinary Lehigh fan, and strangely got me started on this path to covering sports.   In 2004, I started to write longform stories for an outfit called The College Sporting News, starting with an epic Lehigh/Colgate battle won by the Mountain Hawks in the last minute of play.  On the basis of that piece, I was able, through my editor at the time, to get a press pass to watch the game from the press box. It would be my first time watching a game in the press box, and the first time I would meet Paul Reinhard. If you read The Morning Call 's sports section