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Archive For June 21, 2013

UMass Trying Hard To Represent Well In the Northeast

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UMass Trying Hard To Represent Well In the Northeast

(Photo Credit: The Republican)

I’ll admit it: UMass has hit pretty much all my sore spots over the years.

Perhaps it was being in the crowd of that 1998 playoff game, where the Mountain Hawks were a horrible pass interference call away from advancing to the I-AA semifinals, complete with the “Lehigh: We’re Just Better” sign.  (UMass would go on to become I-AA national champions that year, surprising Georgia Southern in the championship game.)

Perhaps it was the move to the MAC in order to play FBS football, after years of moaning from the powers-that-be at UMass that football was a money loser.  If you’re losing money in FCS, a move to the MAC is the equivalent of selling your underwater mortgage for an even larger mortgage, because this time, things will be completely different.

Perhaps it was playing at the home of the New England Patriots, 100 miles away from Amherst and home to the NFL franchise that broke my Eagles-loving wife’s heart.

But in the last few weeks – after a barrage of terrible news over the last few months about UMass’ “unexpected” extra loss of money in FBS, lost local revenue and fraying relations with faculty – things are, honestly, starting to look up in Amherst.

I mean it.  Really.  Things are looking up.
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77 Days Until CCSU – No. 77, Wenner Nunes

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77 Days Until CCSU – No. 77, Wenner Nunes

We inch closer to opening day, passing the 77 day barrier.

At no. 77, we find junior OL Wenner Nunes, as our highlighted Lehigh football athlete in today’s countdown.

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78 Days Until CCSU – No. 78, Micah Tennant

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78 Days Until CCSU – No. 78, Micah Tennant

As of 12:30 PM today, the counter passed over to 78 days until Lehigh’s home opener versus Central Connecticut State.  As such, we continue our day countdown towards the football season.

Today, we highlight No. 78, incoming freshman OL Micah Tennant.
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Why Can’t FCS Conferences Move As A Unit To FBS?

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Why Can’t FCS Conferences Move As A Unit To FBS?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last five years, you’ve probably heard about “realignment”, or, as I like to call it, “realignmentageddon”, in Division I athletics.

Led by Nebraska’s departure from the Big XII to the Big 10, the dominoes have tumbles all through Division I, directly affecting pretty much every conference’s membership with the exception of the Ivy League.

Central to “realignmentageddon” is football, whose value to television executives is broadly accepted as the reasons why, say, Rutgers and Maryland abandoned decades-long relationships with their old conferences in order to get larger chunks of TV money.

But why is it only individual schools?  Why wouldn’t a conference which currently sponsors FCS football just decide, one day, to become an FBS conference?

The short answer is: the NCAA rulebook is written than way.

But the long answer is that the NCAA rulebook, essentially, forces the current FCS and FBS conferences to stay the way things are.
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79 Days Until CCSU – No. 79, Shane Rugg

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79 Days Until CCSU – No. 79, Shane Rugg

I dunno, there’s something special about seeing the countdown to CCSU click below 80 days.  It just feels like it’s all coming closer.

At no. 79, we find senior OL Shane Rugg, as our highlighted Lehigh football athlete in today’s countdown.

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80 Days Until CCSU – No. 80, Lee Kurfis

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80 Days Until CCSU – No. 80, Lee Kurfis

(Photo Credit: The Morning Call)

The countdown to the Lehigh football season just ticked to 80 days away, and thus we highlight No. 80, senior WR Lee Kurfis, our first Lehigh co-captain for the 2013 season.

Lee was 2nd on the team in receiving yards in 2012, and led the team in receiving touchdowns (5).

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Straight Talk from Doug Fullerton about the "Illusion of FBS Opportunity"

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Straight Talk from Doug Fullerton about the "Illusion of FBS Opportunity"

I understand that most Lehigh fans (and, for that matter, Patriot League football fans) don’t get into the constant, 365-day-a-year ebb and flow of the goings-on in college athletics, let alone stuff on the divide between the FCS and the FBS.

However, I do.  Probably because I’m insane, but I do.

When the commissioner of the Big Sky Conference Doug Fullerton posted a Q&A session, and followed it up with a Twitter Q&A, though, I paid very close attention.

These types of events are generally of the hit-or-miss variety – sometimes it’s a weak effort to highlight, say, the fact that a “conversation” was held about “membership”, or some other amorphous, read-anything-into-it-you-want statement.

Not so, however, this time around.

What made this particular interchange so extraordinary was its candidness, and Doug’s overall vision of collegiate athletics.  Mr. Fullerton laid it all out there – and, in the process, gave a vision of what may be the future of FCS, FBS, Division I – everything.
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81 Days Until CCSU – No. 81, Michael Anderson

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81 Days Until CCSU – No. 81, Michael Anderson

As of 12:30 PM today, the counter passed over to 81 days until Lehigh’s home opener versus Central Connecticut State.  As such, we continue our day countdown towards the football season.

Today, we highlight No. 81, incoming freshman WR Michael Anderson.
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82 Days Until CCSU – No. 82, Max Anderson

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82 Days Until CCSU – No. 82, Max Anderson

(Photo Credit: The Express-Times)

As of 12:30 PM on this Father’s day, the counter passed over to 83 days until Lehigh’s home opener versus Central Connecticut State.

We continue our countdown towards the football season with no. 82, senior TE Max Anderson.
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83 Days Until CCSU – No. 84, Derek Knott

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83 Days Until CCSU – No. 84, Derek Knott

(Photo Credit: The Express-Times)

As of 12:30 PM today, the counter passed over to 83 days until Lehigh’s home opener versus Central Connecticut State.  The trouble is, on Lehigh’s football roster there are two No. 84s – a fact I conveniently missed.  We continue our day countdown towards the football season, but with our second No. 84.

That no. 84, sophomore WR Derek Knott.
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