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Archive For The “2014” Category

2014 Saw All Of Division I Football Break Into Cliques

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2014 Saw All Of Division I Football Break Into Cliques

You may remember the genius of Groucho Marx, the bespectacled Marx Brother with the grease-painted eyebrows and mustache.  One of my all-time favorite films, Horse Feathers, featured Groucho, Harpo, and Chico on the football field (actually the Rose Bowl), representing their “school” in a particularly important game.

But it’s a particular quote of his that seems to summarize Division I football perfectly, at both the FCS and FBS levels.

“I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.”

Division I has never truly been a large tent of equal schools.  It was a division that counted as members Texas (whose athletic budget is as large as some small nations), Mississippi Valley State (whose entire athletics budget is about the size of what the University of Texas pays for socks for its athletes) and Marist (who doesn’t even spend any money on athletics scholarships for its football athletes).

But 2014 was a year of true soul-searching in athletics, where a whole lot of schools decided they didn’t want to belong to the Division I club that accepts them as members.
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Perspective, And Lack Thereof, In My #Rivalry150

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Perspective, And Lack Thereof, In My #Rivalry150

In the run-up to the big game at Yankee Stadium I had an opportunity to talk with Lehigh football alum OL Dan Mulholland.

One of the great diehard fans, Mulholland runs the “Kings of Tailgates” at Lehigh home games, partially in tribute to his teammate Roger McFillan, who died unexpectedly at the age of 50.  The tailgates in Roger’s honor, run by Dan, his twin brother Bob Mulholland and fellow teammate Gus Gustafson, are a Mountain Hawk gameday fixture right next to the Rust Pavillion, and every home game they “grill the opponent’s mascot.”

It so happened I talked with Mulholland about his best work, his blocking for RB Jack Rizzo‘s record-breaking rushing performance against Lafayette in 1971.  Rizzo ran for 313 yards, a Lehigh single-game record that still stands today.

“Yeah, we’ll never see any sort of rushing performance like that ever again in a Rivalry game,” I told him mere days before Lafayette RB Ross Scheuerman would drive his SUV all over the Lehigh defense for 304 rushing yards and 357 all-purpose yards and 3 touchdowns.
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Picking the FCS Playoff Bracket, 11/19/2014

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Picking the FCS Playoff Bracket, 11/19/2014

We’re a week away from picking the field, so below the flip, check out what I think the bracket will look like.

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Picking the FCS Playoff Bracket, 11/11/2014 edition

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Picking the FCS Playoff Bracket, 11/11/2014 edition

As I finalize the release of my book, I realize that something I really enjoyed doing, picking the FCS playoff field, I hadn’t done yet this year.  With two weeks to go, below the flip, check out what I think the bracket will look like.

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Game Preview: Monmouth At Lehigh, 9/27/2014

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Game Preview: Monmouth At Lehigh, 9/27/2014

A lot can change in a week.

At least that’s what Lehigh players and fans are hoping.

Frustration abounds in Mountain Hawk Nation in their 0-3 start, and no matter that two teams they’ve played, New Hampshire and James Madison, have displayed that they are Top 25 caliber teams.

It can’t be used as an excuse that Lehigh seems to be the opponent circled on every team’s schedule, either.  That’s part of being at Lehigh: you always have the target on you.

Monmouth (2-1), too, will have a very large target on Lehigh’s back, after last years’ narrow 28-25 loss to the Mountain Hawks and will undoubtedly have looked at the national defensive rankings at the FCS level and seen Lehigh’s squad ranked 120 out of 121 total non-transitioning FCS teams in total defense, beating only Columbia, who has only played in one game this season.

But a lot can change in a week.  At least that’s what Lehigh players and fans are hoping.
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Lehigh/UNH Broadcast/Stream Info, And Week 2 Viewing Guide and Fearless Picks

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Lehigh/UNH Broadcast/Stream Info, And Week 2 Viewing Guide and Fearless Picks

So you’re trying to make your afternoon plans, and you’re not a hotel in Durham, New Hampshire, preparing your tailgate.

You’ve heard that the game is going to be on something called the “American Sports Network” – but you’ve scrolled through your cable guide, checked the internet, or flicked through all the stations. Nothing called the “American Sports Network” shows up.

That’s because the “American Sports Network” only produces the games.  The broadcasts end up on a maze of local affiliates across the country.

So the question remains: At 3:30, how do I watch the game?  Of course.  That’s why you’re here.
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Game Preview: Lehigh at New Hampshire, 9/13/2013

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Game Preview: Lehigh at New Hampshire, 9/13/2013
WMUR 9 New Hampshire

“In their last meeting…”

You’ve probably heard a lot of that this week in regards to this big matchup against the No 7 team in the country.

It ended up being Lehigh’s signature win last year, their 34-27 victory that only looked better when the Wildcats turned their season around and made a deep run in the FCS playoffs.

It also will be an impediment to any hope of sneaking up to Durham, New Hampshire and surprising New Hampshire coach Sean McDonnell with their dynamic offense and good athletes.

That’s because the Wildcats had a bye week last week, and McDonnell spent his weekend off scouting the Mountain Hawks.

“I was really impressed with their quarterback,, mentioning sophomore QB Nick Shafnisky, sophomore RB Brandon Yosha, and seemingly everyone else on the Lehigh offense by name in the CAA teleconference this week.   “He did a hell of a job doing the things he does well.  They did a lot of different things out of multiple sets, and they had a good mix against a good JMU team.”

It was very obvious McDonnell had not forgotten last year’s loss at Lehigh at all.
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2014 Week 1 Viewing Guide And Fearless Predictions

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2014 Week 1 Viewing Guide And Fearless Predictions

This weekend’s Lehigh football game, if you can’t make it, will be broadcast on Service Electric 2 in the Lehigh Valley, and simulcast online via the Patriot League Digital Network.

Six Patriot League teams play this weekend, with Colgate having a bye week after last week’s loss to Ball State.

Interestingly, future Mountain Hawk opponents Monmouth and New Hampshire also have bye weeks this week (as does Yale and Cornell, of course, as the Ivy League football season has not started yet).

Unquestionably the “big game” after the one at Murray Goodman is the clash between Fordham and Villanova, a good game vs. Top Ten teams that will be broadcast on The Comcast Network locally, a bunch of affiliates nationally – and, thankfully, on the Patriot League Network too.
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Opening CFB Weekend Thoughts, 8/31/2014

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Opening CFB Weekend Thoughts, 8/31/2014

Some quick thoughts about the opening college football weekend.
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2014 Week 0 Viewing Guide and Fearless Predictions

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2014 Week 0 Viewing Guide and Fearless Predictions
I’d rather do this than prepare for Colgate

It’s a strange feeling this Labor Day weekend, because it’s both a full plate of college football yet an empty plate at the same time, since Lehigh is not playing.

But you can enjoy a lot of games, many of them free to stream over the internet, that have an awful lot to do with the Lehigh football season.

Because it’s what we do here, we discovered that you, dear Lehigh football fan, can turn on your TV and computer at noon on Saturday, and watch non-stop FCS football action all the way to when you’re either hitting the nightlife, or heading to bed, depending who you are.

One of these games even includes former Lehigh head football coach Pete Lembo, as you’ll discover below with my broadcast information and two-sentence picks.
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