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Archive For The “Columbia” Category

How The Ivy League Is Able To Break the NCAA’s Scholarship Limits and Still Consider Themselves FCS

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How The Ivy League Is Able To Break the NCAA’s Scholarship Limits and Still Consider Themselves FCS

By now you’ve seen the results.  In 2018, the Ivy League has taken the FCS by storm.

Perhaps it was Penn’s 30-10 defeat of Lehigh a couple of weeks ago.  Or maybe it was Princeton’s 50-9 drubbing of another team that made the FCS Playoffs last year, Monmouth.  Or maybe it was Yale’s shockingly dominant 35-14 win over nationally-ranked Maine last weekend.

The Ivy League has gone an astounding 12-4 so far in out-of-conference play, many of those wins coming against the Patriot League.

But it’s not just against the Patriot League where the Ivy League has excelled. 

Every Ivy League school has at least one out-of-conference victory, which is remarkable since it is only three games into their football season. 

The four losses – Rhode Island over Harvard, Holy Cross over Yale, Delaware over Cornell, and Cal Poly over Brown – were either close losses that could have gone either way or expected blowouts of teams picked to be at the bottom of the Ivy League.

Why the Ivy League, and why now?  How has the Ivy League turned things around, completely, as a league?

The answer appears to lie with three converging trends that every Ivy is starting to exploit to their advantage – increasing the overall number of athletic admits, using their so-called non-scholarship status to make a mockery of the scholarship limits of FCS football, and allowing essentially an unlimited roster size for home games.

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How The Ivy League Is Able To Break the NCAA’s Scholarship Limits and Still Consider Themselves FCS

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How The Ivy League Is Able To Break the NCAA’s Scholarship Limits and Still Consider Themselves FCS

By now you’ve seen the results.  In 2018, the Ivy League has taken the FCS by storm.

Perhaps it was Penn’s 30-10 defeat of Lehigh a couple of weeks ago.  Or maybe it was Princeton’s 50-9 drubbing of another team that made the FCS Playoffs last year, Monmouth.  Or maybe it was Yale’s shockingly dominant 35-14 win over nationally-ranked Maine last weekend.

The Ivy League has gone an astounding 12-4 so far in out-of-conference play, many of those wins coming against the Patriot League.

But it’s not just against the Patriot League where the Ivy League has excelled. 

Every Ivy League school has at least one out-of-conference victory, which is remarkable since it is only three games into their football season. 

The four losses – Rhode Island over Harvard, Holy Cross over Yale, Delaware over Cornell, and Cal Poly over Brown – were either close losses that could have gone either way or expected blowouts of teams picked to be at the bottom of the Ivy League.

Why the Ivy League, and why now?  How has the Ivy League turned things around, completely, as a league?

The answer appears to lie with three converging trends that every Ivy is starting to exploit to their advantage – increasing the overall number of athletic admits, using their so-called non-scholarship status to make a mockery of the scholarship limits of FCS football, and allowing essentially an unlimited roster size for home games.

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Lehigh’s Bye Week: Former Teammates of Lehigh Players Shine; Army Surges; Columbia Shines; Bucknell Stuns

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Lehigh’s Bye Week: Former Teammates of Lehigh Players Shine; Army Surges; Columbia Shines; Bucknell Stuns

I know, I know, it’s strange when there’s no Lehigh football game result to pick apart.  That doesn’t mean that the rest of college football stood still during the Mountain Hawks’ bye week.

Lehigh’s bye week came during a time when Penn State football, already rabid at the best of times, was at peak foaming-at-the-mouth after Happy Valley hosted ESPN College Gameday on Saturday morning and Michigan on Saturday night.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Penn State RB Saquon Barkley has a local connection: he went to Whitehall at the same time a guy called QB Nick Shafnisky was under center.  Now, Barkley is the odds-on favorite to win the Heisman with the Nittany Lions after a 263 yard, 3 TD effort against the Wolverines as Penn State coasted to a 42-13 win.

Completing the return to 1986, Notre Dame also went to 6-1 after their own resounding 49-13 win over USC Saturday night as well, surprising in the ease in the way RB Josh Adams carved through the Trojan defense for 194 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Oh yeah, Josh Adams’ high school isn’t too far from Barkley’s – he came from Central Bucks South in Warrington, the same high school where Lehigh freshman LB Nate Norris played.

Seeing the success of Barkley and Adams on college football’s biggest Saturday showcase serve as a fresh reminder that Lehigh’s football players frequently come from the same schools that produce some of these massive football talents.
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LFN’s FCS Top 25, 10/3/2017

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LFN’s FCS Top 25, 10/3/2017

I don’t officially vote in any of the FCS Top 25 polls, but I do share who I think deserves to be in the Top 25And this wasn’t a week where a lot of teams dropped out, but it was a week where there were a bunch of epic Top 25 clashes that caused some reshuffling in the ranks.

For example, Youngstown State humbled South Dakota State 19-7 at home in a defensive feast, Central Arkansas overcame Sam Houston State 41-30 in a shootout, and South Dakota continued their dominant early-season performance by jumping to a 38-6 lead and then holding off a furious Leatherneck rally to survive in a 38-33 win over Western Illinois.

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LFN Players of the Week, Lehigh vs. Columbia, 10/12/2013

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LFN Players of the Week, Lehigh vs. Columbia, 10/12/2013

(Photo Credit: Kiera Wood/The Columbia Spectator)

Below the flip, enjoy this week’s “LFN Players of the Week” for the Columbia game.

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Lehigh’s Midway Report Card Filled with "Fives"

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Lehigh’s Midway Report Card Filled with "Fives"

As sports comebacks go, this one was pretty epic.

Down 5-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Boston OF David Ortiz jumped on the first pitch from Tigers P Joaquin Benoit, a pitch he put over the short right-field bullpen fence in Fenway Park.

OF Torii Hunter leaped, and the baseball appeared to bounce off his glove, but he went head-over-heels into the dugout without the ball in hand, and Big Papi had tied the game at “five”.

Like so many Lehigh football games this season, Boston came from behind, thanks to heady baserunning by OF Johnny Gomes, and ultimately won Game 2 of the ALCS 6-5.

It seemed apropos that this game would have that score, and be won in this way, because it seems like that game could also be a microcosm of this Lehigh football regular season, too.

Everywhere you look at this season thus far, things are coming up “fives” for Lehigh.
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Mountain Hawks Don’t Win With Style Points, But Still Win, 24-10

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Mountain Hawks Don’t Win With Style Points, But Still Win, 24-10

Brazilian soccer fans are one hard to please bunch.

It’s not enough for the soccer nation that brought us Pele, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho to simply win their soccer games against the rest of the world: to the high-maintenance fans of the seleção, every game involving the Brazilian nation team needs to had flair and panache: style points.  They can still win, but if they win boring, the fans become restless.

Similarly, Lehigh fans looked to the Mountain Hawks to go up to the upper tip of Manhattan and heap on a stylish win filled with scoring, crispness, and focus.  For some Lehigh fans, Saturday’s game wasn’t supposed to be about the win, it was about the style of the win.

If they were looking to win on style, they didn’t get that.

But more importantly, the Brown and White did get the win, notching a 24-10 victory, inching closer to their goal of a Patriot League title and the all-important autobid.

It wasn’t crisp, and it wasn’t pretty, but it was enough to allow Lehigh to cross the George Washington Bridge with a 5-1 record.
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Game Breakdown: Lehigh at Columbia, 10/12/2013

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Game Breakdown: Lehigh at Columbia, 10/12/2013

After a week of silence throughout both the Lehigh and Columbia camps, finally, on a Friday, a good old-fashioned media blitz comes through to make my Game Breakdown easier.

Of course there’s my first choice of news, Jake Novak‘s excellent Roar Lions blog, which pointed me to a piece from the student-run Columbia Spectator that gave some late, critical information on this weekend’s game.

And then there was the Today Show on NBC nationwide, where the Columbia football team had a segment talking a little bit about the football team and the game this weekend as well, even if Al Roker seemed a lot more engaged regarding dropping a Ylvis reference for the song “What Does the Fox Say?” with the Baby Blue cheerleaders instead of analyzing the Lions’ chances this weekend.

Another thing Al missed was that the weather report for tomorrow has turned quite a bit better, with the game turning to a partly-cloudy, 10% chance of rain sort of afternoon for kickoff.  There’s a decent chance, even, at sun to go with unseasonably high 70 degree temperatures.

Let’s get right to the breakdown and fearless prediction.
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Game Preview, Lehigh at Columbia, 10/12/2013

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Game Preview, Lehigh at Columbia, 10/12/2013

(Photo Credit: The Daily Princetonian)

It’s very rare to be able to see a non-conference opponent on the football schedule and be able to compare them completely to your own team.

Non-conference opponents, of course, are not teams from your own division which you are expected to be able to compare yourself against.

Columbia’s non-conference schedule going into their nationally-televised game against Lehigh consists of three games: one against Fordham, one against Monmouth, and one against Princeton.

It means that Columbia head coach Pete Mangurian, and Lehigh head coach Andy Coen, will be very familiar with their opponents this week.  Not only will they be able to recall last year’s game at Murray Goodman in terms of personnel, but they’ll also be able to pull game film on three common opponents to get the tendencies of both teams.

One thing that neither team will be to one another is a surprise.
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CFB Week 5 Lehigh Fan Viewing Guide

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CFB Week 5 Lehigh Fan Viewing Guide

It’s that time of the week where I share with you your weekly Lehigh fan viewing guide for Week 5of the college football season.  Why go to website after website when all the information you need is right here?

This week’s FCS Top 20 Clash at Murray Goodman will by broadcast on Service Electric 2 with Mike Zambelli, Mike Yadush and Al DiCarlo as the announcers.  For those not in the Lehigh Valley it will also be streamed for free on the Patriot League Network.

And I’ll be listenting to the pregame on ESPN 1230 and 1320 of the Lehigh Valley, too, with Tom Fallon, Matt Kerr and Matt Markus.  That will also be live streamed here.

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