January 8, 2011 at 7:36 am #3100
Not that I had not thought about it before, but it really hit me while I was watching Delaware shockingly get outplayed dramatically in the second half last night (what a game, BTW):
1) Both teams last night had QBs who transferred after starting games in Division I. After watching the Penn State game, Delaware’s Pat Devlin should be starting there. The EWU QB — Bo Levi Mitchell — seems to have even a quicker release than Devlin. Mitchell played at SMU.
Yes, we all remember Chad Schwenk — no Pat Devlin — but we also remember other FCS/I-AA championship quarterbacks who came down from Division I. Is Lehigh all of a sudden, if it gets scholarships, going to start getting QB transfers from those schools so it, too, can compete for a national championship? Is Lehigh, after it gets scholarships, going to start attracting all sorts of other Division I transfers? (That’s what makes a lot of these top CAA and other leagues’ teams very strong.)
I think not (other than an occasional Troy Taylor). I don’t think that’s what this university (or its football team) is about. Thus, it will continue to be at a disadvantage against the list of schools below that have won the I-AA/FCS championship.
2) Look at that list of schools.
This year’s champion has almost 11,000 undergrads. Delaware has 15,757.
Sure, you’ve got Villanova (6,335 undergrads), Richmond (4,250) and eons ago, Furman (2,801), but the vast majority of the winners are far larger state schools where academic qualifications aren’t exactly up to Lehigh’s standards.
This is no longer Division II football of the 1970s, or even college football of the 1950s. This is BIG business football of the new millennium. To compete at the highest level in football will cost a lot of money — A LOT.
No, this isn’t wrestling, soccer, tennis or even basketball (would anyone really expect Lehigh to compete for a national championship ever in hoops?). In hoops, we should be happy if we get to the big dance and punch one or two other teams’ cards.
Even if we get scholarships, will it really be much different in football?
3) I’m all for supporting football and other sports at Lehigh. A great sports program helps attract students and makes for a great campus environment. Personally, I’d rather spend $$ attracting the next Lee Iacocca or Bill Gates then the next Michael Vick or Brett Favre. Such recruiting is not mutually exclusive. Regardless, we’re going to need great athletes who are great students, too … so they can be one in the same. Even if we do that, we’re still at a huge disadvantage against App. State, Montana, Delaware, etc.
You can all abuse me now …
List of I-AA/FCS champions:
2010 Eastern Washington
2009 Villanova (14-1)
2008 Richmond (13-3)
2007 Appalachian State (13-2)
2006 Appalachian State (14-1)
2005 Appalachian State (12-3)
2004 James Madison (12-2)
2003 Delaware (15-1)
2002 Western Ky. (12-3)
2001 Montana (15-1)
2000 Ga. Southern (13-2)
1999 Ga. Southern (13-2)
1998 Massachusetts (12-3)
1997 Youngstown St. (13-2)
1996 Marshall (15-0)
1995 Montana (13-2)
1994 Youngstown St. (14-0-1)
1993 Youngstown St. (13-2)
1992 Marshall (12-3)
1991 Youngstown St. (12-3)
1990 Ga. Southern (12-3)
1989 Ga. Southern (15-0)
1988 Furman (13-2)
1987 La.-Monroe (13-2)
1986 Ga. Southern (13-2)
1985 Ga. Southern (13-2)
1984 Montana St. (12-2)
1983 Southern Ill. (13-1)
1982 Eastern Ky. (13-0)
1981 Idaho St. (12-1)
1980 Boise St. (10-3)
1979 Eastern Ky.January 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm #3101
No abuse today. I favor schollies but not for a Natl championship. with a lot of luck maybe we could compete further into the playoffs. It wiil however help us to be much more competitve vs Ivies yearly.January 8, 2011 at 7:47 pm #3103
Stanford, Duke, Vanderbilt…..sure would be nice to be the Northeast version…size doesnt matter as much as having a mission driven focus.January 8, 2011 at 10:00 pm #3104
I with you on that; Colgate should take a shot at image as well. Keep up the pressure for scholarships and let the chips fall where they may as far as the Patriot League is concerned.January 9, 2011 at 5:52 am #3105
Schollies won’t have that much of an impact on transfers from FBS schools because of the academic index/admissions standards. Yes, we may actually get a few who are excellent students and want a shot at starting rather than riding the oak at an FBS school.
And I also agree that we can certainly be more competitive nationally. To be able to compete deeper into the playoffs also means the occasional shot at the whole enchilada, as Colgate had in 2003. In a perfect world, with scholarships, a league comprised of the PL schools, plus Duke, Vanderbilt, Rice, Richmond and Villanova would be a very mission driven conference.January 9, 2011 at 1:37 pm #3106
Actually, I understand that Pat Devlin is also a good student and might have had the academics to be successful at Lehigh. Even with schollies, I don’t see that he would have transferred to Lehigh (although close to home for him also).
It is my belief that football scholarships will help with recruiting in several ways. Our recruiters can talk to students and families with certainty about financial packages, not "submit your info and we’ll see what the financial aid office can do." We can compete for those quality athletes that now choose Harvard, Princeton or Yale because they get a free ride. And we can compete for those top student athletes that choose Delaware, Villanova, William & Mary, etc.
For the most part, I see us getting many of the same kids we now do. But the addition of say a Gino Gordon, a Colin Zynch, an Andrew Samson and Trey Peacock would make a difference. One or two more star players on defense and offense would make a difference.
I agree that winning the national championship is an unlikely goal, but a good goal to have none-the-less. Scholarships will help move toward that goal some, but not a huge amount. What scholarships will do for certain, IMHO, is keep us in parity with the Ivies, superior to the NEC, competitive with the CAA and allow an occasional game with Rutgers, Navy, Temple, Army, maybe even a Duke, Stanford, or Vanderbilt.
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