My Vote for the FCS Top 25, 10/28/2013

My vote for the FCS Top 25 for the week ending 10/28/2013 follows below the flip.

But first, check out this great picture from Samford WR Chris Cephus after scoring a touchdown in the Bulldogs' 34-27 win over the Wofford Terriers this weekend.  (Photo Credit: Marvin Gentry/MGPhoto.com)

In the SoCon, this game was huge, but what was especially amazing was that the Bulldogs overcame four turnovers, including one interception that was returned by Wofford LB Alvin Scioneaux for a touchdown.

But with a smothering defensive effort from Bulldog LB Jaquirski Tartt (17 tackles) and a big day returning the football by RB Fabian Truss, the Bulldogs moved to 4-0 in SoCon play and put themselves in the drivers' seat in regards to qualifying for the FCS playoffs.
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BREAKING: Brandon Bialkowski To Have Season-Ending Collarbone Surgery

Late on Monday night, senior QB Brandon Bialkowski delivered the news that Lehigh fans feared, but also suspected: that he will be gone for the rest of the year with season-ending collarbone surgery.

It appears that the collarbone was broken so badly that he'll need an iron plate and screws to reconnect it.

The guy we call "BB" got hurt in the game against Bucknell, after leading the Mountain Hawks to a 6-2 record and positioning Lehigh towards another potential Patriot League title.

Thoughts and prayers to him and his family.
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From Dream to "Nightmare" In Three Hours on Saturday

I didn't get much sleep this week.

And when I did get sleep, I had this "nightmare", which I swear on my grandmother's grave is what I had pass through my head this week.

It was a vision of some office - nobody's office, really, just the type of sunny, airy office that only exists in the world of dreams.

In it were Lehigh head coach Andy Coen, offensive coordinator Dave Cecchini, and myself.

Both men were grim.  There were going over game film of a blowout loss to Bucknell.

As each lowlight hit the computer monitor, coach Coen and coach Cecchini would just get angrier and angrier - and would look sideways at me, as if I, somehow, were really to blame.

What was kind of funny was that even though I'd had this psychic dream of Lehigh getting crushed by Bucknell this Saturday, I still didn't believe it could actually happen.

Waking up on Saturday, I saw no reason to believe that my dream would in any way be indicative of what would actually happen.  I actually talked myself out of it - chalking it up to stress, the job, the long season.  Lehigh will win, I told myself.  It's what always happens when Lehigh plays Bucknell.

After all, Lehigh was 6-1, No. 15 in the country, and had just played their best game of the season last weekend against Georgetown.  What could possibly go wrong?

Who are you going to believe, what you've been reading the last nine weeks, or some stupid "nightmare"?
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Lehigh Stampeded by Bison, 48-10

(Photo Credit: Bucknell Athletics)

16 years is a long time to wait for Bucknell to get a league victory over Lehigh.

And on Saturday, the Bison took out 15 years of frustrations on a Lehigh team which was on the back foot from the opening kickoff and never really got back on the right foot.

There's really no other way to describe it: it was a nightmare for the Brown and White.

Freshman RB C.J. Williams stampeded the Lehigh defense for 154 yards, and the Bison would rack up 309 total rushing yards, in a stunning 48-10 win over the Mountain Hawks.
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CFB Week 9 Lehigh Fan Viewing Guide

It's that time of the week where I share with you your weekly Lehigh fan viewing guide for Week 9 of the college football season.  Why go to website after website when all the information you need is right here?

If you are not able to attend the game this weekend at Bucknell you can follow the game from the following sources:


Online Streaming: Patriot League Network (free)

Radio:   ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320

Internet:  Lehighsports.com/ESPNLV.com

After the game, there are a boatload of important games, most which are available via live streams!

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Game Breakdown: Lehigh at Bucknell, 10/26/2013

We break down the Bucknell game - and we give our fearless prediction, below the flip.

When most people think of Bucknell, they tend to think of basketballs, not footballs.

Part of that comes from their upset of Kansas in the NCAA Tournament, the, um, SECOND most talked-about Patriot League upset over a legendary hoops program in the NCAA tournament.

But that's not to say that the folks down Lewisburg way don't care at all about football.

If there is an underrated stadium in the Patriot League it's Christy Matthewson Stadium, named after the hall-of-fame pitcher.  Built in 1924, it was originally named Memorial Stadium to honor all the Bucknellians who had "fought in war", either the Civil War or World War I, and had a "Christy Matthewson Memorial Gateway" in the front to honor the late pitcher, who had recently died from tuberculoisis complications stemming from his time in war.

While Lewisburg isn't, shall we say, a metropolis, it's not out of the realm of possibility that the stadium, which seats 13,100, could approach sellouts once again if Lehigh, Lafayette and Bucknell could both be in the title hunt at the same time.  The Bison have proved this with Sojka Pavillion, as their establishment of a perennial mid-major powerhouse in hoops have provided lots of sellout crowds.
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Game Preview, Lehigh vs. Bucknell, 10/26/2013

"After the halftime speech, this team pulled together and had the will to win this game. They overcame their mistakes. They got back down to it, and did what they needed to do to will this game into the win column. Players stepped up and made plays. Others shook off a rough first half and really stepped up in the second to show the nation what they are capable of doing."

No, those aren't the words of the Sunbury Daily Item sportswriters after Bucknell's 17-14 win over Dartmouth this weekend.

This was a part of my "Sunday Word" after Lehigh, back in 2010,  rallied from a three-score deficit to beat Harvard, 21-19 and - in retrospect, a sentiment shared by myself and head coach Andy Coen, for starters - kicked off the amazing success on the field that the Mountain Hawks have enjoyed ever since.

It's too early to say yet if Bucknell's win, where the Bison defense shut down the Big Green and allowed the Orange and Blue offense to score 17 unanswered points, will have a similar effect on the guys out in Lewisburg, PA.

But there's some indications out in central PA that the Bison are starting to put things together.

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Grambling Forfeit and Protest Puts Spotlight On Plight of HBCUs

(Photo Credit: Shreveport Times via USA Today)

If you're reading this blog, chances are you've enjoyed some college football at some point during this 2013 season, either in person, at an FCS school like Lehigh, or maybe on TV, watching someone like QB Johnny Manziel play in front of 100,000 stadium fans.

If you're like most casual fans, though, you don't think about the number of days it takes for these players to get to gameday and to compete: hot practices in the summer heat, countless hours in the weight room, the training regimen it requires.

This last week, student-athletes at a very small Division I university in Louisiana had looked around at the environment surrounding themselves in regards to their program and facilities and said: enough.

Grambling's situation this season, which led to the strike that caused them to forfeit Jackson State's homecoming game last weekend, is a complicated one.  It's hard to summarize neatly in 500 words or less.

That's because Grambling's problems don't begina and end in the locker room.
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1 on 1 With John Ross Glover

Lehigh Hoops Nation, as part of the continuing effort to get everyone prepared and ready for the ’13-’14 edition of Lehigh Basketball, was fortunate enough to chat with forward John Ross Glover, a transfer from Lipscomb. While he has to sit out this season due to transfer rules, this Q&A should help Mountain Hawk fans get familiar with John Ross. Special thanks to John Ross for taking the time to chat!

Q.) What is your earliest basketball memory?

A.) Definitely the little tikes goal I got on Christmas day (which is also my birthday) when I was 5. Best day ever.

Q.) Where do the athletic genes come from?

A.) I would say my dad. He was a football player. Definitely not my mom (she’ll kill me for saying that). She was a cheerleader. Other than that, I have no idea. I don’t have the most athletic family. I’m unique!

Q.) Was it always a dream of yours to play college basketball?

A.) Yes. I recognized that my passion was this great game of basketball and I always wanted to play at the highest level.

Q.) What led to your decision to transfer to Lehigh from Lipscomb, where you played your freshman year?

A.) It was a combination of academics and basketball. Academically, I didn’t feel I was being challenged enough at Lipscomb. Classes were easy. Some may say that’s the goal! Well, I realized that I want an elite college degree that will open doors for me to go to an elite law school. Lehigh is a tremendous school that challenges its students in every way. Simply put, my former school would not have afforded me the maximum opportunities to be successful after basketball. Then there’s the basketball side of things. My team last year was driven by conflict and rifts between teammates. The culture was just no good and it resulted in lots of losses. I was proud of my personal performances in our games and the amount of hard work I devoted to getting better. However, the type of teammate I was around day in and day out was very disappointing. The comparison of teammate and team unity here at Lehigh is like night and day. Everyone respects each guy on our team as well as genuinely caring for the guy next to him. The guys on our team are “all in” for what it means to be a student athlete at Lehigh. That is something that I am honored to be a part of.

Q.) Due to NCAA rules, you will have to sit out this year, but I’m curious if you have spent any time talking to Jesse about how to best utilize your transfer year?

A.) Yes I have! Jesse and I work out a lot together just because we have very similar work ethics and devotion to the game. Jesse is phenomenally talented and will be extremely successful this year. We have discussed the importance of keeping perspective and being able to motivate yourself when it gets hard. It will be hard but I am confident I will become an even better player this time next year.

Q.) Any specific aspects of your game that you’ll focus on improving the most?

A.) I am focusing on my shooting ability as well as my court vision. This comes from studying film and trying to gain a better basketball IQ. I want to be a player who makes every other player on the floor with me better.

Q.) How has the Lehigh family welcomed you to the team since your arrival on campus in August?

A.) It is indescribable! I feel like I have been here 2 years already instead of 2 months. My teammates are incredible and I enjoy each day I get to spend competing with them. My classes are great and I love the campus life!

Q.) Can you give Lehigh fans a self scouting report on your game?

A.) I love to get out and run the wing. I love playing above the rim and crashing the glass. I can use my athleticism to take defenders off the dribble and also knock down perimeter shots. I take pride in playing harder than the next guy out there. I also take pride in the way I prepare for games.

Q.) What “current” NBA player best describes your style of play?

A.) I just asked my roommate this question and he said Blake Griffin. I don’t think my vertical is quite equal to his yet but I say it’s still a fair comparison. He is a guy who flat out competes and uses his athleticism to score. Plus he has an amazing work ethic and is constantly adding dimensions to his game.

Q.) Tell us about yourself off the court?

A.) Off the court, I am doing one of 3 things: studying, golfing, or watching a movie. I try and carry over my work ethic in basketball to the classroom in hopes of achieving high grades. I love to golf. I don’t know where I picked it up but I just always have. It relaxes me and also has competitive elements. I love movies too. Chances are, you think of a movie, I have seen it. I watch the Oscars and root for my favorites. I would definitely say I am a movie geek!

Thanks again John Ross.

LHN