Patsy Ratings – Holy Cross’ Class of 2018

In the last two years, Holy Cross has had a lot more moral victories than actual victories.

There was the last-second-almost-win against Lehigh two years ago, 36-35.  There was the almost-miraculous comeback against Harvard, lost in overtime, 41-35.  There were almost wins against Colgate.  Fordham.   The list goes on and on.

For head coach Tom Gilmore, whose Purple Crusaders went 3-9 (1-4), it must be agonizing to see his teams, so close to turning the corner, to just fall short.

The way to rectify the situation, of course, is recruiting.

This recruiting season, did Holy Cross do enough, according to the Patsy Ratings, to start to develop a squad that will start turning these moral victories into actual victories?

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Examining A Figure Skating Rivalry: Tonya and Nancy

It must be very hard for a millennial to understand the fuss around the Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding figure skating scandal in the run-up to the 1994 Olympics.

If you're of a certain age, though - whether you're a figure skating fan or not, and I am decidedly no fan of figure skating - the Shakespearean story of Harding and Kerrigan still engages, and still grabs peoples' attention, twenty years later.

Why, though?  Why, twenty years later, in a sport I care little, does the story still grab me?  Why did I spend time out of my life watching dueling NBC and ESPN documentaries on the subject, and Google multiple stories about Jeff Gilooly, idiot "bodyguards", and the whole sordid affair?

I think it's because the story, even twenty years later, is like opium.

The addictive story, even now, has everything.  Everything.  The woman that fought for everything, perhaps crossing over to the dark side to get her chance at Olypic Gold, vs. the woman who, despite her pleas to the contrary, had a well-financed team behind her, especially in the run-up to the Olympics.

A mysterious crime that still isn't completely solved.  Idiot criminals.  Shakespearean tragedy.  Icy rivalry. Flawed heroes.  Heroic feats of athleticism.  Recovery from tragedy - and a triumph against all odds.  There's even a twist of an ending to the story, mired in the weird politics of figure skating judges.

The real tragedy, though, is in the two women - still trapped in the narrative, twenty years later, perhaps never to fully emerge from it.
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Patsy Ratings – Fordham’s Class of 2018

The big question regarding Fordham going into last year: What on Earth was happening with all of those scholarships?

With a two-year headstart on everyone else, many folks thought that the Lombardis would be stomping on the rest of the Patriot League by the 2012 season - if merit aid would indeed result in FCS championship-caliber teams.

In 2013, head coach Joe Moorhead finally delivered one of those types of teams, delivering an 11-1 regular season record, Fordham's second-ever playoff victory, and a signal to the rest of the FCS of what regular scholarship Patriot League teams might look like in the future.

Yet the success, too, was not completely as it seemed.

Had Fordham been eligible for the Patriot League championship, they would have been no more than co-champions - with their loss to Lafayette, they would have lost the autobid to the Leopards anyway.

And the way they've built their team - as you will see - has not been so much built on Patsy Points, but has been at least partially built... in a way that the Patsy Points does not measure.

With this knowledge, how does Fordham's Patsy point total stack up?

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Patsy Ratings – Colgate’s Class of 2018

It's Year One of the Dan Hunt era for the Colgate Raiders, and, by extension, the first Dick Biddle-less Patsy Ratings class for the Maroons up in Hamilton.

After very high hopes for the Raiders in 2013 - they had the preseason Patriot League offensive player of the year, QB Gavin McCarney, and were picked as the preseason favorites to win the Patriot League's autobid - the Fightin' Biddles suffered through injuries - none huger than the dogging ones to McCarney - to fall to a 4-8 record.

If there's one thing that the HooDoos were able to do in an outstanding way with Biddle at the helm, it's getting quality, Patriot League championship-caliber athletes to play football in the middle of frigid Hamilton.  The Patsy Point system, too, acknowledges this, with the Gate securing a whopping 73 Patsy Points last year.

In Hamilton, Colgate transitions from Biddle (known to Lehigh fans, heretoforth, as "Bobblehead Biddle") to Hunt.  How did Dan Hunt's Patsy class measure up to that of his boss?

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Patsy Ratings – Bucknell’s Class of 2018

We start out our Patsy Ratings for the Class of 2018 with the Bucknell Bison, who finished tied for second last season with a 3-2 conference record and a 6-5 overall tally.

It's the second over-.500 and second six-win season for head coach Joe Susan in three years.

It's also the first time that coach Susan had a winning record in official Patriot League play.  (They also stampeded over Lehigh last season.)

Which leads us to this year's Patsy Ratings.

According to the data, did coach Susan and his staff take their strong finish and translate it into a recruiting class that will shock and awe their Patriot League competition?

Last year, Bucknell finished with a respectable, but not stratospheric, 51 in the Class of 2017 Patsy Ratings for the Bison, which I'll go into below the flip.

According to the numbers, this year's class falls short of this number.

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Recruiting Analysis: The 2014 Patsy Ratings

Once upon a time, there was a legendary Lafayette message board poster called carney, who came up with a way to attempt to rate, in a somewhat unbiased manner, Patriot League recruiting classes.

For years he posted his spreadsheet-based evaluations on the Any Given Saturday message board, and his somewhat dry, humorous description of the methodology and the rating.  For hardcore Patriot League fans, it was an important, must-read part of the offseason.

For the second straight season, his Patsy ratings will be published here at LFN.

In the upcoming weeks, I'll be going through the data and coming up with the rankings.

But before I do, I wanted to recap with a quick blog posting to describe exactly what it is we're doing here.

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The #LehighCommit Virtual Signing Day Gallery

On this icy Wednesday, Division I athletes across the country were signing their National Letters of intent.

Below the flip, find a montage of different National Signing Day pictures from WR Sasha Kelsey, OL Tim O'Hara, LB Cal Coffman, DE Justin Gille, WR Troy Pelletier, OL Kadeem Smith, DL Harrison Johnson, DB Quentin Jones, and - my favorite snapshot of all, to my left - strutting LB Hobson McCain.

(I'll keep adding more signing day pictures to the post as I find them!)


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(Unofficial) Preview of Lehigh Signing Day, 2014

The forecast in Eastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley tonight may call for snow and ice, but that's unlikely to keep a lot of happy families heading to high school libraries and gyms in this area.

That's because tomorrow is National Signing Day, the college football equivalent of Christmas.

Across the country, in some of those high school libraries and gyms, some of those students will be posing with a Lehigh hat next to them, or on their heads, to indicate that they've chosen Lehigh as the place they will be attending college.  (Like rising junior WR Derek Knott, above, a few years ago at his signing day.)

Anticipating an announcement tomorrow, we look back.  What do we know?  How are we doing?  Is the next LB Nigel Muhammad, RB Keith Sherman, FS Tyler Ward or WR Lee Kurfis in this class?

Everything we know thus far will be revealed below the flip.
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Setting Up Your Lehigh Sports Forum Avatar

Here’s how you add your avatar to your Lehigh Sports Forum board posts.

1. Go to http://en.gravatar.com/
2. Sign up using the same email you’ve used to sign up to the Lehigh Sports Forum and verify the address
3. Upload a photo there
4. Crop the photo to the desired size
5. Wait about 10 minutes, then log out, and log back into the Lehigh Sports Forum

Your new avatar should be on your posts!

PS. You don’t strictly have to add an avatar if you don’t want to. If that’s the case, a generated avatar will be associated with your account.