Excessively Feeling The Panthers’ Pain

I love the NCAA tournament, usually.

I play in the office pool, but more than just that, I emotionally get involved with the games.  Yes, that's not an exaggeration.  Emotionally involved.  I stand up and yell at the TV set for teams located in places I've never visited, becoming hoarse for schools I didn't attend, cheering for Cinderellas I didn't know existed a month before.

Like most of America, I have fallen in love with the underdog narrative - the plucky, underdog story we've all seen in Hoosiers and Little Giants and countless good, bad, and terrible sports movies over the last fifty years.

And as a fan of my alma mater, Lehigh, I guess I live this underdog story on a near-daily basis.  Lehigh is almost always the "smaller school" in all their NCAA athletics contests, whether it's wrestlers going against the semi-pros of Penn State and Iowa, or the football team going against the 100+ scholarshipped players of Yale or Princeton.

That has to be why, after standing up through two overtimes, yelling at my TV and imploring a bunch of college athletes I do not know to somehow take down one of the richest schools of the country, I felt sick.
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The Patriot League vs. The World: Comparing All The FCS Recruiting Classes

For the last few years, "the commitee" and I have compiled the Patsy Ratings, an attempt to evaluate the incoming football classes of the Patriot League.

It's clearly "for entertainment purposes only," an effort to try to take a look at whether a schools' recruiting needs are met, whether they've secured the playing services of a lot of recognized talent, and whether some of their measurables look good.

However, I frequently find myself wanting the Patsy Ratings to do more.  For example, how did the Patriot League as a whole do in comparison to other FCS schools?  Did the Mountain Hawks crush their FCS competition?  Or was the actual picture different?

Without, say, an equivalent James Madison Football Nation willing to make these Patsy-like evaluations of the incoming classes of other FCS schools, there was no real good way to make that type of comparison.

However, my curiosity got the better of me.  "There must be a way," I thought, "to at least be able to see how the different schools stack up against other schools in different conferences, even if it's not as good or as thorough as the Patsies."

I found out that there was.
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The 2016 Patsy Ratings: No. 1 – Lehigh

The Committee member popped the DVD in the player once again.  "The Top 25 Moments in Murray Goodman history."

"What'cha doin'?", another Committee member said.

"In a way, I hate this time of year," she said.  "With the Patsy Ratings done, all we have left to get us through the offseason are all these videos.  Sure, there's spring football, of course, but fall always feels so far away in March."

"Is that a VHS copy of Colgate beating Florida Atlantic in 2003?  Didn't Howard Schnellenberger order that all surviving copies of that game be destroyed?"

"That was a heck of a find," she said.  "Apparently they were cleaning up some house in Ithaca and the kids were going to throw out an old shopping bag filled with videos.  Incredibly, they found it, along with rare footage of Cornell playing a competitive game with Colgate."

"Do we have any Yuenglings in the fridge?"

"Sure.  Pull up a chair.  The 1991 Holy Cross/Lehigh showdown is on."

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