Category Archives: Liberty

Like A Zombie, The WAC Could Indeed Rise from the Dead

Recently, I wrote an entire article about how the way the NCAA allows schools to become FBS is broken.

It turns out I had no idea exactly how broken until I was guided towards the Idaho Vandals Football Consultant report, helpfully posted in full on the University of Idaho's website.

In that report, one of the possible avenues that Idaho was mulling over was to join the WAC.

I was confused - the WAC had stopped sponsoring FBS football long ago, a couple of years after then-commissioner Karl Benson finished his uncanny impersonation of Baghdad Bob in regards to saving FBS football for that conference - only to leave his job to take over at the Sun Belt Conference.

But it turns out, after a fresh read of the NCAA rulebook, it is indeed true.

Like a bad horror movie, the zombified WAC football conference could indeed resurrect itself - and, in the process, shows how royally screwed up this system of FCS and FBS movement really is.
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Idaho’s Return To Big Sky Shows How Broken FBS Membership Is

People rightfully can paint me as an FCS football fan.  I love Football Championship Subdivision, the section of Division I where Lehigh and the rest of the Patriot League competes.  I find the quality of the games tremendous, and the emphasis on football and competition as the exact right balance.

From that fact, some might also think I'm performing cartwheels around my office now that the University of Idaho, after they were unceremoniously cast out of the Sun Belt as football-only members, have decided that their only choice to retain football is to join the rest of the Big Sky in sponsoring football at the FCS level, starting in 2018.

You'd be wrong about that.

What Idaho's decision really should be telling us is that the process for switching subdivisions is a senseless, conference-driven exercise that forces schools into making tough decisions that they shouldn't be forced to make.
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My FCS Top 25 Vote, Week 6: 10/12/2015

If you'd like, you can check out my FCS Top 25 vote below.

People around the country are starting to understand that James Madison is a pretty damn good FCS football team.

At 6-0, they bear little resemblance to the team that squeaked by 3-8 Lehigh last season.  The lowest offensive point total they put together in a game was 38 - versus Stony Brook, who could be a playoff team.  QB Vad Lee is firing on all cylinders, just showed up in Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd, and the Dukes faithful may be getting a look from College Football Gameday in a few weeks.

After they made mincemeat of Lehigh in Week 2, I knew they were good.  But I didn't really know how good until they got into the league portion of the schedule.  They pounded Towson 51-30 last weekend, and they will in all likelihood go 7-0 after their trip to 2-4 Elon this weekend.  I've had them at No. 1 the past three weeks or so, and they've amply justified my pick.

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FBS’ Problems With Mixing Religion And Football

When most people think of the University of Notre Dame, they generally think of three things, and not necessarily in this order: Catholicism, academics, and football.

Nobody questions the role that football has at Notre Dame.   Football was what allowed the South Bend, Indiana school to grow from a growing Catholic university to a national, iconic institution.

But what allowed Notre Dame to become Notre Dame was a path that isn't available to religious institutions today.

Much virtual ink has been spilled about the effects of collegiate realignment, how some conferences have been torn asunder, how some schools are stuck in places that don't make sense, how other conferences are receiving piles of money that would make Scrooge McDuck envious.

But one of the biggest losers in this conference-driven realignment is the idea of independent football-playing schools, either loosely-tied or untied from the conference structure that drives the bus today.

When realignment articles come out today, floating schools like BYU or Liberty as potential conference-mates for schools like Texas or Old Dominion, they ignore the issue that they dare not speak publicly - mixing religion and football is not something they're comfortable doing.


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LFN Players of the Week for CCSU/Lehigh, And The Two-Minute Drill

(Photo Credit: David DiFrancesco/Brown and White via the Express-Times)

Here at LFN, I'm always looking for something to keep things fresh, and this year the plan is to keep things fresh by combining the "LFN Players of the Week" with something new: the two-minute drill.

In the past, I used to have a "press roundup" with links to all the recaps and interesting articles that would emerge concerning Lehigh football.  In a world without Twitter and Facebook, this type of content curation was great not only for people who liked my blog, but for me, too, when wanting to refer back to a particularly memorable game or moment.

But we live in a world of Twitter and Facebook now.  I can post links to the recaps on my Facebook page, my Twitter feed, and they can even be pulled into a type of newspaper delivered to your email called Paper.li.  All are great tools, all feature content that I myself read, and, frankly, are the way people consume news now.

But that doesn't mean the "Press Roundup" is now worthless.  It will be the place where I empty out my notebook from the prior week, take a look ahead at next week's opponent, and maybe even something completely different.  We'll see how it all goes.

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CFB Week 1: Your Weekend Lehigh Fan Viewing Guide

More and more, college football is becoming more of a lifestyle than a diversion.

The experiences are more immersive; college football days don't just take place on one day a week, it's a three, or sometimes four, day weekend.  It involves tailgates.  Parties.  Maybe a night out.

Most importantly, there are games on TV - or, now, the internet - all the time.  There are literally hundreds of matchups available to watch, or stream, every day of the Experience Weekend.  Whether you watch it a home, your butt firmly on the couch, or out with friends, it's becoming an all-encompassing affair.

Who will cut through all the channels showing Godspell, or Robinson Crusoe, and point you to where the Week 1 Experience Weekend games are being broadcast?

More to the point, where's a Lehigh football fan - old or new - to start?

The answer is - of course - you come here.  You've come to the right place.

Starting on Thursday, there are plenty of football games available to enjoy that involve scouting future Lehigh opponents, interesting Top 25 matchups, or simply good weekend football games.  And below the flip, you'll be able to get all the information you need.  Bookmark this post, and you won't need to go anywhere else.
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Players of the Week and Press Roundup, Lehigh at Liberty

While it was a bit disappointing to hear from the Lynchburg News-Advance's Chris Lang that their paper didn't bring a photographer to the Liberty game that evening - the more to take of the eminiently less exciting Bowling Green/Virginia Tech blowout, even though former Lehigh assistant coach Dave Clawson was there, coaching the Falcons - it did allow me to make my own pictures of the action.  My two Facebook albums of the tailgating and action, #1, and #2, are linked.

Below the flip, find my choices for Players of the Week, and a list of the other recaps of the game from around the internet.

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Sunday’s Word: Rodeo

A few years ago, I got to go to my first "rodeo".

In our family trip to Yellowstone park, my wife, son, and I took a long side trip to Cody, Wyoming to experience something that everyone ought to experience at least once in their lifetimes.

I remember it well - the clowns, team roping, bull riding, the works.  The crowd was encouraged to participate, and you couldn't help yourself after a while: you had to, somehow, show your appreciation for the displays of ability that were going on.

I thought back on that "rodeo" a lot when I flew down to Lynchburg, Virginia to take in the Lehigh football game.  It was a lot more packed than the "rodeo" I went to in Cody - there's a lot more money in Liberty University than there is in "rodeos" - but, like the show I saw in Wyoming, it wasn't just a football game, it was a spectacle.
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Lehigh 28, Liberty 26, Final

Down 20-14, and facing a critical 3rd-and-1 on the Liberty 38, Lehigh needed a big play.

And in a big spot, senior QB Michael Colvin delivered.

Fading back to pass, Colvin instead accelerated past the hole that senior C Tom Ruley and senior OL Vinny Pelligrini opened up, and saw nothing but green turf and white-shirted blockers in front of him.

It didn't seem like a big thing at the time during the pregame when it was announced that Pellegrini and sophomore OL Matt Douglas would be switched on the depth chart as first-team right and left guards. 

But in a game that seemed like it was going to turn on one or two big plays, it was one of the big plays for Lehigh, who took the game by the horns in that huge 68 yard TD run, riding the wave to a huge 28-26 win over Liberty in Lynchburg, Virginia.
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