Category Archives: NEC

Lehigh At Wagner Game Preview: Two Teams Battling Their Own Curses

Lehigh has never played Wagner in football, despite the fact that the schools are separated only by an hour and a half drive and that the institutions both sponsor FCS football in an area of the country where nearby opponents are sometimes hard to come by.

Long-time Patriot League fans might remember Wagner as legendary Lafayette head coach Bill Russo's coaching stint before he came to Easton to coach the Leopards for an 18 year stretch from 1981 to 1999. 

Back in those days, Wagner was a Division III school, playing local schools like Iona, Pace, Seton Hall and Fordham, during a time when it was OK to field a Division III football program and a Division I athletics program (this is something that is no longer allowed today).

Since then, though, many Lehigh fans may not know that much about Wagner College, the Seahawk football program, and their ascent to becoming, eventually, and FCS playoff team.


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Know Your 2017 Opponents: Wagner

Most of the teams on Lehigh's football schedule have become so familiar that it seems like they are on the Mountain Hawk football schedule every single season.  Ivy League teams, Villanova, Monmouth... to anyone following Lehigh football over the last decade, they are names fans have heard of.

Not so Wagner.

That's nothing against the Seahawks, who have played many Lehigh opponents in the last five years (Lafayette, Central Connecticut State, Monmouth, Georgetown, Holy Cross, and Colgate in the FCS Playoffs in 2012).

But, strangely for a school so close to Bethlehem, Wagner has never played Lehigh in football.  That will change this season, when the Mountain Hawks travel to Staten Island to compete in their only night game of the year.
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FCS Games You Should Follow On Your Bye Week

Lehigh's bowl game comes next weekend, of course, as they take on Lafayette in the 152nd meeting of The Rivarly in Easton.  After that bowl game, though, comes the FCS playoffs, and until the FCS Playoff Bracket is announced on Sunday at 11:00 AM after the Lafayette game, we don't know where, or when, Lehigh will play their playoff game.

Don't fret, football fans.  LFN is here with a warm cup of chicken noodle soup, a nice grilled cheese sandwich with the crusts cut off, and a schedule, complete with links, involving the most important FCS games on the schedule that will impact Lehigh's postseason schedule the most.

Sit back.  Enjoy your soup.  LFN's here to help you for this Saturday.
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New to the FCS Playoffs? Here’s What Lehigh Fans Need To Know

For us Patriot League diehards, we know what the FCS playoffs are all about.  We know who's in line for the autobid, we know who the No. 1 teams are, and we have a pretty good idea about who can get in, and why.

But you, dear Reader, might not be as dialed into the FCS playoff scene as the rest of us.  You know that Lehigh will be practicing on Thanksgiving, and will be playing a football game after the 152nd meeting on the gridiron between Lehigh and Lafayette.

In the span of one blog post, let me tell you, new or old Lehigh fan, what you need to look for in regards to the FCS playoffs.


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My Vote for the FCS Top 25, 10/25/2016

You didn't ask for them, but here's my pick for this week's FCS Top 25.

"Back to Normal" seems to be the theme of this week's Top 25, with my top 9 unchanged from last week.

The biggest team to fall in my poll was definitely Montana, whose 45-34 defeat to Northern Arizona was even more resounding than the final score might indicate.  The Lumberjacks in this one held a 45-20 advantage before letting up two touchdowns at the end of the game.

The Griz have frankly underwhelmed all year to me, allowing a team like St. Francis (PA) to hang around for no good reason, running up the score against hapless competition like Mississippi Valley State and Sacramento State.  With their second loss to a Big Sky opponent and nothing all that impressive in their schedule, it was an easy call to drop them more than 10 points in my poll.
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My FCS Top 25, 10/4/2016

You didn't ask for them, but here's my pick for this week's FCS Top 25.

This week's candidate for the LFN Top 25 curse?  Sacred Heart, with Colgate a very close second, but there were a lot of teams in the lower reaches of my Top 25 that suffered defeat, in a list that includes Fordham, Southern Utah and (again) William and Mary, who suffered a second straight crushing defeat in two weeks, this time at the hands of New Hampshire.

Never in a million years did I ever think Tennessee State, Cornell and North Carolina A&T would simultaneously be in my Top 25, yet there they are.

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My FCS Top 25, 9/27/2016

You didn't ask for them, but here's my pick for this week's FCS Top 25.

(Photo Credit: Elon Athletics)

Let's see, are there any other teams I can curse into losses this week?

Last time I was here, I was extolling the virtues of William and Mary and Stony Brook in this space.  This week?  Um, not so much.

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Game Preview: Central Connecticut State at Lehigh, 9/7/2013

(Photo Credit: Lauren Gordon/The JMU Breeze)

You gotta give credit to head coach Jeff McInerney and the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils - they won't back down from anybody.

A week after taking on nationally-ranked James Madison in their home opener last weekend, CCSU turns their bus to Bethlehem to visit Murray Goodman Stadium.

The Blue Devils, who struggled to a 2-8 season last year, are hoping that the old football adage is true that you improve the most from Game 1 to Game 2.

That's how they hope to break up a three-game losing streak dating from last season.
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Know Your 2013 Opponents: Monmouth

(Photo Credit: Monmouth Athletics)

In a way, you really have to feel for the football players of the Monmouth football program.

A year ago today, Monmouth was preparing for a season where the Hawks were going to be in competition for the NEC title.

A challenging schedule beckoned, with a trip to nationally-ranked Lehigh and Rhode Island of the CAA heading to Kessler field, but there was a battle with teams like Albany, and nearby rival Wagner, for the NEC championship and an autobid to the FCS playoffs.

But many had no way of knowing that Realignmentaggeddon would hit the Hawks, having them leave their longtime home, the NEC, and in the process find the Hawks scrambling for a new conference home.

It might have even come about thanks to the Patriot League.
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Know Your 2013 Opponents: Central Connecticut State

"With a newly-revamped Arute Field,", I wrote last season, "which will be able to hold upwards of 6,500 fans, Central Connecticut State will be looking to one message on their home opener against the Mountain Hawks September 8th: that they have arrived."

This year, the Blue Devils repay Lehigh the favor, serving as the Mountain Hawks' home opener in the first weekend of their football season on September 7th.

So what can we expect from the Blue Devils this season?

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