Reading the entire 52 page decision, including the majority opinion written by Judge Neil Gorsuch and concurring opinion by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, one thought repeatedly returns to my mind: What the hell was the NCAA thinking?
Holy Cross survived a season of long COVID pauses and a chaotic schedule the same place they were at the conclusion of the 2019 football season – Patriot League Champions. This time, however, they ended with a perfect 3-0 record.
After watching and following all spring, here’s my prediction of who’s in and who’s out of the FCS Playoff bracket this spring. The selection special is at 11:30 AM Sunday and will be unveiled on ESPNU.
No matter when the game is played, when Lafayette and Lehigh get together on the gridiron, it almost always seems to be close and come down to a few plays.
This April, the same weekend as The Masters, Lehigh and Lafayette will be playing the first-ever Rivalry football game in the spring, a most atypical 156th meeting in the most-played college football game that’s simply called “The Rivalry”.
When you look at it in terms of the development of this team – and how this leads into next fall – there’s a lot more positives to draw than a normal fall season when the team is 0-2.
Two Ethan Torres FGs, one 26 yards, and one 24 yards, were enough to put the Bucknell Bison atop the Patriot League South Division, shutting out Lehigh at Murray Goodman Stadium 6-0.
An already-crazy Patriot League season still had some craziness left to reveal this week, as the 156th meeting between Lafayette and Lehigh was postponed due to a Tier 1 exposure in the Lafayette program.
In a way it’s fitting during this strange season that two of the teams playing this weekend are in their season openers, while their opponents are coming off of two weeks off after winning their openers. It is a byproduct of this crazy Patriot League spring, and results in two fascinating games that are basically playoff games. And with no game film on Bucknell or Fordham, it feels like anything can happen.
In a way, the opening drive which ended with zero Lehigh points summed up the entire afternoon.
BETHLEHEM, PA – The Holy Cross Crusaders beat the Lehigh Mountain Hawks 20-3 at Murray Goodman Stadium in the first college football game contested by both schools in over 450 days.
It is uncharted waters for both teams, with plenty of questions to answer playing an unprecedented Patriot League spring football season. But many of the principal contributors in that 24-17 game more than a year ago in Bethlehem will be suiting up tomorrow.
For this Lehigh team, who has gone through this unique journey back to playing games that count, it feels like this weekend is almost as much a celebration of what football means to them as much as it is a Patriot League conference game against Holy Cross at Murray Goodman Stadium at noon this Saturday.
It’s been a very, very long wait, but this weekend, finally, we have a weekend of Patriot League football to look forward to.
On February 1st, Northeast Conference Commissioner Noreen Morris announced revised regular season competition and NEC Championship formats for fall-to-spring, winter and spring sports, which included football.
“I’ve been very impressed with the enthusiasm and attitude across the board,” Lehigh head coach Tom Gilmore told me. “Getting the opportunity to be on the field and to be working towards competitive opportunities has really motivated everyone. It just feels different out there this semester. There’s an excitement in the air whenever we’re on the field.”
Five players including RB Quay Holmes from East Tennessee State, RB Pierre Strong Jr. from South Dakota State, QB Cameron Burston from Tarleton State, Devon Krzanowski from North Dakota, and Hayden Olsen from Tennessee Tech have been selected as the College Sports Journal All-Stars for the week ending Dec. 14, 2020 from the NCAA Division I FBS Group of Five schools.
It was supposed to be the triumphant return of FCS football competition, this time in the spring. The MEAC tried very hard, ingeniously, to celebrate an anniversary football season, even pushing it to the spring of 2021. But in the end, it couldn’t be saved.
Today, the Patriot League was the final FCS football conference to unveil their spring competition schedule to the public, as a part of their release announcing the schedules of twenty-two different sports being contested in the spring.
The signing day celebrations sometimes came with masks, but that didn’t make them any less important or meaningful to a group of athletes that have had a senior year like no other.
At the campuses at Lehigh and Lafayette, and the communities that surround them, there is a void in the third week in November, that most are trying to fill with virtual Rivalry activities and hope for a spring football season, making it not a cancelling of The Rivalry, but merely a delay to contest the game when it’s safer to have a more normal gameday experience.
On Tuesday, Lehigh University temporarily suspended training and practices for all sports programs after several Lehigh students tested positive for the coronavirus.
In 2006, I wrote two pieces for the website I-AA.org about a Fordham/Columbia game I attended. The two crosstown Rivals competed for an actual cup, the “Liberty Cup”, and it was a 9/11 themed rivalry game for a time.
For months, fans, players, and Lehigh football head coach Tom Gilmore knew that this game wasn’t going to happen on this day. But Gilmore is trying to make the best of a difficult situation.
I have five burning questions on the issue that might help to give clarity on what a spring season for the Patriot League might look like.
On August 29th, 2020, the Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff will be kicking off in Montgomery, Alabama, despite the risks of doing so.
Playing a radically shortened season of six “regular-season” games would allow for most teams to only have a season that is marginally longer than what they would do for spring practices. And from those games, it is possible to come up with an FCS Championship.
Despite the bungling and mismanagement of the NCAA, President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors, they still have one final chance to get on the right side of history and submit to reality.
Emmert’s long silence about the subject of FCS football was broken today, where he showed himself to be as equally ignorant as he is unable to stick up for the athletes ostensibly under his charge.
Hope is not a strategy, and the truth is any form of national strategy has failed in an effort to have college football this fall. In a community like the Lehigh Valley, it’s a crushing loss to the coronavirus.
Anyone who wants to know why we won’t have college football this fall ought to sit in on their local school board meeting to understand exactly why.
The Patriot League’s dilemmas, whether the rest of FCS admits it or not, is the FCS’ dilemmas. And as we inch closer to an alleged 2020 college football season, the NCAA needs to make some things very clear before a huge mess happens.
The writing has been on the wall for months, but many seem unable or unwilling to accept what is now reality. The college football season will not be starting on time, if it happens at all.
If these are the only two plans that are actively being considered by the Ivy League, it means that, effectively, all out-of-conference games involving Ivy League opponents are cancelled for the fall.
The challenges of reopening fall sports is still very considerable, to put it mildly, but the Patriot League president’s statement seemed to move the conversation forward as to what fall sports might realistically look like.
The Patriot League Office announced on Monday guidance regarding the 2020 fall competition, a list of principles to “guide the development of a Patriot League 2020 Athletics Plan.”
The only possible explanation as to why college football has undertaken such a fairy-tale response to this pandemic is that Willy Wonka is running this show for the NCAA and the schools of the Power Five.
Sixty student-athletes in the NCAA Division I Football’s Championship Subdivision have been named to the 2020 College Sports Journal Preseason FCS All-America Team.
In my opinion, there is a lot of recklessness out there, with plenty of blame to go around.
Lehigh head coach Tom Gilmore will be the first person to tell you that he’d prefer to have a regular spring assessment season for his football team.
Though it might not be the time to make definitive plans to tailgate at Michigan/Ohio State this November, the latest news on mitigation strategies for COVID-19 inform potential strategies on trying to form answers some of the big questions still out there.
In the past, college football has survived through outbreaks of disease and mass disruptions, and how the sport handled those circumstances provide a possible roadmap to a late post-COVID-19 football season. Looking to the past, how could we adapt that to today?
It was the weekend of March 8th where a slew of institutional decisions were made that really put Ms. Heppel on high alert.
It was an historic week that nobody could have foreseen.
Entering the Big South conference as the 2 seed behind Radford, the Highlanders’ stunning loss to Hampton in the semis meant the Eagles hosted the Pirates in the Big South Championship game, handling Hampton 76-68 to capture its 12th Men’s Basketball title.
If the Big 10 and the Power 5 have their way, however, the Trey Lance’s of the world won’t be sticking around at FCS schools like North Dakota State for very long.
I’m proud to unveil this year’s edition of the Patsy Ratings.
The Tigers were dominant all season and got here by winning the SEC Crown by defeating Georgia and by boat racing Oklahoma in the CFP Semifinal. Coach Ed Orgeron has put together a team that has been very good on both sides of the ball.
Patriot League Women’s Basketball conference play continues this week with five games on Wednesday, January 8, four on Saturday, Jan. 11 and one on Sunday, January 12. This week features 10 women’s basketball games around the Patriot League with all 10 on the Patriot League Network (PLN).
Tennessee will look to cap the 2019 season with its sixth straight win as the Volunteers take on Indiana in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl. The Big Orange are playing in their first bowl game since the 2016 Music City Bowl.