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.
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.
“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.”
The CSJ writing staff answer the questions many of us have about the beginning of this unprecedented FCS season.
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 National Football Foundation (NFF) highlighted today the more than 310 schools and 35 conferences playing college football this spring at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II, Division III and NAIA levels. FBS independent New Mexico State will also play games this 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
This week, CSJ’s David Mays got a hold of Colgate head football coach Dan Hunt and got his opinion on the most important topic of 2020 – crunchy, or creamy peanut butter? Along the way he also talked about the state of the Colgate football program and the unprecedented challenges of this offseason.
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.
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.
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.
I’m proud to unveil this year’s edition of the Patsy Ratings.
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).
With the first round of the FCS Playoffs now complete, we give you links to all our recaps and our writers’ impression of the games. Monmouth 44, Holy Cross 27 FCS 1st Round Playoffs: Monmouth Overwhelms Holy Cross 44-27 For Hawks First-Ever Playoff Victory Chuck: Monmouth proved they have a balanced offense that can give […]
Monmouth piled up 502 yards of total offense as the Hawks beat Holy Cross 44-27 in the first-ever FCS Playoff appearance for the program and the only head coach they have ever had, Kevin Callahan.
The FCS playoffs are finally here! Enjoy the picks of the staff of the College Sports Journal and find out who we think will win the FCS National Championship.
Though they tripped up against 4-8 Lafayette, behind a strong, young defense the Crusaders pulled off an early upset of New Hampshire early and used their defense to outlast their opponents. If this game is to remain close, Holy Cross will need to make this game a slow-down, field-position battle.
Two-time defending national champion North Dakota State (12-0) tops the bracket as the number one seed after winning the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The Bison are making their 10th consecutive and 15th overall appearance in the championship.
Using the Sagarin ratings from this week alone to project the FCS playoffs, along with the automatic bid for the conferences that receive a bid, the following would be the playoff teams. These teams are seeded 1 through 24 for the 24 teams that make the FCS playoffs. The seven Division I win criteria was […]
The FCS Playoff Committee has a pretty unenviable job this time around in trying to determine the playoff seeds. With a crazy day of upsets of Montana, South Dakota State, Illinois State and others, teams who looked like certain seeds suddenly look like they are going to be practicing on Thanksgiving Day instead.
It is rare that the MVP of the Lehigh/Lafayette game is a kicker, but that’s exactly what happened this afternoon at Murray Goodman Stadium as the Leopards beat their bitter Mountain Hawk rivals for the first time in five years in a 17-16 win.
This season, though, there isn’t the same feeling of continuity that permeated many of these other games. Part of that comes from the fact that, unusually for The Rivalry, both teams are packed with young underclassmen, many of them playing in their first Rivalry ever. Normally, The Rivalry is filled with narratives. This season, it feels like the master narrative is waiting to be written with two teams that, even at this late date, have unknowns.
Going into this game, Lehigh’s defense had a serious challenge on their hands – to stop, or a least slow down, the leading rusher in FCS, Sacred Heart RB Julius Chestnut. For three quarters, they did just that, but in the fourth quarter Chestnut would score a pair of rushing touchdowns to lifted Sacred Heart to a 13-6 victory.
I’ve been doing this FCS Playoff field predictions a very long time now, and it’s been a very strange year. It’s not customary for so many autobids to be in doubt this late in the season. But this week, a lot of results came in that clarified five of the autobids.
It’s highly unusual for Lehigh (4-5, 3-2) and Sacred Heart (6-4, 4-2)to be playing a non-conference game this late in the season, but for both teams, important milestones remain.
Two weeks to go, and how many autobids have been clinched? How about… none?
We are two weeks away from the end of the Patriot League regular season, and there is a very distinct possibility that the winner of the League is going to have a losing record.