DIVISION I-AA: All that stood between Lehigh and the I-AA playoffs last season was Lafayette, its partner in the "most-played" rivalry in college football; they've met 117 times since 1884. Lehigh had beaten Lafayette 32-0 in 1980 and 11 times in the last 13 games. But the Leopards upset the Engineers (10-3) and Lehigh stayed home after two straight years of postseason play. Now the Engineers face a rebuilding year, while Lafayette, which finished with a 9-2 record, comes back strong with Running Back Rodger Shepko, who had 1,280 yards rushing, and six starting returnees from I-AA's No. 3 defense against scoring. That defense features Middle Guard Tony Green, who stands 5'11" and weighs 240 pounds.
Colgate had a 7-3 record, thanks to freshman Quarterback Steve Calabria, who played the position for only two years in high school. Looking toward the Red Raiders' meeting with Syracuse on Oct. 30, a 91-year rivalry that was resumed only last year after a 20-year hiatus ( Syracuse had won the previous 11 games when the series was suspended in 1961), Coach Fred Dunlap promises, "The sun will set Maroon, not Orange, on that day."
Lefty Rick Scully is the quarterback at Delaware, which led I-AA in scoring with 34.1 points a game. His immediate predecessors—Jeff Komlo and Scott Brunner—both play in the NFL. With 18 starters back—10 of them from the defense that allowed just three yards per rush in '81—the Blue Hens should make it to the playoffs for the seventh time in 10 years.
Tennessee State went 9-2 and gained the I-AA playoffs behind the passing of Brian Ransom, who was No. 2 in I-AA in passing efficiency with a 59% completion average and 2,873 yards. The Tigers have 15 starters back, but the best news is that Coach Big John Merritt is in good health. Merritt, whose 215-64-9 record puts him behind only Eddie Robinson and Bear Bryant on the list of winningest active coaches, was treated last November for an erratic heartbeat, diagnosed as being caused by hypertension.
IVY PRETENDER: Last fall Holy Cross came within a point (a 29-28 loss to co-champion Yale) of the de facto Ivy League title. The Crusaders were 4-1 against the Ivies, beating Harvard (33-19), the other co-champion Dartmouth (28-0), Brown (34-24) and Columbia (14-7).