BETHLEHEM, Pa. – For the third consecutive season, the Lehigh football team has ended the season ranked in both major Division I Football Championship Subdivision polls, both of which were announced Monday. The Mountain Hawks finished the 2012 season ranked 14th in the FCS Coaches Poll and 16th in the Sports Network FCS Top 25.
Lehigh posted its third consecutive ten-win season in 2012 as the Mountain Hawks won their first nine games en route to a 10-1 final record. The Mountain Hawks had an FCS-best 18-game regular season winning streak that included the final nine regular season games of 2011 and the first nine of 2012.
The Mountain Hawks capped their 10-1 regular season with a 38-21 road win against arch rival Lafayette, their fifth straight victory over the Leopards. While Lehigh was denied an at-large berth to the FCS playoffs, the Mountain Hawks join national champion North Dakota State as the only two one-loss teams in the FCS.
North Dakota State captured its second consecutive FCS National Championship with a 39-13 win over Sam Houston State Saturday in Frisco, Texas. The Bison are ranked No. 1 in both polls with the BearKats coming in at No. 2. The top seven teams in both polls were identical, with North Dakota State and Sam Houston State followed in order by Georgia Southern, Eastern Washington, Montana State, Old Dominion and Wofford.
At the end of the regular season, Lehigh was ranked tenth in the Coaches’ poll and 13th in the Sports Network poll. The Mountain Hawks have been mainstays in both polls since November 2010.
Lehigh finished seventh in the final ECAC Lambert Cup Poll. Old Dominion captured the Lambert Cup as the top Eastern team in FCS football. The Monarchs were followed in order by Stony Brook, Towson, Richmond, Villanova and New Hampshire. The Mountain Hawks captured their eighth Lambert Cup following the 2011 season.
The 2012 Mountain Hawks became the tenth Lehigh football team to win ten games. Over the last three seasons, Lehigh has posted an impressive 31-6 record. The Mountain Hawks won back-to-back Patriot League titles in 2010 and 2011 and won their first FCS playoff game in both of those seasons.