Established in 1936 as the "Lambert Trophy" to recognize supremacy in eastern college football, the award has since grown to recognize the best team in the East in Divisions I-A. The Lambert Cup will be awarded to Divisions I-AA, II and III teams.
To be eligible for the Lambert Trophy, a school must be located in the East or play half of its schedule against eligible Lambert teams. The territory includes New York, New Jersey, New England and Pennsylvania while teams in the bordering states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia and the District of Columbia qualify if half of their schedule features eligible teams.
While Boston College has joined the ACC and will not play at least half of its games against Lambert Meadowlands teams, by virtue of its location in Massachusetts it continues to be eligible. This same principle also applies to Temple and Buffalo, which both enter the Mid-American Conference. Although their schedules are not comprised mostly of other Lambert teams, both institutions are located in the East and both remain eligible.
Conversely, while Cincinnati, Louisville, and South Florida are not located within the East, but because they joined the BIG EAST this summer and will thus play at least half of their games against Lambert teams, they are now eligible.
The ECAC will conduct the weekly poll in each of the four divisions and the final poll distributed in early January will determine the trophy winners. The teams will be presented with their awards at the Eastern College Football Awards Banquet on Tuesday, February 7 at the Pegasus Restaurant at the Meadowlands Sports Complex.
Boston College received the Lambert Meadowlands Trophy presented with the ECAC in Division I-A. 2005 National Champion James Madison received the Lambert Meadowlands Cup in Division I-AA while West Chester University and Rowan University were presented the Lambert Meadowlands Teams of the Year presented with the ECAC in Divisions II and III, respectively.
Four separate panels of media, one in each division, participate in a weekly poll. Playoffs and bowl games are including in the polling.