Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Crystal Ball

Worth Reading?

It's early July, and that means it's time to check the college football preview magazines for their 2007 season predictions.

Unfortunately, a lot of magazines that used to do some material on the Ivy League don't bother anymore. And the most valuable of them all, Phil Steele's, is one of those without anything more than the Ivy League schedules.

I also used to like the Sporting News preview issue because it often featured some funny writing and nice pictures. But it dumped Ivy coverage about 8-9 years ago.

But perhaps the loss in quantity has been replaced by a little upgrade in quality. Athlon's Eastern College Preview Issue, (Ivy content not available online), includes what I thought was an excellent preview by Trenton Times reporter Craig Haley.

Here's how Haley picked the Ivies this year:

1) Yale

2) Penn

3) Harvard

4) Princeton

5) Cornell

6) Columbia

7) Brown

8) Dartmouth

Street & Smith's preview issue put Steve Silverman on the Ivies, (I think Steve writes for some internal Princeton publications), and his analysis seemed a little less in depth, but still good.

Here's how he sees it:

1) Yale

2) Princeton

3) Harvard

4) Penn

5) Cornell

6) Columbia

7) Dartmouth

8) Brown

Jake's Take: First of all, buy the issues if you can because you're not going to find as much written about Ivy football offline until next year.

But I think it's highly foolish to pick the league before training camp starts. There are more than 3-4 key players league-wide who are coming off injuries and we really won't know where they are until then.

But they both do a much better job than a lot of the publications of the past when it comes to listing each team's strengths and weaknesses. Yes, there are some errors and omissions, but not many. These guys know the league pretty well.

Now let's talk about where they're picking Columbia. I'm not angry to see us chosen for 6th. Picking Columbia for last is really a default position year after year for these guys, and by not picking us 8th or even 7th, it's obvious they see something different this time around. It's a significant upgrade no doubt about it.

Haley points out our big improvement on defense, but I think he worries too much about the graduating seniors. Silverman notes our big time momentum.

I don't want to give away my own very lengthy predictions due out in about 6 weeks, but I think both of these guys are on the money by choosing Yale to win the league.

Tad's Progress

I have one slight alteration to make on Tad Crawford's first CFL game for the British Columbia Lions Thursday night at Toronto. He did indeed get a tackle on special teams. So Tad is "on the board" as they say. Tad and the Lions have their home opener this Friday night against Edmonton.

For Junkies Only

I hesitate a bit before posting this link, but I can't help myself. Check out this very extensive list of football and basketball video files compiled by some Penn fans. I find some of the old video especially interesting, even though it's almost all Penn highlights. The idea that I can see Don Jackson throw a pass at Franklin Field in 1970, even if it is an interception, is great. And you gotta love the very thick New York accents of just about every Penn student broadcaster from the 70's and 80's.

The video of the old Columbia basketball gym from the 1953 game, (the final shot is of Jack Rohan heaving a ball downcourt), is also great to see. I especially liked seeing our chubby all-male cheerleading squad.

And if it's any consolation, the highlights from the CU-Penn football games from 1995 and 1996 may be ugly, but we ended up winning both of those contests.

And it's great to hear and see the sounds and sites of Ivy football from years past. If similar video and audio files for Columbia highlights exist anywhere, it would be great to see them.


At Wed Jul 04, 08:07:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No reason for Columbia fans to waste their time reading anything other than Jake's Roar Lion Roar and Who cares what some guys from Trenton, Princeton, Boston or Philly have to say about our chances. Last year, Soccerbuzz Magazine suggested that our women's soccer team had the worst recruiting class in the Ivy League. It turned out that our frosh were terrific and the Columbia Women's Soccer Team won the Ivy League Championship! These magazine predictions mean zilch.

At Wed Jul 04, 09:05:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

would be great if the Lions fans could have a website like Penn's where old video and audio can be seen.

Jake - perhaps that could be an off-shoot of your blog.

At Wed Jul 04, 09:26:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

I actually thought the forecasts were pretty good this time. The reason was they focused on individual players and avoidee the hyperbole.

As for video files... I suspect there are plenty of videos of Lions games around somewhere. I also suspect that there hasn't been anyone out there with the time to log them and put them online.

It might make for a great summer project for a student with someone who knows the sports history of the program well to guide them.

At Wed Jul 04, 06:15:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We play Yale at home this year; huge revenge factor due to Jack's gutless and classless last second TD and show boating by the idiot tailback who somersaulted into the end zone. Yale will fall.

At Wed Jul 04, 06:33:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have a link to the full text for hte articles?
The SideLion pass is pretty good for game day coverage if you can't make it to the games this year!

At Thu Jul 05, 10:48:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up on the College preview mags. Some good info on our upcoming opposition and got a surprise when I got to C U and found my son's name in both articles,so some scrapbook stuff there.
Can you tell us when you'll know for sure about your announcing gig?
Love your blog,
4th and ten

At Fri Jul 06, 12:28:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

4th and 10:

My top-level skills as a detective have helped me figure out who your son is, and while I will not divulge his identity here, I just want to say "thanks" for sending him to Columbia.

As for the radio thing; there will be an announcement shortly.

At Fri Jul 06, 12:29:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

I'm sorry I don't have a link for the full articles, I believe they are in the print editions only. I guess they figure we Ivy fans have the cash to pay for it.


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