Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Real Season Begins

Columbia prepares to visit Princeton, kicking off their 52nd Ivy League season in what will be a major challenge to this young team.

Remember that:

1) Princeton is the defending Ivy champ. 2006 starting QB Jeff Terrell is gone, and the Tigers stumbled out of the gate with a ugly loss to Lehigh, but they won a very impressive victory over Lafayette last week where they looked very much like last year's great team.

2) Columbia's road woes at Princeton are well-documented. A "Hail Mary" gave the Lions a win over the Tigers in 2003, but before that Columbia hadn't beaten Princeton at Princeton since 1945.

3) This is really the Lions first real "road" trip as the game at Fordham doesn't really count as a game with a long bus trip. Ivy League rules do not allow the Lions to stay overnight at Princeton, so they must travel and play on the same day.

4) Columbia is having serious trouble stopping the run, and Princeton uses a multi-faceted running attack with multiple running backs and a QB in Bill Foran who runs very often as well. It would appear this game plays directly into the Tigers' comfort zone.

I would be shocked if Princeton weren't favored by 10 points or more in this game, but I'm not trying to depress you. The above list was all about making it clear how big a lift for the program it would be for Columbia to take this game.

I don't know if buses will be taking fans down to the game, but there are numerous trains and buses you can take to Princeton from New York City and I urge all of you to make the trip and support the team. This is the Lions' chance to make a huge statement... be there!


At Wed Sep 26, 04:31:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One constant, as you so skillfully extracted from Don Jackson during your half time interview is that we absolutely hate Princeton. In is only a recent phenomenom which has caused at least this poster to hate Penn and Yale even more. Accordingly, a win on the road this Saturday will be truly excellent. If you have the video of the great 1988 game in which we broke the infamous streak the voice-over clearly captures a Princeton player exhorting his teammates by screaming "these guys (Columbia that is) stink". It's time to stick it to them. If we can control the run we will win.

At Wed Sep 26, 08:01:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger dabull said...

I must say the Princeton field looks really sharp in the photos I've seen. I like that it has endzone seating.

At Wed Sep 26, 08:25:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The game will be on SideLion Pass, Jake, co-proprietor.

At Wed Sep 26, 07:33:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger DOC said...

I was surprised to read about the Ivy League rules regarding the trip to Princeton. What purpose does the Bus trip on the morning serve? build character? What other schools are we prohibited from traveling to the night before?

At Wed Sep 26, 08:15:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doc, Princeton isn't exactly a long ways away. Only two Columbia opponents are. It is not remotely even like marching out to the rifle range, you know? It's just a bus ride down the NJTPK.

What I keep in mind most about Princeton, besides the breaking of the streak, is how bad we usually play against them. One of Bob Shoop's worst moments as a coach was his last home game against the Tigers, when among other mishaps as I recall, even an extra point was blocked by Princeton. And his final year, playing away at Princeton, was simply a rout, where even a diehard like myself had to leave early.

Still, they have a lovely facility, it's cheap to get in and they ALWAYS hand out free programs. So I hope it's a good, exciting day down there. But does anyone know why they're starting so "late" in the afternoon? TV commitments, maybe?


At Wed Sep 26, 09:21:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ivy League rules prohibit overnight travel for trips of 90 miles or less. For Columbia, Princeton is the only ivy road school where this rule will apply. This rule applies to all sports not just football. I think the motive is to disrupt the athlete's academic and study time as little as possible and also to save money.

At Wed Sep 26, 10:08:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bus ride to Princeton is not a hardship for our guys. The bus probably goes down in the late morning. Traffic isn't bad on Saturdays. Probably less disruptive than going the night before.


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