Monday, August 25, 2008

News! We're Getting News!

Updates from the Coach!

I am loving the daily updates we've been getting from Coach Wilson at training camp. Hey, I know we're not getting state secrets, (nor should we want any in a public forum), but it does feel like we have a general understanding of what it's like. Everyone responsible for getting this done deserves our thanks.

These kids and coaches are putting in long days in a desperate struggle to get ready for the season before the brutal reality of classes sets in. I don't know how the incoming freshmen handle all the changes, but perhaps the familiarity of working out on a football field is a comfort to them.

Someone told me registration is no longer the Hellish experience it was when I went to Columbia. I just remember terribly long lines and trying to do the math in my head on how much time I needed to get from one class to the next. Going to Columbia is pretty good for your health because you will do some serious walking. I gained a few pounds after graduation without it.

The New York Times published a preview of the Ivy League football season yesterday. Columbia was picked last, which was not a surprise, and neither was the Times' decision to make the season all about Mike McLeod. We news media types love to personalize the story; it makes it easier both for story focus and legwork. But if I were McLeod or a Yale fan I would be worried. The last time the media made and Ivy season about one guy it was Clifton Dawson in 2006, and he and his Harvard Crimson underachieved that year. I would hate to start the season with a giant bullseye on the back of my jersey.

But I am grateful for the Times coverage. I was once told that Ivy football stories get a huge amount of hits on the Times online page when they actually publish them. You'd think that would wake some people up at that paper about giving more coverage to Ivy sports in general, but that would be asking too much. Maybe the ad sales people would be interested. I regularly page through the Times sports section and notice NO ADS... I mean NONE. Today I saw one for the U.S. Open coverage. ONE! I think advertisers wouldn't mind marketing to Ivy grads and their families, though.

Later today, I will bite the bullet and release my own predictions for Ivy football. I will release the basic list of my predicted final standings and then do daily capsules of each team, my predicted 8th place team first and counting backward to the predicted 1st place team.

Game of the Day (Day 26)

October 26, 1996

Columbia 13 Yale 10

Columbia's defense in 1996 was the strongest just about any Lion fan has ever seen. And it was its most dominant in this surprisingly close game against a weak Yale team in front of almost 25,000 fans at the Bowl.

The Lions jumped out to a 10-0 lead at the half on a short field goal by Matt Linit and a bootleg four yard TD run by QB Bobby Thomason, but again, offense was not the story.

On every Yale offensive play, Marcellus Wiley was in the backfield before the play was over. It was the most blatant example of harassment I've ever seen. He finished with seven tackles, four for a loss including two sacks. He also pressured Eli QB Kris Barber into three interceptions. He also blocked a field goal attempt in the first quarter.

On offense Wiley carried the ball seven times out of the wishbone and gained 35 yards.

But the Lion offense got sloppy in the third quarter and let Yale back into the game. A couple of turnovers made it 10-10 going into the fourth quarter.

Both offenses seemed stuck until Columbia put together a drive that did not stall until it reached the Yale 18 with about 2:30 left in the game. From there, Linit hit the 35-yard field goal to give Columbia the victory and a 6-0 record.

The win also made the Lions 3-0 in the Ivies, winning all three games by a total of seven points.


At Tue Aug 26, 01:06:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coach talked about fights during practice on Day 4. Any idea what that was all about? Also, any more news on how the freshman are doing?

At Tue Aug 26, 12:23:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CBS College Sports will televise the Navy-Towson (a Lions' opponent) Sat., Aug. 30, 3:30 ET.


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