Friday, November 21, 2008

History in the Making

Brown Stadium and Yale Bowl are the only remaining Ivies with natural grass

If you're a fan of Ivy League Football, I'd say there's a 99.99999% chance you're also a history fan. You know, the kind of guy or gal who watches the History Channel, The American Experience on PBS, and you don't miss The NFL's Greatest Games on ESPN2, (holy God, that is a good show! And the sooner they make more of those... especially more of the NFL playoff games from the 70's and 80's, the better).

Brown is on the verge of making history tomorrow as the Bears could win their fourth-ever Ivy title, their second-ever solo title... or they could finish out of the winner's circle entirely. Another subplot is the current seniors in Providence could be the first Brown football players to ever win more than just one title. This is truly a historic turnaround for what had traditionally been one of the basement teams in the Ivies.

But Columbia can make history too. In addition to being in the prime position to play the spoiler, the Lions can win three league games for the first time in five years and finish in the middle of the Ivy pack after being picked by everyone to come in dead last.

Columbia can finish all alone in 5th place if they win and:

-Penn beats Cornell

-Dartmouth beats Princeton

If Cornell, Princeton, and Columbia win they all finish tied for 5th.

But most importantly, a Columbia win tomorrow would make history because it would be the first Lion win over a first-division Ivy team since 1996! (Columbia did beat 2nd place Harvard in 2003, but the Crimson were playing that day without starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, so I'm not counting that one).

That's big.

When the Lions pulled out a thrilling 22-21 win over the Bears at Brown Stadium in 2006, I get a little carried away. At the end of the day, Brown was a 2-8 team, and Columbia had only won 2 Ivy games that season.

Even though a 5-5 season is beyond Columbia's reach tomorrow, you could argue that a win against Brown would mean a lot more. The three Ivy wins are on the line and again, the first win in 12 years against an Ivy foe that finished in the top three.

Like I said, Big.

Not off the Radar

ESPN's Chris Fowler proved that the big-time college football reporters aren't completely oblivious when it comes to the historic Ivy race this year. In his latest blog, Fowler talks about the possible four-way tie and even has something nice to say about our Lions:

"It could happen if Yale wins at Harvard (the Elis actually have a winning record there, and it is the 40th anniversary of the infamous 29-29 tie) … and Brown is upset by Columbia (which is coming off a win and has been very competitive) … and Penn loses at Cornell, which is not far-fetched at all."


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