The mystery is over and we now know the Lions 2009 schedule.
2009 Columbia Football Schedule
9/26 CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE
10/3 at Princeton
The most-asked question was who Columbia would play in week 2 at home to replace Iona, which has discontinued football.
The answer is Central Connecticut State U., a much tougher opponent than Iona for sure. CCSU appears to play at a level of a mid-level Ivy team, but not quite as good as last year's co-champs Harvard and Brown.
Coach Wilson's strong ties to the state of Connecticut and the recruiting strides Columbia is making there may have both played a big role in this scheduling decision. But I don't really have the inside story.
I guess I was half-hoping we would see a new opponent in week 4 other than Lafayette. But I am looking forward to revisiting the Lafayette broadcast booth, complete with the cool replay monitor and pretty decent food!
And for those of you looking for some real changes in the order of our games and in the faces of our opponents, I hear you. But remember that the Ivy League is a league that's all about tradition, and change for the sake of change isn't going to happen.
I am happy that the Lions are once again facing a schedule with no "easy wins" right off the bat. I thought Columbia played right up and right down to the competition every week until the Brown game. Playing better opponents should help the coaches forge a better team.
Harvard and Hatch
Ivy football followers are buzzing about former LSU starting QB Andrew Hatch coming back to Harvard where he began his college career a few years ago.
I openly admit that if Hatch were coming to Columbia, I'd be pretty excited too. But objectively, I'm not sure anyone should be handing the 2009 championship trophy to the Crimson just yet.
This is a MUCH tougher league than most people, even our own people, give it credit for. One talented athlete does not make for a championship, especially on a Harvard squad that needs to be more concerned about its 2009 defense anyway.
There's also no guarantee that Hatch will start, let alone be a real impact player. But whoever does start for the Crimson will have such an embarrassment of riches with wide receivers and big tight ends, that I doubt even Tom Brady would make Harvard's passing attack less formidable.
In other words, Harvard was going to be tough regardless of the QB. I don't have a problem with anyone who wants to complain about the great break the Crimson is getting right now... but that's realling baying at the moon.