Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Our Best vs. the BCS

Cornell came so close

I watched a lot of Cornell's heartbreaking loss to Syracuse in the NCAA lacrosse national championship game yesterday. Despite the confounding nature of the Big Red's collapse at the end of the game, you have to be impressed with how far the non-scholarship guys from Ithaca went against a slew of scholarship programs like Virginia and Syracuse.

I know lacrosse and football are two very different sports, especially when it comes to team size, but I was wondering: if we assembled an all star team of Ivy football players, how well would that team do against the BCS powerhouses?

On talent alone, I think that all star could hold its own against a Big East, Pac 10, or even a few Big 10 teams, (remember New Hampshire beat Northwestern two years ago and I daresay an Ivy all star team could take UNH at least half the time). But the sticky issues would be overall team size and team depth.

A lot of Ivy players are a bit smaller than their BCS counterparts, which is workable enough at the skill positions, but not so much on the offensive and defensive lines. For example, our Lou Miller was a force as a slightly undersized defensive end last season in Ivy play, but would he be as effective against a Penn State O-line and blocking backs?

And while there is good depth at a lot of the key positions, the dearth of 1,000-yard running backs could be a big problem if our first stringer went down.

But I'm willing to hear what others might think of our chances. Better yet, what would be your strategy to beat a BCS team? Would you choose the current All Ivy roster, or go with a slightly different lineup more geared to victory over stats?

It's a good hot stove, (or in our case, cold air conditioner), league discussion topic.



At Wed May 27, 06:50:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no good comparison between lacrosse and football. The Cornell Aggies are able to compete with the big boys in lacrosse and some other "minor" sports because of Cornell's huge enrollment, land grant status, agricultural and hotel admnistation schools and daresay partytown environment. Not to knock a Cornell undergraduate education, but it is what it is. Nevertheless, when it comes to a big-time sport like football, Cornell and the remainder of the Ivies simply cannot compete with the Florida States of the world because of the greater size and speed of the players who attend such schools. Not to say, however,that an all-star team from the Ivy League couldn't challenge a Penn State or a Florida State, but it would be unfair to compare an all-star team from the Ivy League with a team from one of those schools. Incidentally, I think Lou Miller would do just fine against the big guys. He's really a linebacker and a very good one.

At Wed May 27, 06:44:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speed kills. Wide receivers and running backs from Pac 12 and Big Ten schools would have a field day. Who would cover the receivers? Who would run down the backs?

At Wed May 27, 09:51:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first poster is correct about Cornell.

As far as Lou Miller, he plays a hybrid position in which he is as much a LB as a DE. He reminds me of Penn State's Maybin in that regard. He has NFL potential as a LB.

At Wed Jun 03, 01:53:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comparing an all-star Ivy football team and a team from a BCS conference, MOST years we would not stand a chance. Their players are simply too big on the offensive and defensive lines, too fast at the skill positions and both too big and too fast at linebacker and tight end. Maybe one year in ten or twenty, the Ivies would be competitive.

I'm a little disappointed with how quick posters are to take shots at Cornell. It was only a few years ago that Penn football and basketball reigned supreme and everybody complained about lower academic standards in West Philadelphia. Now Cornell is moving up in the ranks in basketball and lacrosse so the Big Red is suddenly a safety school.

Meanwhile, I read lacrosse websites wherein Cornell fans bemoan how academically unqualified Syracuse lacrosse players are.

I guess it's human nature. If my school's teams can't beat yours, your players must be dumber. It can't be that your teams are simply better coached or work harder.


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