The Weighting Game, Pt. 2
Lou Miller zips around the end at 220 pounds
There were some great comments and questions about yesterday's post, so I thought I'd crunch the numbers some more on the weights of Columbia's linemen over the years.
But first, some perspective. Most people would probably say that 220 lbs. is a little light for a defensive end, but that's Lou Miller's weight, and he was a 1st Team All Ivy standout last season. Lou is also a great wrestler and he was honored last week by being named an academic All Ivy in wrestling.
But these weight numbers are just too much fun to ignore.
Let's look at the 1961 Ivy champion Lions, but first remember that in those days, most linemen played both ways. In that championship season, the average varsity Columbia lineman went just 204 pounds. Captain and current Columbia Board of Trustess Chairman Bill Campbell was a 180-pound guard.
The average guard was 196 pounds, the ends also averaged 196 pounds, the tackles averaged 225, the three centers on the varsity averaged 202 pounds each.
Junior Tackle Louis Asack was the biggest man on that squad at 240 and 6-foot 5-inches tall.
10 years later, much had changed in the country and in Ivy League football. Hardly any team featured any two-way players by then. And as you will see, the players got bigger too.
1971 was also the yeat the Kardiac Kid Lions made a serious run at the Ivy title with players like Don Jackson, Paul Kaliades, and Ted Gregory.
Now for the numbers:
The average offensive lineman on the 1971 Columbia varsity went 221 lbs. The average defensive lineman in the '71 squad was 211 pounds.
John Bell, a sophomore center from Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn was the biggest Lion that season at 270 lbs.
A Bigger Lesson?
Seasons like 1971 and 1994 should serve as inspirations for current Lion fans. Why? Because they were winning seasons that came after campaigns that didn't seem so great when you consider wins and losses.
The 1970 Lions went just 3-6, 1-6 in the Ivies and finished in a tie for 7th. The 1993 Lions went 2-8, 1-6 in the Ivies and finished in a tie for 8th.
The biggest reason for the exciting winning years that came after those two seasons was the big number of experienced returning players who stacked the lineups. Sure there was great talent and new strategies, but rarely has Columbia enjoyed the kind of veteran representation in the lineup that it had in 1971, 1994, and now again in 2009.
I'm not saying the Lions will have the kind of super season we enjoyed in '71 or '94, but when the overwhelming majority of the starters are coming back, including both first team All Ivy honorees, we have to be a little optimistic.