Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 66: What They Think of Us & Mike Goldman

The Sporting News has come out with it's preseason predictions for the 2009 Ivy Season. Here's how they see it:

1. Harvard
2. Penn
3. Yale
4. Brown
5. Princeton
6. Columbia
7. Cornell
8. Dartmouth

Phil Steele's preseason magazine has it like this:

1. Harvard
2. Penn
3. Princeton
4. Columbia
5. Brown
6. Yale
7. Cornell
8. Dartmouth

And as Bruce Wood of the Big Green Alert Blog points out, Steele is bullish on a large number of returning Lion players, putting a total of 8 of them on his first or second All-League teams, behind only the 9 total players he acknowledges from Harvard and Penn.

The 8 Columbians recognized are actually 7, because Austin Knowlin made it as wide receiver and a punt returner. The others are:

Lou Miller-Defense 1st Team

Alex Gross-Defense 1st Team

Andrew Kennedy-Offense 2nd Team

Owen Fraser-Defense 2nd Team

Andy Shalbrack-Defense 2nd Team

Adam Mehrer-Defense 2nd Team

You can see the full release here from

What's my take on these lists?

Let's just say I not only like Phil Steele's final standing prediction more than the Sporting News. BUT I also don't think Harvard is winning the title this year.

As far as the Columbia players getting recognized, you would have to say that Adam Mehrer and Andrew Kennedy stand out as surprises, but nice ones at that.

Mehrer didn't get much publicity for his outstanding season at safety last year and an impressive freshman campaign in 2007. He really deserves to be on that list.

Kennedy hasn't had much of a chance to shine as a pass receiver, simply because that's not how the Lion offense has been structured during his first two seasons. I'm not sure that will change, but his effort has been good and he's provided some spectacular catches in both of his seasons. I'm thinking the folks making that list are betting on Kennedy's potential.

Mike Goldman '84

The John Witkowski years at Columbia were all about passing, right? Well, almost.

In Witkowski's senior year, fellow classmate Mike Goldman had one of the best years for a running back in Columbia history.

Goldman came to Columbia from Evergreen, Colorado but he grew up as a child in nearby Long Island and his dad was a Columbia grad.

Coming off a junior year in 1982 when he carried the ball just 38 times, Goldman was thrust into the number one spot and was used like a John Riggins-style single back for much of 1983.

The Lions were forced to play all their games at neutral sites or on the road that year as Wien Stadium was being built. But it was in one of those tougher road trips that Goldman really stood out.

Against Yale at the Bowl in week 5, Goldman carried the ball 30 times for 120 yards. That helped put the Lions over the top in a 21-18 win. Columbia wouldn't win another ball game for 5 years.

Mike finished the '83 season with 726 yards rushing and a 4.2 yards per carry average. At the time, that was good enough for 3rd all-time for a single season at Columbia.


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