Stopping Penn's Garton has to be a top priority in 2010
Hopefully, most of you reading this post have the day off work or school today.
I'm thinking that gives us more time to daydream about the upcoming 2010 season. But rather than focusing on what our overall record will be and which players will be the starters, I want to ask an open question:
What is the most important game on the 2010 schedule?
I know the actual schedule is not out yet, but we do know where and approximately when we will play 9 out of ten of the games.
Columbia will take on Fordham, Princeton, Lafayette, Dartmouth and Cornell at home. Penn, Yale, Harvard, and Brown will be road games.
We may have a sixth home game against a non-league opponent I don't know about yet. But I think we can all agree that single unknown game will not be the most crucial of the 2010 year.
I have just checked the Towson University football site and they have Columbia as a road game for Sept. 25, 2010. So I think that answers our question.
So, as I look at the schedule there are some great "storylines," as they say, for each game.
Here are my top 5:
To me, this is clearly the most important game for the Lions in 2010. Penn is the defending champs, and it seems like you can measure how strong Columbia is in any given year based on how the Lions perform against the Quakers. For some reason, the Lions have played better at Franklin Field in recent years against Penn than at Wien Stadium. This game is at Franklin Field. Penn has a 13 game winning streak against Columbia that the Lions really need to end before they can consider themselves true contenders in the Ivies.
Of all the games Columbia should have won over the last 5 years, the Yale game at home in 2009 ranks #1 on my list. It was just a gut-wrenching loss and bouncing back against the Elis at the Yale Bowl would be a huge plus for this team.
After last years 38-0 beatdown of the Tigers in Princeton, we have to expect some kind of revenge factor this time. A bigger story is how the Tigers will look with their new coach Bob Surace and what appears to be a very good recruiting class.
How will the Lions fare against the Rams in Fordham's first official year of athletic scholarships for football? I say "official" because I've been told that last years simple announcement of the incoming scholarships brought in the players Fordham coach Tom Masella was looking for already. In any event, the future of the Liberty Cup series could hang in the balance as everyone will expect Fordham to start beating the stuffing out of us either this year or next.
One of the toughest losses for Columbia to stomach last season was falling to the Leopards in Easton. Lafayette loses a lot of key seniors to graduation this May, and the Lions could have a shot to nail the Leopards in a relatively weak year for them.