Monday, February 15, 2010

Looking Ahead

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:

1) Penn

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.

2) Yale

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.

3) Princeton

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.

4) Fordham

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.

5) Lafayette

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.


At Tue Feb 16, 12:44:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 10th game is at Central Connecticut State I believe.

At Tue Feb 16, 01:10:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The above comment is incorrect. The 10th game is at home against Towson in the 2nd week of the season

At Tue Feb 16, 02:03:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should beat Yale this year. Yale's Oline is weak and Yale is a young inexperienced team

go Lions

At Tue Feb 16, 02:22:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should have beaten Yale last year. I see us as having championship potential if Gross and Fraser come back strong, and if Brackett continues his exceptional play. I see Jeff Adams as the best OL in the Ivies next year, both in blind side protection and in run blocking. I see Kennedy as a game changer in what is effectively a slot position.

At Tue Feb 16, 02:27:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does anybody know about potential incoming recruit Bruce Grant, who one blogger reports us as having scored over among others Fordham?

At Tue Feb 16, 03:19:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No idea where he's going, but his coach has claimed that he's the best back he's ever coached and that he runs a 4.4 40.

At Tue Feb 16, 05:26:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Six home games and four away games. Are you allowed to have an unbalanced schedule under NCAA rules? Doesn't see right somehow.

At Tue Feb 16, 08:21:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At Tue Feb 16, 09:05:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One poster wonders if six home games and four away games should be allowed by the NCAA. Are you kidding? What do you think happens with all the teams that play 11 games? Play the first half of the final game at home and then travel to the other team's campus to play the second half?

At Tue Feb 16, 10:26:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger DOC said...

Have to agree with you, Jake, that the 2010 Penn game will be our most important benchmark for the upcoming season. I base that opinion on the fact that the other games you have highlighted, Yale Princeton Fordham and Lafayette, were opponents that we
dominated or failed to finish off by holding a late lead. Penn, on the other hand, beat us handily by capitalizing on numerous turnovers in 2009. If this Lion team will compete for a title or finish among the upper third of the league
they must upset the Quakers in Philly, a venue that has been kinder to us than our own Homecoming field in recent memory.

At Tue Feb 16, 10:38:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't believe there are any NCAA rules re scheduling. The other team I follow, Michigan, has often played more home games than away games because out of conf. teams are willing to play in the Big House to get a fat pay day.

At Tue Feb 16, 09:32:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We gave away the Penn game last year; we outplayed Penn for most of the game but were kille don turn-overs. There is no team I want to beat more than Penn.

At Tue Feb 16, 11:01:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Assuming Frasher is healthy, with him and Groth in the middle, the D-line should make life miserable for everyone me play. Beyond that, as usual turnovers and a play calling will be the key. Both have hurt us in the past big time.

At Tue Feb 16, 11:07:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just noticed on Columbia's web page that Dr. Ginepra pased on. Another great name of the past that will be missed.


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