Problems I Wish We Had
Donahue Gets Poached
Cornell's basketball success will not go unpunished.
Miracle worker head Head Coach Steve Donahue is heading to Boston College, and that's to be expected considering his stock is at an all-time high right now.
It's also not a surprise since Cornell does not figure to be much of a factor next year in bball with all those talented seniors graduating. And... I heard Donahue's wife is not too happy with Ithaca.
Now the intriguing story out there is that Donahue has contacted one Ivy head basketball coach with an offer to be one of his assistants on Chestnut Hill. Is that unknown coach Columbia's own Joe Jones? We'll have to wait and see. I haven't seen or heard one iota of evidence either way.
But the Donahue story gets me thinking of the kind of troubles I wouldn't necessarily mind having as a Columbia fan.
By that I mean what if one of our major Lion teams became so successful that the head coach of that team would become extremley likely "poaching material?"
The last time I heard a little chatter about this was when Ray Tellier was guiding football to some successful seasons in the mid-1990's. I'm not sure if Tellier ever got any offers from other schools, but I wouldn't be surprised.
Because of his age and his pre-Columbia resume, you can bet that if we started putting together some winning seasons, Head Coach Norries Wilson would be highly sought after by other programs.
Hey if that's the price of success, I think all Columbia fans would be willing to at least worry about losing the coach. We'd also demand that everything reasonable be done to keep such a coach in the fold.
But again, as my grandmother would say: "we should only have such 'problems.'"
Speaking of "such problems" consider the Columbia roster size and its implications for the 2010 season:
1) Even with the near-record 26 graduations this spring, assuming we bring in 30 frosh and other newcomers this August there will be 121 players on the football team in 2010.
2) Did you think it was impressive that the Lions had 26 seniors last season? Try this, next season there will be 27. And by my estimates, about 15 of them are truly "impact" seniors who will either definitely be starters or can be listed as "likely starters" for 2010.
3) Some units on the team will be hard-pressed to replace some key graduation losses, (I would count wide receivers and the defensive line in that category), but when I look at areas like the offensive line and the secondary, I see a historically rich level of talent and depth that I have never seen before.
On the OL, I predict we will have first-time starters from the senior class who will be first-time starters because the seniors before them were just a hair better and that's it. Gone are the days, at least for now, when sophomores and even freshmen were pushed into the front five starting slots because there was literally no one else ahead of them who was ready to play.