Friday, June 18, 2010

Big Red Returnees

Kent Austin

If you only judged teams by the total number of returning starters, Cornell would look pretty good for 2010.

Here's the starting lineup for the Big Red at the end of the 2009 season.


WR 81 Blackman, Horatio
LT 53 Bohl, Andrew
LG 76 Green, Matt*
C 75 Ostick, Paul*
RG 69 Bourassa, Drew*
RT 60 Bernhard, Quent
WR 25 Savage, Shane*
WR 18 Walters, Bryan
QB 13 Ganter, Ben
TE 19 Houska, Ryan*
RB 30 Barbour, Randy


DE 59 MacFarlane, Matt*
NG 52 Carroll, Brian*
DE 93 Ballou, Ricky
SLB 40 Lainhart, Brand*
MLB 55 Costello, Chris
WLB 58 Levine, Aaron
S 49 Quinn, Dempsey*
FS 48 Heller, Ben*
SS 32 Ambrosi, Anthony*
CB 2 Campbell, Rashad*
CB 9 Fenton, Emani*

*=returning players

With five returning players on offense and a healthy eight on defense, you might predict the Big Red are poised to vault out of the last place spot in the Ivies.

But how excited can you get about eight returnees on a defense that allowed about 27 points and 200 yards rushing per game?

And the best defensive player overall in 2009, Chris Costello, is not one of those returning players.

The offense has five returning starters but none of them is a running back or QB with real experience. That's not really bad news since the Big Red scored an anemic 17 points per game last season.

But even for bad teams, losing key veteran players is tough. For example, the 2004 Columbia team went 1-9 and THEN it lost just about every key starter to graduation.

"Who cares?" was the rallying cry I heard from a lot of Lion fans who didn't think losing the talent from a 1-9 team was so bad.

Turns out... it was.

The 2005 Lions were the worst Columbia team in many, many years. The lack of experience at the key positions was why.

The hard truth is that 13 returning starters or not, Cornell was the worst football team in the Ivies last year.

What Big Red fans need to focus on is the hiring of a great new head coach in Kent Austin who should help ease the pain of what has to be a rebuilding year in Ithaca.

That also means a lot of these returning starters may lose their spots after they're evaluated by the new staff.

But watching Cornell should be fun for everyone as we are sure to see a lot of new faces and looks week after week.


At Tue Jun 22, 12:47:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, I think you are underestimating the ability of Cornell to turn around its program using its non-Ivy state schools and its liberal transfer policy.


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