Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lean and Rare

Stingier than Silas Marner: Tight defense, Ivy style

How incredible was Penn’s 9.5 points allowed per game average last season?

Consider these three points:

-Since the Ivy League was formed in 1956, only 21 teams have allowed fewer than 10 points per game over an entire season.

-Only two teams have done it since 1979.

-The last team to do it was Penn in 1994… 15 seasons ago.

There was a time in the early days of the league, (before passing became prevalent in college football), where a sub-10 points per game season average was fairly common. In fact, 15 of the 21 teams to achieve that feat did so in the seasons before 1967.

But now it’s rarer than rare.

Here’s the complete list of the 21 teams that accomplished the sub-10 point mark in Ivy history:

1) Dartmouth 1970, 4.6 points per game allowed

2) Princeton 1964, 5.8

3) Dartmouth 1962, 6.3

4) Harvard 1966, 6.6

5) Harvard 1965, 6.8

6) Dartmouth 1960, 7.3

7) Yale 1974, 7.4

8) Penn 1994, 7.5

9) Dartmouth 1965, 7.8

10) Yale 1960, 8.1

11) Penn 1959, 8.2

12) Harvard 1963, 8.4

13) Dartmouth 1957, 8.5

14) Yale 1976, 8.5

15) Yale 1963, 8.6

16) Dartmouth 1958, 9.2

17) Princeton 1963, 9.2

18) Dartmouth 1979, 9.5

19) Penn 2009, 9.5

20) Harvard 1961, 9.6

21) Yale 1957, 9.7

Notice that Brown, Columbia and Cornell have NEVER been able to crack the list.

Dartmouth has done it an incredible seven times, led by the legendary 1970 team that allowed less than five points per game.

Yale came in second with five seasons in the single digit club.

The point of all this record-keeping is to reemphasize how unlikely it is that Penn will post another defensive season that comes even close to the dominant performance of 2009.

The hope in West Philly is that the Quakers won’t have to rely on another super performance from the “D”, and the offense will improve by leaps and bounds.

But I’m not sure Penn has the passing weapons to really make a giant leap offensively in 2010. And that means the Quakers need to be ready for a tougher challenge this fall.


At Tue Jul 27, 12:38:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goodness. Penn ran the League table last year, got stronger as the season went on (see the last three games) and returns the heart of all three units.. They will stroll.

At Wed Jul 28, 07:50:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Sorry, but you are ill-informed. Penn is losing most of its defensive starters, including the co-MVP of the league to graduation and its best returning defensive end who tragically committed suicide just after being elected team captain. The offense has not shown it can pass the ball effectively. The Quakers have huge physical and emotional challenges coming in to 2010 and cannot seriously be considered a shoo in by any means.


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