Friday, July 16, 2010

Looking Again at the Line

Coach Argast leds a deep group (CREDIT: Columbia Athletics)

I want to spend more time focusing on the offensive line because it is such a crucial unit and there are some things I want to clarify.

It’s been about three months since the Spring Game, so it took an astute commenter on yesterday’s post to remind me that the starters in that game were:

Jeff Adams (LT)
Bob Hauschildt (LG)
Kyle Stupi (C)
Ian Quirk (RG)
Dan Cohen (RT)

So, while Hauschildt was the backup center last season, the very talented junior is now at left guard.

This makes up an interest geographical situation among the presumptive starters.

Adams and Hauschildt are both from Illinois and they should have the left side of the line covered.

Stupi and Quirk are both from Maryland and working side-by-side as well.

That leaves the rare New York City boy Dan Cohen at right tackle where he could become the first New York City native and New York City high school grad to start for the Lions in some time.

Once again, I want to warn all Lions fans that the league’s pundits will be quick to attack the quality of this O-line in the preseason predictions.

But you also have to remember that the line coach here is Ed Argast, who is universally liked and respected in the program and in the local football community. Head Coach Norries Wilson, who was also a star as an offensive lineman at Minnesota, often takes special extra time out to focus on the O-line.

Speaking of preseason predictions, the Ivy League football media day is less than four weeks away on August 10th. That’s the day when the official preseason poll comes out.

Just for comparison, let’s look at the poll results from last summer and the actual final standings in the Ivies for 2009.

Preseason Prediction

1. Harvard
2. Penn
3. Brown
4. Yale
5. Princeton
6T. Columbia
6T. Cornell
8. Dartmouth

Actual Final Standings

1. Penn
2. Harvard
3. Brown
4T. Columbia
4T. Princeton
6T. Yale
6T. Dartmouth
8. Cornell

As these figures show, the pundits didn’t do too badly last year, picking the top three teams correctly, (not in the right order, but close enough), even as they underestimated Columbia. The difference between finishing tied for 6th or 7th and ending up in the first division at 4th place is pretty big.

If I had to guess now, I would say the Lions will probably fare better in this year’s poll, but a top three slot would be near impossible even with so many teams in rebuilding mode this season.

In good conscience, I don’t see how anyone could pick Columbia to finish below Cornell, Yale or Princeton this coming season.

Picking Dartmouth and Brown over the Lions is questionable as well, but I’d let that slide because Dartmouth beat Columbia last year and Brown has such a good track record recently.

Luckily, the predictions are just that, predictions. The standings at the end of the season are the ones that really matter.

But you knew that already.


At Fri Jul 16, 11:41:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, my understanding is that the Ivy League media polls in all sports have always been slanted in favor of the New England schools, Penn, Princeton and Cornell, because Columbia has no meaningful home town press. What are your feelings on this subject, Jake? If my understanding is correct, then is there anything that we can do about this?

At Fri Jul 16, 06:43:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The New York Times hates Columbia sports, Republicans and Israel, in no particular order.

At Sat Jul 17, 07:11:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A seven way slant? Have a little paranoia?


At Sat Jul 17, 08:01:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger dabull said...

Calm down mate. The polls reflect historical data, and until the Lions win and win consistently they will always be taken lightly. Isn't that the way it should be? Just win baby.

At Sat Jul 17, 05:32:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the (hated) NYT published a nice piece this spring about the CU excellent golf team. When the baseball team made the NCAA regionals, there were three good articles.
You want press: just WIN baby.

At Sat Jul 17, 10:22:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, so the NYTimes only hates Republicans and Israel.


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