Saturday, July 10, 2010

Preseason Picks

Phil Steele picked well last year

My "long awaited" previews and rankings for returning veteran special teams and offensive linemen will have to wait until next week now that Phil Steele's
preseason All Ivy first and second teams report has just been released.

Columbia is pretty well represented on Steele's list... about as well as last year.

A total of nine different Lions are mentioned, with three making Steele's first team. Only Harvard and Penn have more with ten each.

Technically, Penn has eleven, but Steele included the late Owen Thomas on his first team defense for some reason.

After Columbia's third place spot, Yale came in fourth with seven players mentioned, Dartmouth was fifth with six, Brown was sixth with four, Princeton has three and Cornell is dead last with just two players mentioned.

I was not surprised to see Andrew Kennedy, Jeff Adams and Adam Mehrer make Steele's first team list. But I was pleasently surprised to see Ross Morand, Evan Miller and Ian Quirk get listed, albeit on the 2nd team. Remember that when Steele bucked the anti-Columbia trend last season and listed Kennedy as his 2nd team TE, Kennedy went on to have a breakout season at the position.

A notable omission is Owen Fraser, who made Steele's list last year, before succumbing to injury in week 1.

Steele also correctly predicted Columbia's first-division finish for 2009 when everyone else placed them much lower.

(I don't know if Steele's final Ivy standings prediction is available yet, but I will search for it this weekend).

Just as a reference, let's look at last year's list from Steele and compare it to the actual Ivy League honorees at the end of the season:

Steele's 2009 Preseason List


1st Team

OL James Williams Harvard
OL Paul Jasinowski Brown
OL Brent Osborne Harvard
OL Joseph Krissel Penn
OL Alex Spisak, Harvard
QB Keiffer Garton Penn
RB Jordan Culbreath Princeton
RB Mike DiMaggio Penn
WR Buddy Farnham Brown
WR Bobby Sewall Brown
WR Matt Luft Harvard

2nd Team

OL Mark Paski Princeton
OL Quentin Bernhard Cornell
OL Andrew Hauser Princeton
OL Cory Palmer Yale
OL Mark Callahan Brown
QB Brook Hart Yale
RB Gino Gordon Harvard
RB Randy Barbour Cornell
WR Austin Knowlin Columbia
WR Tim McManus Dartmouth
TE Andrew Kennedy Columbia

Actual All Ivy Honorees 2009


1st Team

*OL Mark Callahan Brown
*OL Paul Jasinowki Brown
OL Jeff Adams Columbia
OL Ben Sessions Harvard
*OL James Williams Harvard
OL Joe D'Orazio Penn
QB Kyle Newhall-Caballero Brown
RB Nick Schwieger Dartmouth
*RB Gino Gordon Harvard
*WR Buddy Farnham Brown
*WR Bobby Sewall Brown
*WR Austin Knowlin Columbia
TE John Sheffield Yale

2nd Team

OL Tim Danser, Brown
*OL Ben Osborne, Harvard
*OL Alex Spisak, Harvard
OL Luis Ruffolo, Penn
*OL Andrew Hauser, Princeton
*OL Mark Paski, Princeton
QB Collier Winters, Harvard
RB Zachary Tronti, Brown
RB Treavor Scales, Harvard
FB Luke DeLuca, Penn
RB Lyle Marsh, Penn
WR Bryan Walters, Cornell
WR Chris Lorditch, Harvard
*TE Andrew Kennedy, Columbia

*=Number of total matches: 12 out of 22.

I'd say, that's not bad.

So what can we say about all the talented Lion players that even non-Columbia pundits are finally beginning to recognize?

It's great of course, but it's also part of the biggest hurdle the Lions faced in 2008 and 2009 but hopefully something they can overcome in 2010.

That hurdle is finding a way to make this team the sum of its excellent parts.

Columbia deserved more wins than just four in 2009, and a lot more wins than the two it secured the year before. The talent was there, and the injuries and opposing team strengths were simply not great enough to steal as many wins away as they did in the end.

I've written about this earlier, and I will do it in more depth when I write the full-length season preview in August, but what Columbia needs the most in 2010 is the killer/winner's instinct.

In the meantime, Lions fans can rest assured that the talent level on this Columbia squad remains at historically high levels.

"We have the horses," as they say.

But will they run?


At Sat Jul 10, 05:42:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the lions will win more games IF the kicking game improves!

At Sat Jul 10, 09:57:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did the punter from South Carolina transfer?

At Sat Jul 10, 09:58:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Sean Brackett? Absurd. Best QB in the Ivies, by far.

At Sun Jul 11, 03:22:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger HBShannon said...

Small correction needed:

Phil Steele had Tim Danser listed as 2nd team OL All-Ivy.

They may have been thinking of Patrick Conroy as Danser graduated.

At Mon Jul 12, 12:34:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my view, there is no physical reason why we cannot win nearly every game and hotly contest each one. I can see no shaky pieces of the OL and DL and we have good speed in the secondary and lots of speed and skill on offense. Agreed that the kicking game will be the difference between a 5-5 team and perhaps an 8-2 team as it is vitally important to score points everytime your offense gets the ball inside the 25. How many games did we lose by 3 points or less last year?

No, the obstacles are all mental at this stage. Our boys need to go out like they did against Princeton last year and simply know they are the better team and press, claw, hit and fight for everything. We have the size and speed to wear down most of the teams on the schedule, in my view. And we are six home games to boot.

Whether Brackett is really as good as one of the posters here says really remains to be seen. But he is exciting and will convert a few more important 3rd downs each game that will also lead to scores and wins.

My only looming heart ache is that I may be transferred to London and will not be able to make any games!!!!

Chen '82

At Tue Jul 13, 12:45:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chen '82, you have said it all. And Coach Wilson has recruited several kickers. For us, the title runs through Philadelphia. We need to beat Penn, and I expect us to do so. From that point on, we will be running with a tail wind.

At Wed Jul 14, 11:03:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brackett is overrated and has absolutely no credentials to qualify for pre-season all ivy. Great the kid is fast, he is also a walking turnover.


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