Friday, September 03, 2010

Let the Games Begin!

Indiana's Memorial Stadium

I know we’re still 16 days away from Ivy League football, but with a bevy of college games finally kicking off tonight, I am a very happy man right now.

Of course, the game of most interest to Columbia fans is the Indiana-Towson contest tonight in Bloomington. I hate to be morbid, but watch for injuries along with everything else. These “cupcake games” often end up being literally painful for the cupcakes.

Indiana is a 29-point favorite.

How close would Towson have to make the score to make us a little nervous about our week 2 encounter with the Tigers?

I would say that if Indiana isn’t up by at least two TD’s at the half, the game is a moral win for Towson.

Fordham Notes Out

Fordham’s game notes for its season opener against Bryant are now available.

The Fordham two-deep is pretty impressive; lots of big guys and lots of upperclassmen. But the battle for starting QB is between two sophomores, Ryan Higgins and Blake Wayne. Either one could get the nod Saturday. Another player I’ll be watching is starting left tackle Adnan Vandyck who is talented but seems a little undersized at 271 pounds.

The Fordham-Bryant game is also of special interest to one Columbia coach. Offensive Line Coach Ed Argast’s son Charles is a freshman defensive lineman for Bryant. He did not crack the two-deep for this game, but it is game #1 of his college career.

Big Predictions Out Tomorrow

It's a bit of a short post tonight as I work on the finishing touches for my annual league-wide predictions. They will go live tomorrow evening.


At Fri Sep 03, 08:22:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From first quarter or so (live on BTN Alt): Towson QB (Hart) is a dangerous runner: quick, fairly fast and elusive. Throws short passes well.

At Fri Sep 03, 06:30:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The CCSC QB who came in against us in the second half last year was the same type of player, and he gave us containment fits with his speed.

At Fri Sep 03, 07:43:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loooks like Fordham will have a very good defense this year if they are allowed to play with 12
defenders according to their 2 deep!?

At Sat Sep 04, 04:47:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CSN's fairly extended discussion about the absence of post season football play:

Ivy League Postseason Is A “Non-Starter”

In the past, Franklin Field hosted something it had never hosted before: a postseason game.

Unfortunately for the Ivy League football champion Penn Quakers, it wasn’t a home game in the FCS playoffs.

It was a lacrosse postseason tournament, held in the spring of 2010 - and was the first Ivy League conference tournament in history.

But the circumstances behind the tournament’s creation gave fresh ammunition to the scores of Ivy League football players and fans about the Ivy League’s self-imposed ban on postseason play.
“We’ve heard that the leading argument for a lacrosse tournament — to the exclusion of other sports — is that two or possibly even three Ivy League teams could qualify for the NCAA tournament,” said Dave Solomon of the New Haven (Conn.) Register. In other words, when multiple teams can qualify for a postseason tournament, it’s perfectly OK to overturn 50 years of “principle” in not allowing any postseason events.

“The league stands on haughty ceremony when it comes to football, but it’s OK to stuff the NCAA with lacrosse teams?” Solomon asked.

When asked by the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jonathan Tannenwald if the Ivy League postseason ban in football might be lifted in the wake of other Ivy League postseason tournaments, executive director Robin Harris shut the door almost immediately to that notion. “That’s an issue that with the presidents is absolutely a nonstarter, and it has to do with more than class time and exams,” she said. “It also has to
do with focusing on the tradition of intra-league competition in football, and our history, and the tradition of culminating with certain games at the end of the season - certainly the Harvard-Yale tradition.”

Ah, yes. Class times and exams – those old chestnuts that have been bandied about for decades as to why the Ivy League does not participate in the FCS playoffs. In this response, Ms. Harris simply was upholding the tradition of her predecessor, Jeff Orleans, who also did not touch the Ivy League’s long-standing ban on postseason competition for football.

The sad thing is that the two tired, old defenses of the status quo that Ms. Harris offered up – the tradition of intra-league play, and class time and exams – are even more threadbare than ever once you consider the actions of the Ivy League in the last year.

Prolonging the postseason ban in football due to class time and exams? Princeton’s men’s lacrosse team, playing in the NCAA tournament, played its last game in the NCAA quarterfinals on May 16 – exactly one day before its spring semester finals were scheduled. The team it lost to? Cornell – whose team was already missing final exams (finals for Cornell started May 13).

It’s astounding that the Ivy League cares so much about the final exam scores of its football teams, but don’t seem to care at all as long as the athletes are carrying lacrosse sticks instead of footballs.

Tradition of inter-league competition? First, if you have a postseason ban in football for 50 years, that doesn’t leave a lot of “tradition” for anything else but inter-league competition. But to argue that postseason competition diminishes huge rivalries such as Harvard/Yale is just ludicrous.

Montana/Montana State, Lehigh/Lafayette and countless other FCS rivalries survive and even thrive alongside postseason play, and it doesn’t affect the prestige or tradition of those rivalries.

Montana and Montana State still dislike each other, and Lehigh and Lafayette have continued to sell out their games every year since the Patriot League received an autobid.

It seems obvious to everyone except the eight Ivy League presidents – and, evidently, the new executive director of the Ivy League – that the postseason ban on the Ivy Champion playing in the FCS playoffs has no real logical defense.


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