Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Starving and Waiting

We’ve finally begun our first game week of the 2010 season and that means we’ll soon have a lot of the information we’ve been waiting so long for.

That includes:

1) Two Deeps

We could see the starting lineups in the game notes as early as tomorrow, but if Fordham delays their release we’ll have to wait a little longer. Also, seasoned Columbia fans know the official published lineups aren’t usually what you see when the games actually start. But you know we’ll all devour every piece of info on that two-deep anyway… because we’re STARVED for COLUMBIA FOOTBALL!!!

2) Weather reports

Yep, we care about the weather because it can affect the players and it certainly affects attendance. Not that attendance won’t already be challenged a bit this Saturday because it’s Yom Kippur. But there’s no avoiding either the weather or the Jewish holidays. Right now, the forecast for Saturday is calling for sunny skies and 74 degrees… but I have found that the forecasts for the weekends in New York usually aren’t remotely accurate until Wednesday.

3) Ivy League Football weekly coaches conference call

Tomorrow at 11, we’ll hear from each coach and the news media will even get a chance to ask a question or two. This happens every Tuesday and I assume the league will make an audio file of it available later in the day.
My predictions. My forecasts will be back this year, but this time I will be counting the betting spreads! So let’s see how well I do against the off shore smarties!

4) My 2010 guide to going to the games at Baker Athletics Complex!

That should be out this Wednesday.

Carter Switches

Speaking of devouring bits and pieces of news, the final live blog of the preseason was filled with a few good tidbits Saturday.

I thought the news of freshman Marquel Carter switching to QB was interesting. With all the running QB’s Columbia will be facing this season, I wonder if Carter will become a go-to guy to run scout team offenses in practice. This will give the freshman very good experience at least.

We also have a new name on the roster. He is frosh kicker Daniel Chester from Charlottesville, VA.

Pregame Picnics!!!

The pregame picnics with FREE BEER will be back this season, but they’re moving the picnic area to the concourse in front of the stadium and the adjacent grassy area. I like that better actually, because it makes for a shorter walk to the actual game.

Cupcakes and Jawbreakers

Which Ivy teams have the easiest and the toughest week one opponents based on those opponent records so far?

Three days ago I would have said Yale had the easiest opponent in Georgetown and Harvard probably had the toughest opponent in Lafayette.

But now the Hoyas are riding high after their stunning upset of… Lafayette!

That leaves me confused about the toughest opponent, but I’ll have to go with Holy Cross. The Crusaders face Harvard Saturday and they always play the Crimson tough. But Holy Cross does not seem to be as good as last year’s team that barely edged Harvard in Worcester last year.

Fordham may be a close second in the tough category now that the full-scholarship Rams have seemingly reignited their season with a thrilling win over Rhode Island. The Lions will certainly have their hands full with speedy QB Blake Wayne and Fordham’s other offensive weapons.

Speaking of scholarships, Bruce Wood at Big Green Alert believes the whippings some of the top Patriot League teams took on Saturday could help the pro-athletic scholarship forces within that conference. If those forces win out, Fordham could find its way back from its quasi-exiled status in the league.

But don’t sleep on up-and-coming Stony Brook. They beat Brown last season at home and seem very strong this year too. This will at least be a home game for the Bears this time around.

I am going to say that Dartmouth officially has the easiest week one opponent in Bucknell. The Bison lost by two scores to Marist… that’s right Marist, on Saturday. It’s a road game for the Big Green, but that shouldn’t hurt too much.

Cornell doesn’t exactly seem to have its hands full against Wagner… but Bucknell is obviously going through a crisis right now. Wagner is not very close to that kind of nadir right now.


At Tue Sep 14, 08:41:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched Marquel Carter's you tube spots and he appears to be a running option QB that can throw the long pass. Is it possible he was switched back to QB here because he provides a backup option for Brackett that can run the same offense? With Bell, it's a totally different game plan since he does not have the speed and mobility but has a rocket arm.

I think his value, therefore, goes beyond a practice team role.

At Tue Sep 14, 08:51:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carter reminds me of the QB which CCSC brought in last year for the second half who just killed us wiith his feet.

At Tue Sep 14, 09:45:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carter was moved with the hope he could contribute on varsity.

At Tue Sep 14, 09:51:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carter must ahve made one hell of an impression on the coaches; and if Brackett is going to run the option he is going to need a back-up who can runit as well. I see Bell as strictly a pocket passer. PS on Bell; he seems to have gotten enormous--looks like he must be around 230 or so.

At Tue Sep 14, 10:13:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the first two posters today. Based upon what we have read and seen of Carter, he definitely projects to be a very fine Ivy League quarterback. My understanding is that he was heavily recruited to play quarterbacks in college by a number of schools, so I am not at all surprised to see him at quarterback for a Columbia team that has one other recruited freshman quarterback. Anyway, how many college quarterbacks are there besides Carter who are fluent in Japanese? Carter and several other freshmen could become impact players for the Lions.

At Tue Sep 14, 10:20:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Penn showed last year, you need plenty of depth at quarterback in order to win the Ivy League Championship. Now Columbia may well have the necessary depth to do just that with guys like Brackett, Bell, Havas, Rapka, Carter, et al. Bell is a critical part of the plan. He's a big-time passer who can kill a defense that has prepared all week to stop triple threat quarterbacks like Brackett and Carter.

At Tue Sep 14, 10:59:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it possible to see a platooning approach with Bell in on certain downs and Brackett/Carter in on others?

At Wed Sep 15, 12:06:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget Rapka. He's a good one, a passer first but he can also run (also the tallest QB at

At Wed Sep 15, 12:38:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FWIW, but since we're playing both of them, Army JV beat Fordham JV 44-14.

At Wed Sep 15, 08:13:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I said it before and I'll repeat here: I do not think our offense will suffer the loss of Knowlin and M. A. O.

If the O-line can block then we have the runners who can find the holes, whether the QBs or tailbacks. Establish the running game and the likes of Stephens and Kennedy will find openings.

For sure, the O-line has size (seems to average 290 across the front five). Does it have the skill and stamina?

At Wed Sep 15, 08:21:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, all of your optimistic posts has done it. I am driving from Boston to NYC to see the game on saturday. Supposed to be a beautiful day. Bringing my 16 year old son who has Columbia on his list of colleges for next year.

The first game my son ever saw was a win in Cambridge in 1996 when Marcellus Wiley scored on the last drive of the game to win it. He (my son) was in diapers and a carseat but his arms flung into the air on that touchdown!

This BLOG is what is putting me in my car to drive to Baker/Wien/Kraft field so thanks Jake.

At Wed Sep 15, 08:37:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your post. I hope your son is able to raise his arms in victory once again. Have a great weekend!

Lion Football Fan.


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