Thursday, November 04, 2010

Buy High and Sell Low?

Don't even look Josue Ortiz in the eye... ahhhh!!!!

The best thing to do in investing is to grab assets when they are underpriced and sell them when they’re up.

But by unlucky coincidence, Columbia seems to be doing the exact opposite when it comes to playing Harvard this season.

The Crimson were limping around the field just a couple of weeks ago. They lost to Brown badly. They lost at home to Lehigh. They had some bad injuries.

But now, 2009 2nd Team All Ivy QB Collier Winters is back from injury and back in the groove. His return was a big reason why Harvard simply embarrassed Dartmouth on the Big Green’s Homecoming field last Saturday, 30-14.

Two Crimson strength has been riding consistent 52-week highs all season long. One is the play of the defensive line. Josue Ortiz is a very scary customer who can disrupt opposing offenses all day long. In this regard, Harvard is once again showing its long-running strength on the front line. Many Ivy coaches talk about how recruiting quality D-linemen is the hardest part of their job. It’s probably hard because the Crimson are getting all of them. They’re that good and that deep and it seems to be the case every year.

The other strength that’s been there all year is the running game. Gino Gordon and Treavor Scales comprise a very frightening one-two punch that’s totaled 1,254 yards and averaged seven yards per carry so far this year.

The other aspects of the Harvard team have had their ups and downs. The passing game hasn’t been consistent and pass protection is not exactly great. But with Winters back at the helm and playing as well as he did last week, both of those problems seem to be getting solved.

One problem that isn’t going to be solved right away is the loss of super WR Chris Lorditch to injury.

Some of the really scary stats show just how efficient Harvard can be when it counts. The Crimson are converting a healthy 41% of third down opportunities. They have 22 sacks, (more than three per game), and are winning the turnover battle week after week.

But for all the talk about Winters and the defense, Harvard is all about Gino Gordon and his ability to control games. He's a bruiser and he's making the overal Crimson offensive line look better than it actually is. Columbia didn’t do a terrible job against Dartmouth’s Nick Schwieger two weeks ago, but the Lions will have to do even better against Gordon if they hope to win the game.

Gordon is now a strong candidate for the Bushnell Cup, something he may win if he keeps his numbers up and Harvard either gets a share of the title or at least a 5-2 league record.

So considering that, can Harvard be beaten?

Brown and Lehigh did it by getting after the Crimson QB’s and making them pay.

But they also neutralized the running game somewhat, either by getting a big lead, or, (in Lehigh’s case), keeping close enough to be able to win with a late burst. The still somewhat gimpy Winters may be vulnerable to a furious rush and the Lions should come out more intense than Harvard as this game means a lot more to Columbia than it does to the Crimson.

Allowing Gordon to get his yards here and there won’t be so bad as long as he’s not converting every 3rd down or running for 42-yard touchdowns.

But defeating Harvard on the road will take nothing short of shock and awe from the Lions.

That’s the way it is now that the Crimson are riding an upward trend in their season.

Columbia has to prove that Harvard’s stock is at least a bit overpriced.


At Thu Nov 04, 07:55:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

Could we please switch, even if for but the briefest moment, to a preview of our men's and women's basketball teams?

To say that expectations are pretty high for the debuting Kyle Smith era is putting it mildly. And to note that Paul Nixon does a pretty fine job with the women's team (and for a guy once merely viewed as an interim sort of coach until we found a "real" coach) is also understatement.

It also all starts pretty soon, Jake, so how about some coverage?

At Thu Nov 04, 09:30:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We supposedly scrimmaged Albany and won by 20. Starters were Agho, Daniels, Cisco, Barbour and Frankoski. Agho will be POY. His game is complete. Starks saw time and supposedly looked good at the back-up PG position. I htinkthe league is wide open this year.

At Thu Nov 04, 10:45:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was not alot of fanfare about our men's basketball recruiting class...not as much as the women's. But if what last poster said is true, that we beat Albany with all soph's and frosh, then maybe we'll make a bit more noise this year. I was not all that impressed with our upperclassmen's contribution last year....quite spotty.

At Thu Nov 04, 10:50:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Focus on basketball probably stems from a sense of impending football doom in Cambridge...

Albany only won seven games last year, but they seem to play a tougher schedule than Ivy league. They beat Yale by 21 and Penn by 18 in their only two Ivy games.

Don't know how a basketball scrimmage goes and if it's any real indication of anything.

At Thu Nov 04, 10:52:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you say that the league is wide open this year, do you mean that it is wide open between Princeton and Harvard?

No seriously, there is probably a 75% chance that one of those two wins the title and a 95% chance that it's either P, H, Cornell or Penn.

That can only be considered wide open in the context of a conference where two members won almost 95% of the titles over a span of 50 years.

At Fri Nov 05, 12:47:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cornell opens its season with Albany.

At Fri Nov 05, 03:52:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How rugby (club sport). Playoff this weekend.

At Fri Nov 05, 06:16:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not ready for the basketball chit-chat. As far as I'm concerned, the Columbia Football Team that outscored Yale by a 21-0 score in the second half of last Saturday's game is fully capable of defeating Harvard, Cornell and Brown. On this Board, Columbia Football comes first. Go Lions!

At Fri Nov 05, 08:18:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To a previous post. I agree that we cab beat Harvard. One thing to reemeber the 0-21 2nd half at Yale was in part caused by thier lack of ball control in the 2nd half. I wouldn't expect Harvard to turn the ball over like that and they will have a much better OL / run game.


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