Friday, November 19, 2010

Week 10 Picks

I had a rougher time in week 9 than I’ve had all season long. But I did call the most important game right on the money, so I have that to feel good about.

Let’s see how I did:

Princeton +22 ½ at Yale

Jake Said: The Elis can smell a shot at a title and this is the season finale at home. The Elis will cover.

Result: Yale just barely pulled it out. 1-0 overall, 0-1 against the spread.

Brown +3 at Dartmouth

Jake Said: I think the Big Green will indeed win by three points. But I will conform and say Dartmouth will beat the spread here.

Result: Wrong and wrong again. Brown won by seven. 1-1 overall, 0-2 ATS.

Harvard +6 ½ at Penn

Jake Said: The Quakers win and cover.

Result: Penn won by 20. 2-1 overall, 1-2 ATS.

So going into the final weekend, I am 29-12 overall and 28-13 ATS. Still not too shabby.

Now to week 10, which is always a little trickier than it looks:

Penn -24 ½ at Cornell

Another monster spread here, but you can understand why. Penn’s super running game and offensive line should approach 300 yards on the ground alone against the Big Red’s porous run defense. And there’s also the fact that Yale could conceivably tie the Quakers for the title if Cornell somehow beats them.

That won’t happen, but the fact that Penn needs to win this game to be sure of the solo title will keep the Quakers awake and hungry. They will cover.

Dartmouth -8 ½ at Princeton

Last week’s loss must have the Big Green hungrier to finish the season on a high note. Memories of last year’s loss to the Tigers will also be a big motivation. This will be a close game until the fourth quarter when the Green pulls away and covers the spread.

Yale +10 at Harvard

Harvard is banged up and starting to look weaker every week. Yale might be an even more improved team than Dartmouth this season. But I still think Harvard will win. That 10 point spread is too high though. Harvard wins, Yale covers.

Special Words

I’d like to write a sentence or two in honor of some of the other seniors who will be ending their Columbia careers tomorrow. I apologize for being too short with all of them, and I wish I could write long pieces about all the seniors. But I hope the recognition here is a good beginning. (I also am trying to leave out the seniors who are likely to apply for 5th year status):

Nico Gutierrez

Nico had a super freshman season and then struggled to recover from an ACL injury his next two years. As a senior this season, he broke out again and was a great weapon in the passing game and a reliable replacement for the injured Mike Stephens as a punt returner. His hard work to get himself physically able to play again is a huge credit to him.

Craig Hamilton

Super kick returner and a much better than expected defensive back. Craig made this season a lot more exciting.

Marc Holloway

Great linebacker who made his greatest impact during the Lions’ strong start to the 2009 season. A very popular guy among his teammates.

Leon Ivery

Made great strides as a junior and a senior. Had some great runs in his tenure and NEVER seemed to fumble.

Andrew Kennedy

Easily the best Columbia TE since Wade Fletcher in 2004, and he stayed a lot healthier over four years. The best tight end in the Ivies this season and a great team leader.

Bryan Kipp

Excellent plugger on the defensive line, fit in well with coach Denauld Brown’s heavy substitution policy.

Zack Kourouma

Great swing back and a very strong receiving threat out of the backfield. Who can forget his super 59-yard catch and run for a TD at a run-soaked Towson in 2008? He scored another great TD on a super catch against the same Towson Tigers this season.

Nathan Lenz

A true unsung hero. He wasn’t called on that much, but it seems like he ALWAYS got the yards and the blocks Columbia needed.

Adam Mehrer

A true superstar in the secondary and basically a four year starter. Mehrer became a better tackler year after year in addition to grabbing a good share of interceptions.

Matt Moretto

Came back from a tough injury and made a good impact on the team as a captain this year. A masterful team leader.

Mike Murphy

Overcame an injury to return to the team this year and return kicks nicely. One of the rare New York City natives on the team.

Daniel Myers

Great spark on special teams. His mustache is an unofficial MVP of the team!

Calvin Otis

A shutdown corner and another four year starter who overcame injuries. He’s got a chance to finish on a high note if he can contain Brown’s super WR Alex Tounkara Saturday.

Clif Pope

Great TE who simply had the misfortune of having to play behind the super Andrew Kennedy for four years. But he did get into some games and lots of two-tight end formations. When he caught a TD pass in the Princeton game this season, it was a real crowd pleaser.

Ian Quirk

His senior season has been cut short by injury, but he stepped up early on as a sophomore to become a major star on the offensive line.

Prentis Robinson

Excellent jack of all trades on the O-line. He got some good and effective playing time the last two seasons.

Tim Skalak

Another fantastically helpful backup on the offensive front. A big reason why the Lions O-line has gone from one of the worst offensive lines in the Ivies to one of the best since 2007.

Josh Smith

Broke out as a great force on the defensive line last year and has battled through injuries this season. A star.

Matt Stotler

Has emerged this season as a key part of the defensive line. With all the injuries at his position, he’s been a Godsend.

Augie Williams

A massive spark plug on special teams and on the defense for four years. You can’t bottle what he brought in enthusiasm for this game. If you did, it would be banned!

Gentlemen, it’s been a pleasure watching you play for four years. You deserved better than the won-lost record over those seasons, but you gained something even more valuable than wins.

All of us thank you so very much for keeping Columbia football alive.

Now go make your mark one last time against Brown!


I'm being told that the Columbia University Marching Band will be performing tomorrow, (Friday), morning on the CBS Early Show. Check it out.


At Fri Nov 19, 09:03:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice write-up, Jake. May I add that Senior Paul Havas made his first reception last week after switching from quarterback. Havas has come close to making some other big catches the last couple of weeks. Another senior, Dan Cohen, has been a major contributor on the offensive line. Incidentally, speaking of the offensive line, at this point the only senior starter is the tight end, co-captain, Andrew Kennedy. The OL could be very good next year with Jeff Adams, Kyle Stupi, Xander Frantz and five other strong players returning from the two deep. The DL will also return plenty of players including Popeck, Groth, Martin, Adebayo, Murphy, Patterson and Sommers. The DL should be very good with those guys and really outstanding if Owen Fraser is healthy or the Lions can get another stellar player off the junior varsity or the incoming class. Hope we go out strong with a big victory over Brown. Go Lions!

At Fri Nov 19, 07:00:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are any seniors putting in for a fifth year?

At Fri Nov 19, 09:17:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the first poster. We have a great core group coming back on both sides of the ball.

Hopefully Owen will stay healthy and is back to full game shape. His 1st year explosiveness and Groth next to him would give the line the size needed to do some real damage consistently next year. The other tackles have done really great this year and that will be a powerful advantage next year, but, their size is killing us.

All this a side, we have a great chance to beat Brown. We are playing as team and that is a major advantage. Smart play calling, smart use of players and not turning over the ball will be key. Use the big guys on the DL.

At Sat Nov 20, 12:34:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Otis said...


As we've told you in person, you are such a wonderful asset for this program. Playing at this level requires a significant investment of time and emotion, amplified by the academic demands of an Ivy League institution. Our experience as parents has been enriched by your insights. And, I know the players also appreciate your thoughtful and constructive observations. You are a big part of the reason why we'll be "Lions for life." All the best. Calvin Otis's Parents

At Sat Nov 20, 12:36:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Otis said...


As we've told you in person, you are such a wonderful asset for this program. Playing at this level requires a significant investment of time and emotion, amplified by the academic demands of an Ivy League institution. Our experience as parents has been enriched by your insights. And, I know the players also appreciate your thoughtful and constructive observations. You are a big part of the reason why we'll be "Lions for life." All the best. Calvin Otis's Parents

At Sat Nov 20, 04:09:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Gym Ratt said...

It's hard to believe that this is it for the season. I think we all can agree the Ivy football season is way too short.

Going into this final week I'm 36-12 ATS and would love to go out with a perfect Saturday.

I agree with Jack's picks accept on Penn:

I'll take Yale +10 over Harvard. Always a hard game to call.

Dartmouth -8 1/2 over Princeton.
DC needs to win for it's first winning season in 13 years.

Columbia +7 over Brown

but I'll take Cornell +25 over Penn. Too many points to give up.

I hope the Lions can finish on a winning note.

At Sat Nov 20, 04:47:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Headin from Boston to Providence to see the game. Hopefully I am not a jinx, as the last time I went to Providence we lost big.

I would like to see Gross put some hard hits on some RBs and WRs to set an early physical tone for the game. And I would like to see our offense spread things out and use our speed at QB and RB to put them on their back heels with the option. Let's not forget how well Brackett can run this.

Supposed to be windy tomorrow, so play calling should factor this in.

Chen '82

At Sat Nov 20, 04:49:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Zach Olinger puts on 15-20 lbs and steps into the MLB role next year. I mean you gotta like his ooozes football

At Sat Nov 20, 06:05:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul Havas should also be commended for his role in the improvement of the placekicking and PAT duties. The snaps and holds have been tremendous this season. Havas has done a great job holding this season.

At Sun Nov 21, 12:00:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto on congratulations to Paul Havas on doing an outstanding job on holding duties and to whoever is doing the long snapping. Luke Eddy is a difference maker in a close game and I hope he gets some opportunities today.


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