Friday, November 12, 2010

Week 9 Picks and Scouting Cornell

The Columbia game notes for this week’s game at home against Cornell.

We are still without Ian Quirk according to the two-deep. That’s a darn shame, since this would be his final home game as a senior. Sophomore Xander Frantz gets the start again at RG.

Make it three strong weeks in a row now for my game predictions as we head into the home stretch of 2010.

Let’s see how I did in week 8:

Dartmouth -10 at Cornell

Jake Said: "With their running game and decent pass rush, Cornell should get badly beaten. Take Dartmouth and give the points."

Result: Dartmouth pulled away late to win 28-10. 1-0 overall, 1-0 against the spread.

Yale +5 at Brown

Jake Said: "I like Brown to win this game, but I think the five point spread is too much. Yale covers."

Result: Yale pulled out a squeaker win. 1-1, 2-0 ATS.

Penn -17 ½ at Princeton

Jake Said: "Forget the home field advantage. The Tigers are just without a prayer of making it close against Penn."

Result: Penn won 52-10, and it wasn’t that close. 2-1, 3-0 ATS.

So my record as we begin week 9 is now 27-11 overall and 27-11 ATS.

On to this week:

Princeton +22 ½ at Yale

It’s a huge spread, I know. But Princeton is in serious trouble. The Elis can smell a shot at a title and this is the season finale at home. The Elis will cover.

Brown +3 at Dartmouth

This spread would have been unthinkable just a few weeks ago. But now it seems just about right. I wish I could pick a tie against the spread, because I think the Big Green will indeed win by three points. But I will conform and say Dartmouth will beat the spread here.

Harvard +6 ½ at Penn

This is another spread that really looks just about right. But Penn is a better bet to win by 7 or more. The Quakers win and cover.

Scouting Cornell

The numbers don’t lie. Cornell is struggling as it’s ranked dead last in the league on offense and second to last on defense.

The Big Red are gaining just 79 yards rushing per game and allowing a whopping 245 yards on the ground each week.

The offense has allowed an incredible 43 sacks already, more than five per game.

Obviously, there are still some positives.

Freshman QB Jeff Matthews is tough and talented. He’s taking most of those sacks and getting back up. At 6-4, he’s got the look of a great passer for the future.

Lafayette transfer RB Nick Booker-Tandy runs well and is averaging 4 yards per carry.

WR’s Shane Savage and Luke Tasker, (son of Buffalo Bills great Steve Tasker), are dangerous and exciting.

On defense, where Cornell is faring relatively better this season, the Big Red have a 6-6 defensive end in Justin Harris who has power and speed. The pass defense has done decently, but hasn’t really been tested.

I still think new Head Coach Kent Austin is extremely capable and we will soon be talking about how far Cornell has come in such a short time.

But you can’t get away from that 10 points per game offensive output and the inability to protect the QB. Those are killers for the Big Red. Cornell’s two wins this year were against the worst Princeton team in at least 28 years and an awful Bucknell squad.

97, 98, or 99?

I’ve made some mistakes of my own with this calculation lately, so there is no finger pointing here, but Saturday’s game will be the 99th in the Columbia-Cornell series. Not the 97th, 98th or anything else.

That means the historic 100th meeting will actually be NEXT YEAR in Ithaca.

Oh well.


At Fri Nov 12, 12:52:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Gym Ratt said...

I took a hit last week 1-3 (ATS) (34-10 ATS this season) and this week will be tuff given the large spreads as of Friday.

Yale -21 1/2 vs Princeton. This is almost unheard of--Tigers will be up by 3TD's before the opening kick-off---However, I predict Yale comes on strong and weakens the Tigers. I'll give the points and take the Bulldogs.

Penn -6 1/2 vs Harvard. Penn is on a roll and will cover. I'm taking the Quakers.

DC -3 vs Brown. I agree with Jake--a tuff one to call. I think Buddy will have his boys ready. I'll taking the Green.

Columbia -19 vs Cornell. Two teams going nowhere. Cornell lost by 18 last weekend to DC--Lions lost to DC by 3. Lions have disappointed the past 2 weekends. Lions will win but not cover. I'm taking Cornell and the points.

Good luck to all.

At Fri Nov 12, 11:41:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy, Gym Ratt's post says it all. "Lions have disappointed the past 2 weekends." This is the kind of crap you have to put up with from the FANS of Columbia football when you consider coming here to play. Oh, yea, also, being called "not mentally tough." Not mentally tough? Never mind that you will be called "outsiders" in your classrooms by fellow students, and you won't EVER see a pep rally or bonfire, nor hear your marching band winding through the campus the morning of the game or playing for your practices at night. You will have to endure the Columbia Spectator identifying Senior day but talking with only 3 of 26 seniors on the team, columnists who have never played the game of football expecting wins and whining when losses come, and not being able to see the overall upgrade of the program, let alone the dramatic steps in improving the competitive level of the team in four years. This year I asked player-parents of other Ivy schools - most notably Penn, Yale, and Harvard, since we want to compete with them - about their son's TOTAL experience of college football, and I can say that, without a doubt, the ONLY thing that Columbia compares to those others is in the quality of coaching and, now, the level they compete at. As felt by the players, the support from alumni who didn't play football at those other places is more about the team's progress than the alumni expectation(yes, even at those schools); and they interact with ALL the players constantly, even the last freshman recruited. The support from students and school is more like real college. The support from media is actual support. Gosh, even Cornell's newspaper interviews its players about issues pertaining to football at large, and not just their own disappointment in this year's team! Turning a college football program around requires so much more than just better play on the field, and that's what makes it, perhaps, the hardest thing to do in sports, notwithstanding hitting a baseball. I am proud of what my son and the team has accomplished. I couldn't have done it, and I played college football. It has been a transformative experience for him despite so much to overcome, much of which he and the team has. Thank you, Coach Wilson and the staff for giving my son the college football experience he needed and deserved to become a fully educated man.

At Fri Nov 12, 11:41:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, I'm curious why you said that this was the worst Princeton team specifically "in at least 28 years." The Tiger team of 1982 was 3-7 overall and 3-4 in the league. You have to go back to 1973 to find the only Princeton team to finish winless in the conference. Even that 1973 squad beat a pretty good Colgate team and lost two Ivy games by only one point. Princeton has never gone winless overall for an entire season. This year's squad is an overtime victory over Lafayette away from doing so. Don't you think that one could make a pretty reasonable argument that this year's edition is the worst Princeton team in history?

At Fri Nov 12, 11:56:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Lions have disappointed the past 2 weekends." Against Yale they played the best half of Ivy ball this season of any team. And against Harvard they stood toe to toe for three quarters, save for a freak play and back refereeing call, and one short field TD they gave up. All on the road. All against the Ivy elite. With a sophomore QB (now, again, what years were the other QB's?) in a QB driven league. And, did they really shut out Yale and Harvard for half of each game? And didn't both opposing coaches say about us ... Never mind. I just can't understand "supporting" your team by turning a blind eye to the obvious upgrade in talent and competitiveness. Those who see what has happened on the field these last four years are pleased with the progress, and hungry for more!

At Sat Nov 13, 01:24:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous who is the parent of a CU player and played college football himself--Thank you for your very interesting perspective. I'm happy that current players are having a happy, positive personal and team experience. I've always said priority No. 1 is the welfare and experience of the student athletes themselves. However, alumni who love football and love their school also have an investment in the team, even if their personal perspective is not exactly the same as that of the players and their families. Without those fans, there wouldn't be a "program" or a varsity experience at all, there'd be an intramural team. So while I understand your feelings, I think you have to understand that "disappointment" will exist among loyal alums who've experienced--depending on their ages--up to almost 60 years of consistent and at times unrelieved losing.
I'm curious--and this has been asked before--what your take is on why the level of on-campus support is so low at Columbia compared with other Ivies--I'm not talking Notre Dame, USC, Alabama--just other Ivies. It can't be the "big city" thing--other Ivies are in big cities too. And as for the type of faculty, admin. and student body, certainly other Ivies match us in having large percentages of those three units that are anti-sports, or apathetic to them, or too PC or far left, etc. to feel school spirit via sports. Any thoughts about why
this disconnect is so hard to reform at Columbia?

At Sat Nov 13, 02:51:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting perspective from the parent of a player. There is no question the team is competitive and the program on sound footing. I agree that turning around a football program is daunting, given the need for 100+ players, national recruiting, big coaching staffs and expensive facilities. As an 80s alum, I remember well that during the losing streak many football recruits quit after freshman year. So it's nice to see so many players staying on the team for four years. But this idea that any and all criticism is out of bounds is a bit much. They've lost five games the past two seasons by seven points or less and won zero games by seven points or less. They've alternated horrible stretches with flashes of brilliance, often in the same game. Why is that? No one expects them to win every close game, or be perfect every week, but you can't give them a pass for playing well enough to keep it close. And as for the idea the program has made a great leap forward, we won 7games in the 80s, 34 games in the 90s and 26 games in the 00s. If anything, Ray Tellier should get more respect for what he accomplished in reviving the program. NW seems like he has the team on the right track but he hasn't taken CU to the next level. Let's not fall into the trap of thinking the team deserves better treatment from fans and media because it tries hard. You get respect (and fans and media attention) by playing good football for 60 minutes and winning.

At Sat Nov 13, 05:33:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today's JV Report:
We made more plays than their group (who looked very BIG)
Our # 23 is a playmaker with a nifty KO return and a run up the middle for a TD at the start of the 4th quarter. I don,t know why he is not on the field on Saturdays. It is not as if we lead the league in rushing or have won 6 games with the guys playing now.

NB In last year's Brown game, we ran the ball 46 times!!

At Sat Nov 13, 05:42:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, with your permission, I would like to start a new tradition by listing on your Blog the names of all 26 of our graduating senior Lion Footbll Players. On behalf, of Columbia Football Fans everywhere, thank you to the graduating seniors for their efforts:



























Good luck to all the graduating seniors and their families!

Lion Football Fan

At Sat Nov 13, 06:41:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger DOC said...

Thank you to the CU player-parent for your take on the frustration of dealing with an apathetic student body, less-than-supportive newsprint coverage, and an alumni base that, at times, appears more interested in records than progress.
I cant speak for the first two issues
but as an interested alum, I can say that the transformation of this program from perennial doormat to respected opponent has been extremely gratifying. Maybe we need to be more patient, given the obstacles facing these men,that you so eloquently point out. Our only defense is that some of us, as another poster noted, have been waiting for half a lifetime to see an Ivy Championship banner fly over Wien Stadium. Soon we will be close enough to taste it...
Its gonna be a beautiful day for football tomorrow.

At Sat Nov 13, 06:57:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a parent I want to thank Lion Football Fan for the acknowledgment of our sons. It is GREATLY appreciated. Those who may not be aware of the commitment required to play D1 football, and in the Ivy League (especially at Columbia which doesn't, and shouldn't, give consideration to athletes in terms of academic rigor), then it is hard to imagine. There is little else in undergrad that is comparable. Now, I wonder what it would take to get the Columbia Spectator to mention, just mention, the Seniors?

At Sat Nov 13, 09:09:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did we win or lose the jv game? By what score?

At Sat Nov 13, 02:14:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The football roster shows Number 23as freshman Marcorus Garrett, a speedy RB prospect. If they can't use him this season, I'd surely expect him to get a shot next year since Ivery and Kourouma are graduating.

At Sat Nov 13, 08:48:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Gym Ratt said...

Let me state why I posted that the last two weeks were 'disappointing' for Lion backers.

We played a Dr. Jekyll-- Mr. Hyde game against Yale. Take away one of the first quarters and we would have blown out the Bulldogs.

I had hoped that the spectacular 2nd half against Yale would have given us a big burst of momentum going into the Harvard game. It didn't happen.


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