Friday, December 17, 2010

The Wish List

Yesterday’s tabled vote on scholarships for Patriot League football makes me wonder if a massive FCS realignment is in the wind.

If the Patriot League is somehow dissolved and the teams have to join other conferences, Columbia might have to start thinking about adding some new names to its out of conference schedule.

Here are a few thoughts on some of the teams I wouldn’t mind seeing become regulars on the Lions schedule:


The Hoyas really seem like the most obvious choice. Columbia played Georgetown to a thrilling 23-21 victory at Wien Stadium in 2006, but the Hoyas mysteriously disappeared from the schedule after that.

The two schools are both top academic institutions, there is a large alumni contingent for both schools in Washington, D.C. and New York, and there’s one more key connection: Lou Little.

Columbia’s greatest coach of all time roamed the sidelines at Georgetown before making the jump to the Lions in 1930.

I’d like to see these two teams play annually, or at least every other year, and have the winner claim the “Lou Little Cup.”

Stony Brook

The biggest “pro” here is that this game wouldn’t be a real “road game” when played at Stony Brook, which is about an hour trip from the Columbia campus.

Stony Brook has a great, modern stadium.

I’d also like to see the Lions raise their profile in front of the very untapped fan and recruiting base on Long Island.

And playing more local teams seems like a great idea in general.

The “con,” (for some people), is that Stony Brook is another scholarship school that is looking to become a top tier FCS team like UNH and Applachian State.

But that’s not such a “con” in my opinion, as I think playing one super tough opponent out of conference will do wonders for the Lions as they prepare for Ivy competition.

And while Stony Brook is TRYING to raise itself up to the highest highs, it’s not a foregone conclusion that it will get there.

Old Dominion

This is admittedly my wildcard choice. And I have soft spot in my heart for this school because I used to roam the campus by myself while my dad taught there in the late 1970’s.

But Columbia and all Ivy football followers really NEED to see an FCS program that is on the rise in every category, especially fan attendance and local non-student/alumni interest.

Game day in Norfolk, Virginia has become a real local event. The folks at ODU really did everything right when they reintroduced football in 2009.

Yes, the Monarchs are another team that is getting very, very good and could be as tough as Penn or Harvard in a typical year. Plus, the trip to southern Virginia would be long.

But after Cornell bailed on a commitment to play the Monarchs in their inaugural season, I think any road trip would be softened by some very warm hospitality for an Ivy League team.


At Fri Dec 17, 09:48:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

georgetown is on this year's schedule

At Fri Dec 17, 07:46:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger HBShannon said...

If the Patriot ever broke up, is it completely inconcievable that the Ivy League would expand to include say a Georgetown or Colgate, or is that the highest degree of blasphemy, right below allowing football teams to play an 11th game or participate in playoffs?

At Fri Dec 17, 07:49:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger HBShannon said...

I'd like to see Rutgers and William & Mary added to some Ivy schedules.

Someone would need to volunteer for the FBS punding by Rutgers but it has some historical charm, especially if it is Princeton in a re-creation match-up (which should take place at least once every 25 years).

At Fri Dec 17, 08:14:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Ivy League brand is set and they aren't about to let anyone else through the door. Take it to the bank.

At Fri Dec 17, 08:59:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

Monmouth, which has already sent at least one starter to the NFL (to Dallas), would be a viable opponent. It also has the virtue of being close by. Ditto for Sacred Heart.

I also believe we still owe Duquesne the back half of a home-and-home deal. The options are out there.

And there's nothing wrong with playing Central Connecticut State again, either.

At Fri Dec 17, 09:58:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Ivies will never add a new school, unless Penn or Cornell or both decide to go Division 1. Both schools seem to be more in the mode of a Northwestern or a Vanderbilt IMHO. Were West Point of Annapolis to decide to deemphasize football they would be more suitable for the Ivies.

At Fri Dec 17, 10:14:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only way I can plausibly see the Ivy expanding is if the NCAA raises the minimum "teams in conference" number to 9 to qualify for an auto-bid in the basketball tournament. And even then, I'm not so sure the Ivy would expand... It would certainly be fun seeing other schools fight each other to join the Ivy, though. :)

At Sat Dec 18, 01:12:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been curious why Rutgers didn't join the Ivy League in 1956 instead of Cornell. It was a fit back then, and Cornell -- as a non-colonial, land grant, quasi state school -- was not. (Georgetown and William & Mary might have been other appropriately aged and reputable schools at the time too.) Perhaps the issue was scholarships. There were some in the Columbia camp who were against joining the league for cultural and practical reasons, including scholies.

At Sat Dec 18, 01:25:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re Rutgers, I believe that the mid 50s was when Rutgers went from being a private school to a public one, which could have made a major difference.

As for the historical charm of playing a Rutgers in football, there's no charm in getting your brains beat out. If the Ivies had the benefit of schollies, maybe, but otherwise not.


At Sat Dec 18, 02:26:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congradulations to Andrew Kennedy for the AP All Ameican 2nd team. His second award this week.

On the note maybe the couches should look at the players listed under DL. The lightest was 265lb. The average was 285-290. No 220lb NTs.

At Sat Dec 18, 03:00:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rutgers probalby wasn't invited to join the Ivy League. Princeton, 10 miles away, always looked down at Rutgers and likely would have opposed Rutgers. Was Rutgers a better school than Cornell in the 50s? I suppose that Cornell Arts & Sciences was better than Rutgers. But Cornell is a very mixed bag. Although Jake doesn't hearing this, I think that Cornell only has two "Ivy" elements; Arts & Sciences and Engineering. The state schools are really a back door into a Cornell diploma, and despite what youu read on voyforums almost all varsity athletes at Cornell are in the state schools. 11 of the 12 person backetball rotation was from the state schools last year.

At Sat Dec 18, 03:12:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't want to sound too self-congratulatory here in terms of the Ivy League being the be-all and end-all. However, one does have to wonder why Rutgers did not do a better job of managing its way into the conference.

In terms of history and geography, Rutgers would appear to have had a huge head start on Cornell. There must a story as to why Rutgers did not realize the academic benefits of maintaining a close athletic relationship with Princeton, Columbia, Penn and Yale. That seems like a huge strategic error in hindsight.

Imagine how easily the Ivy League today could have included Rutgers. How much is that worth to a university in terms of attracting students and faculty? I'd say it's darn near incalculable.

I laugh when I read the comments and articles from Penn fans and DP columnists saying that the Quakers should bolt the Ivy League for the ACC or the Big East.

Penn without the Ivy affiliation is Vanderbilt.

At Sat Dec 18, 04:21:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect the Ivy coaches were extremely nervous about the Patriot League vote since the two conferences recruit the same demographic for football. Today, the Ivy has the advantage in recruiting because while both leagues cost relatively the same the need based awards in the Ivy are higher. Erase that advantage with merit based scholarships and the Ivy has a tougher time recruiting. The biggest potential impact of the vote was on the quality of Ivy football. Finding some random teams to schedule is not much of a big deal.

Princeton boasts that it wins more total NCAA championships than any (most other) schools in the country. No one questions the academic integrity of Princeton. Would that change if Princeton added one more banner by winning the FCS playoffs?

I would have loved to have seen Penn make a deep run in the playoffs this year.

At Sat Dec 18, 08:35:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Much uninformed info about Cornell here. The 3 state supported undergrad schools at Cornell are all considered the best of their kind in the nation, if not the world. Admission is very selective. Many athletes major in business, which is a school [Dyson] in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences. Dyson is both highly selective [14% admit rate] and highly rated [top 5 Business Week, top 10 US News].

At Sat Dec 18, 10:42:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The main proof that Cornell is really more of a state school is its marching band.....all those spiffy uniforms, tight formations and great sounding songs/numbers just don't fit in our league.

At Sun Dec 19, 12:00:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re Cornell, it's a stretch to think that is a mere coincidence that all of the major sports are packed with aggies, hotel admin etc. Just look at Cornell's two deep and ask the Cornell bloggers to post the school next to each name.

At Sun Dec 19, 01:07:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have to laugh at the hate towards Cornell. They have had back-to-back 2-8 seasons. I'd like the Columbia bloggers to post academic info that supports that the Lions two deep is truly representative of the rest of the students.

At Sun Dec 19, 03:17:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the idea of playing an NEC (North East Conference) team once in a while. A little diversity in the schedule never hurts.

As a Columbia Lions fan from Western PA I would love to see a match-up with a team like Duquesne or Robert Morris.

At Mon Dec 20, 09:43:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember reading a book years ago about Penn's sports history.

I seem to recall that Rutgers was originally given an Ivy invite and not Penn and that Rutgers turned it down because they wanted schollies and had hoped to maintain high footbal profile.

Penn had been a powerhouse at that time, too, but the Pres of Penn desperately wanted to be invited to join the Ivies because they wanted the academic reputation. I think it was the Pres at Brown who went to bat in front of the other schools and convinced them to give Penn the final invite (that RU turned down).

Penn had a reputation of bringing just about anyone in if they could play football and hiding them in their GS schools. So Penn was on a sort of probationary period the first few years.

That's how I remember it but maybe I am mixing some things up.

At Thu Dec 23, 06:34:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of all the Patriot League schools, Georgetown to me seems to bring the best academics...Not sure how their basketball team would make up their schedule given they could/win the Ivies every year.

At Thu Dec 23, 06:44:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pick Georgetown and drop Cornell, Hoyas admission rate below 19% a full 6 points better than cornell and just a fraction above Dartmouth.

At Thu Dec 23, 09:23:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again more misinformation re Cornell. Cornell's admit rate last year was 18%.


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