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.”
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.
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.