Sunday, October 16, 2011

Finding a Way... to Lose

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Boneheadedness doesn't even begin to describe it...

Penn 27 Columbia 20

Why Penn Won

The Quakers offensive line shook off a weak start and powered the Quakers just enough to make sure Penn took advantage of several great opportunities.

Penn QB Billy Ragone played a conservative, but smart, game and never turned the ball over. He also scored two TD's, one at the end of each half.

Why Columbia Lost

Incredible mistakes on offense gift wrapped a win for the Quakers.

Penalties on offense, shockingly bad decisions on kickoffs, poor clock management and more stubborn play calling sealed the Lions fate.

Key Turning Points

-Leading 10-0 early the second quarter, the Lions once again had poor coverage on a kickoff giving Penn the ball at their own 46 to start the drive. On that drive an extremely poor call by the refs negated a clear Quaker fumble and Penn was able to convert a FG to make it 10-3.

-Trailing 10-3 with seven seconds left in the half, Penn Head Coach Al Bagnoli elected to go for the TD on a 4th and goal from the Columbia one rather than kick a field goal. Ragone pushed himself in for demoralizing game tying TD.

-Leading 17-10 in the third quarter and pushing Penn back on its heels, the Lions faced a 2nd and less than a yard at their own 47. Instead of running the ball or throwing it deep, the call was for a chancy sideline pass that was predictably picked off at the Quaker 48.

-The game truly was decided by an incredible sequence in the fourth quarter. With less than two minutes left and Columbia traling 20-17, the Lions found themselves with a 2nd and three at the Penn four. Columbia then committed two straight false start penalties and then a delay of game penalty as the play clock ran out with the coaches still chatting on the field.

After Luke Eddy somewhat bailed out the team with a brilliant 36-yard game tying field goal, the coaches again decided to try a squib kickoff play that hasn't worked all year. Not surprisingly, the play failed miserably and the Quakers took over at their own 45.

Five plays later Ragone was streaking into the end zone for the winning touchdown.

Columbia Positives

-The Lions defense held the mighty Quaker running game to just over three yards a carry and gave the team every chance to win.

-QB Sean Brackett had some brilliant runs when the Lions really needed them, and he also completed some key passes at crucial times.

-Eddy shook off his rough game from last week and hit both PAT's and both FG's... the second one against the wind to tie the game.

Columbia Negatives

-Columbia committed a total of four penalties inside the Penn red zone, costing them eight points and the game.

-The Lions running game just continues not to work overall.

-Has anyone ever seen a head coach standing on the field still talking with his QB with no timeouts left and the play clock ticking down to less than eight seconds left? This after his team had already just been called for two straight false start penalties?

The conduct and decision making of this coaching staff is nothing short of criminal.

Columbia MVP

Kurt Williams had a big game at WR, his biggest play coming on a diving catch on a 4th and 10 for a first down on what should have been Columbia's winning drive.

But the clutch kicking by Luke Eddy was so good he deserves to share the MVP honors with Williams.


At Sun Oct 16, 09:11:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WILSON SHOULD BE FIRED TONIGHT! A squib kickoff after we tied the game luckily with a field goal (thanks only to PK Luke Eddy) after the moronic coaching staff couldn't decide what play to call and blew the chance for a TD by letting the play clock run out! A squib kickoff? Instead of licking deep and amaking Penn move down the field and score in 90 seconds with no timeouts to use, we hand Penn the ball at their 44 yard line?
What a waste of a great effort. No more excuses for Norries Wilson..."Oh gee he recruits well." So do all the other coaches. But you have to coach the game on game day!
He is a terrible coach, so are his assistants. That pass play on 2nd and 1 deep in Penn territory was
another mornic call even if Brackett were passing well, and he was passed TERRIBLY all game.
You can't beat your opponent if your coach is totally incompetent. All my donations that went to football will go to charities for sick or hungry children from now.

At Sun Oct 16, 09:30:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fire Norries now period. You can't just blame a coordinator anymore. Just look at the 4th quarter; offense collapses on second and 3 to win the game. Special teams DEVASTATED us with a terrible kick. Defense looked like swiss cheese.

I had a blast at homecoming and will continue to support our boys through thick and thin, but "c'mon man" that was a disgrace, our players deserve better.

Our boys played extremely well, yet FOUND A WAY TO LOSE, as you said Jake. Change something NOW please. And Jake, please don't change your tone for anyone or anything (ahem bill Campbell ahem). Roar lions roar.

At Sun Oct 16, 09:34:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a Columbia fan, but sadly you are right. Your coach is so far in over his head it's amazing. He might make a good assistant somewhere. I got the impression Bagnoli wasn't as worried about losing the win steak as he was about being known as having been defeated by Wilson. That sequence at end of first half where the Lions passed instead of running, with incomplete passes stopping the clock and giving Penn the time it needed to make the tying touchdown drive, was mind boggling. Penn looked like the better team but the Lions could have pulled this one out with a real coaching staff.

Your QB looks like he may have some sort of throwing injury, based on the number of passes he threw badly.

At Sun Oct 16, 09:36:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guys played a great game. They are having a really hard time swallowing this loss. It was overall a very good game. We have to learn how to seal the deal in the end. We always have great starts but not a great finish.

Jake, I have to agree with you. Was Coach Wilson losing his mind? I really don't know whaat to call it. Insane!

Much props to the defense and special teams. They kept us in the game. Such a tough loss:-(

At Sun Oct 16, 09:42:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Disgusting officiating today probably blew the game for the Lions...and that poor clock management at the end...really??? We almost had a second delay of game called on us...c'mon!

First half...fumble caused by the Lion's defense...muffed by the refs. Would have been a change of possession as #57 recovered.

End of 1st half...Penn runner was down in bounds...the 7 seconds on the clock would have run out and that running touchdown by #10 would have never happened.

4th quarter...called pass interference on Lions #28...where was that? Turned out to be the winning drive for Penn...

At Sun Oct 16, 09:58:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Short and sweet summary of the game. You couldn't have put it any better.

At Sun Oct 16, 10:02:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone know what happened at the jv game on Friday?

At Sun Oct 16, 10:05:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Bob L said...

This game was winnable. Incredibly stupid calls by the coaching staff doomed the team. The sideline pass the was intercepted when Columbia was moving and had the ball around midfield, 2nd down and 2 was the same kind of call that Fordham intercepted and ran back for a 108 yard touchdown, breaking Columbia's back. The squib kick that gave Penn great field position after Columbia had tied the game with a field goal with 1:30 to go in the game also gave Sacred Heart great field position after a Columbia score last week.
Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Prior to Columbia tying the game with a field goal with 1:30 left in the game they had the ball at the Penn 4, 2nd down and 2. Two procedure penalties lost ten yards and then the coaches lost another five yards for delay of game.
This game was another winnable one aside from coaching mistakes. It's a damm shame.

At Sun Oct 16, 10:30:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The delay of game penalty, the third straight penalty, falls squarely on the shoulders of the coaching staff, as you've correctly pointed out. But the two previous false start penalties are on the players.

Judging from this one game alone, it's hard to know whether to be happy that we played Penn so close or to be sad that we -- players and coaches alike -- still found a way to lose.

At Sun Oct 16, 10:31:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As usual, spot on summary of the game. Has anyone heard an explanation for that moronic delay penalty? Did The coach simply forget there is a play clock in this game? And then they almost did it again!

At Sun Oct 16, 10:58:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's 11:50 pm and I'm still in a state of shock over this loss. Our guys outplayed Penn and yet gave the game away with some unfortunate mistakes and penalties. Obviously, there were some coaching blunders and awful calls by the refs, but those two false starts inside the Penn ten yard line were killers. I'm not sure you can blame those on the coaches. The delay of game penalty that moved the ball back another five yards is another matter. You're right Jake, that one was bad. However,great clutch catch by Kurt Williams, good all-around effort by the defense, smart takeaway by Kalisi Huggins and clutch long field goal by Luke Eddy. The Columbia side was packed with tremendously supportive, noisy students, alums and friends. Just a shame that the better team did not win today.

At Sun Oct 16, 11:38:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger DOC said...

What a shame that we couldnt close this one out despite having our foot squarely on Penn's neck. We cheered lustily, they played valiantly, but in the end it was same old Columbia.
The sequence of events that took place as time ran down under 2 minutes was nothing short of amazing.
I've never seen two consecutive false starts followed by a delay of game penalty, when it was apparent that the coaches couldnt decide on a play. They almost had a second consecutive delay of game penalty, forcing the offense to rush the 3rd down play. Instead of running off valuable clock time we threw 2 incompletions which left Penn all the time it needed to score. Of course , we had burned all our time outs so we had no way of stopping the clock after our fateful "squib-kickoff" that was more like an onside kick.
You cant make this stuff up....

At Sun Oct 16, 12:02:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did I see Charlie Brown out there? Arghhhh!!!!!
Terrible situational football.

Essentially the same problems this year as last zone turnovers. Fix them and we would be a winning program. This team needs intense work on situational football. It needs to learn how to win. We have equal talent but somehow we need to learn to win. I don't know, is it experience, seasoning, coaching, luck???

At Sun Oct 16, 05:11:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your analysis is RIGHT ON!
Time to get a coach who has experience as a WINNING head coach and not just an assistant looking to move up to HC

At Sun Oct 16, 07:02:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yelling, throwing things, threatening a player with loss of his job every time he makes a little mistake. Loss of composure and control on the sideline. That's what creates an atmosphere that causes 2 procedure penalties in crucial situuations. Players playing out of fear of a blistering attack instead of out of confidence they can get the job done. Sad to see some heroic efforts like Williams's go to waste. The real cause of the debacle was on full display on national tv.

At Sun Oct 16, 07:27:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let us hope that our next HC is an experiance HC so we know that he can handle the game. Firing the coach in the midseason is not the answer . At this point the AD should figure out what she wants in the next coach. He is a good guy so I do not want him fired in the middle . NW deserves better than that.

At Sun Oct 16, 07:28:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those that have never waited for players to leave the locker room after a game and greet their parents/friends, yesterday was the worst I have seen the players feel. The players exit at a high enough point one can see each exit before they enter the crowd. I don't have words to describe how they looked. We are represented by student athletes. The Core is an offering of world quality, now Dr. Murphy must let the athletes have collegiate quality coaching. We are not asking for the unattainable, only for these student athletes to have the opportunity to be led by a coaching staff that can make us competitive.

At Sun Oct 16, 07:35:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what about the defense first being penalized for having 12 men on the field, then needing to burn a time out to avoid a second penalty and finally having to sprint off the field all afternnon to avoid further penalties. Can someone please explain to me what that is all about?

At Sun Oct 16, 07:49:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Columbia was penalized 10 times for 82 yards, Penn had only 4 penalties all afternnon for 20 yards. From my perspective and apparently many others, the refs blew several calls against the Lions and there were some non-calls as well. Nevertheless, our side mismanaged the whole game in such a manner that however bad was the officiating the coaching was even worse.

At Sun Oct 16, 08:05:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bridgton Academy's Athletics website shows us losing to them in junior varsity football by a 34-33 score. For whatever reason, the Columbia Athletic Department never reports any information or results about junior varsity football games. I'm not sure if that is due to some policy, written or unwritten, or just plain laziness in the Columbia Athletic Department, but it certainly is wrong not to publicize the efforts of our junior varsity players. Does anyone know the reason for the Columbia Athletics Department's failure to report on the junior varsity games.

At Sun Oct 16, 08:05:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In football, the team that makes the fewest mistakes usually wins.

The false starts and delay of game at the end were just the exclamation points on a game where Columbia was able to hang in despite numerous mistakes and an offense that suffered too many bungled plays. You can't mess up every third or fourth play and expect to win.

FWIW, I don't think it's the players. The offense simply does not look crisp or well coached. There is no effective
running game and no effort to create uncertainty for the other side as to what play is coming.

False starts are on the coaches too. Marching 15 yards backwards from the 2 on penalties with the game on the line must be a record of some sort.

A well-coached team wins this game.

At Sun Oct 16, 08:24:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our next opponent, Dartmouth, lost its fourth straight game on Saturday, this time by a 25-17 score to Holy Cross. Teevens started a senior quarterback who seen very little prior action. He went 1-10 in passing before Teevens finally replaced him with his usual starter. Is it fair to say that Dartmouth has some coaching issues as well?

At Sun Oct 16, 08:33:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:02 AM has hit the nail on the head.

At Sun Oct 16, 09:20:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who the heck is responsible for the refereeing in the Ivy League? The refs were just horrible yesterday.

At Sun Oct 16, 09:25:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even the broadcast team on Versus questioned a few of the horrible calls by the officials, but Columbia could not cash in the opportunities Penn gave them in the 4th quarter and thus snatched defeat from the jaws of victory

At Sun Oct 16, 10:01:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Penn's Mitchell clearly fumbled in the second quarter and Columbia recovered, yet all six of the refs missed it. It was so obvious that you have to wonder what game the refs were watching or whether they were just plain rooting for Penn. The VERSUS announcers questioned the call and showed the fumble on the replay to the huge embarrassment of the refs and the Ivy League. If there is any standard at all for officiating in the Ivy League, this group of totally incompetent refs must be suspended immediately and never allowed to officiate another game!!!

At Sun Oct 16, 10:07:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On Columbia's first possession of the game, I believe it was the back judge who mistakenly called Sean Brackett for intentionally grounding at least five seconds after the play was over and despite the fact that there were two Columbia receivers in the area. The Ivy League changed its rules in the offseason so that there would no penalty imposed for intentional grounding if there was a receiver in the area of the thrown ball. The refs blew it and they should be suspended. The head guy should be fired. They missed call after call in the game including Penn's obvious fumble.What a bunch of incompetents!

At Sun Oct 16, 10:31:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

I still think, Jake, that your attempted pinioning of Dianne Murphy is unwarranted. But yes, Norries blew it badly a few times yesterday, especially re that delay of game penalty.

Watched the game on tape last night (being a genuine glutton for punishment). And that final pass interference penalty really was just outrageously bad officiating. As the annnouncers noted and showed twice via replay (something the Wien scoreboard never dares do), even the Penn player involved clearly showed with his body language that he expected to be flagged. He certainly owes the Lord much by way of thanks.

And something watching the game on the tube makes very clear: there is no other Ivy coach so clearly sourish and prick-like as Bagnoli. The man so obviously lacks a gene that allows for smiling (unless, perhaps, he's engaged in pulling the wings off live butterflies during the offseason.)

At Sun Oct 16, 10:45:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets highlight some great players
Martin-a beast that no team even wants to run at...Williams-a big play receiver...Bracket- a tough kid and a play maker without a real offensive coordinator..Gerst- a wasted tailback with the wrong OC...(By the way did anybody notice the blocks Gerst was making late in the game to give Bracket time to throw late in the game)Heard Penn fans asking why he doesn't get the ball..Mistretta-a force that is not utilized with that ridiculous changing on defense..

An offense without the right scheme that never gets a rhythm based on playmakers and a defense in disaray...

But in spite of having a coaching staff without a clue the entire team gave it their best shot...You have to feel terrible for this group of kids.



At Sun Oct 16, 10:53:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, the Ivy League Coordinator of Officials is Jim Maconaghy. He is charged with the responsiblity for reviewing the actions of the referees on the field. At the Ivy League Media Conference in August, Mr. Maconaghy stated that the rule on intentional grounding had been changed so that a quarterback would no longer be called for intentional grounding even if there was no opportunity for a receiver to catch a ball as long there was an eligible receiver in the area of the thrown ball. Obviously, the refs mistakenly called the Lions' Sean Brackett for intentional grounding in the first quarter of yesterday's game since there was at least one receiver in the area. Either Maconaghy failed to advise the refs yesterday of the rule change or the refs just plain blew it. Maconaghy also said at the media conference that any questionable referring of all the games would be reviewed by himself and the League's Director, Robin Harris. Therefore, Maconaghy and Harris have obligated themselves publicly to review what happened at yesterday's Columbia-Penn football game. If Maconaghy and Harris do not come to the same obvious conclusion as the VERSUS announcers and everyone else, that the refs blew numerous calls, then Maconaghy and Harris ought to be fired also. Incidentally, this is not intended to divert attention from yesterday's result or coaching issues, but as a football purist I hate it when the outcome of the football game is affected by poor officiating.

At Sun Oct 16, 11:17:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Columbia is ever going to win an Ivy League Football Championship something has to be done to establish a level football field in Ivy League recruiting. Whoever is the head coach has to deal with the fact that at the beginning of the recruiting cycle more gifted high school football players throughout the nation are interested in attending Harvard, Yale and Princeton then the rest of the Ivies. Penn compensates by useing its undergraduate business school as an enticement which Columbia cannot do because we do not have and ungraduate business school. Cornell does about the same thing as Penn, with its undergradute business management school within the State Agriculture School. And Cornell also uses its Hotel Administration school which obviously attracts a different type of athlete. Brown has an open do you want curriculum that appeals to many. Finally, Dartmouth takes lots of football players by early admission, although that hook alone doesn't seem to be enough for a winning football program. As for Columbia we have never found a hook that works That is the problem, my friends, more so than the coaching.

At Sun Oct 16, 11:25:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cathar .... go back and look at the Versus tape again .... but go back to right after Columbia tied it up .... Bagnoli was really jawboning the ref on the sideline (by the way this was the guy that missed the fumble recovery in the 2nd Qtr) .... the ref Bagnoli was yelling at called the interference at the end of the game .... go figure ...

Frank F

At Sun Oct 16, 11:36:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the last poster, CU clearly had comparable talent to Penn yesterday. We were in no way over-matched physically or at skill positions. That was what makes the loss so sickening. Bagnoli may be a jerk, but he'll go 6-4 this year with similar talent to CU, and we're on our way to 0-10. That is 100% on NW. The refs were bad yesterday but our game management at the end of the first and second halves was unbelievably poor. Penn's execution in crucial situations was so much better than ours.

Yesterday's loss was sickening because the team played well and should have won. But they self-destructed at the end of both halves. That suggests lack of composure and confidence.

PS -- Brackett is terribly inaccurate. Is he hurt?

At Sun Oct 16, 11:52:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could not disagree more about the recruiting disadvantage...There are incredible business opportunities and alumni in the greatest city in the world. What nonsense..New York City is the business capital of the world...Imagine a good coaching staff that these boys really want to play for and respect...and then a ride into Times Square after a big win after a nationally televised game...JUST IMAGEINE...and then tell me about a recruiting disadvantage...Talk to the players both past and present about what goes on inside..That recruiting thing is another excuse masking the real problem...

If you put this coaching staff at any other Ivy league school you would see the same results. There is no big difference in the talent level at any of the these schools...


At Mon Oct 17, 12:02:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having been through the Ivy recruiting process with my son, Columbia does have some hurdles to clear.
Firt is the location of the football facilities. I know some say Harvard and Penn facilites are not close, or Princeton, but they are at most 15 minute walks from campus, including Franklin Field. Also, for some parents, this may be a drawback as Columbia uses the Lucerne (very nice) on West 79th to host the parents. Not exactly easy to walk out of the hotel and stroll the campus.
Second, Yes, Columbia is strictly liberal arts or engineering and other schools use to recruit what they can offer academically. Third is NYC. For most of these kids, living in NYC is much different than any other Ivy location. Some do not want to be in NYC for four years. My opinion is what I have written from being on official visits. Others will disagree.

The fact is I am pleased my son is at Columbia and in NYC. Also evident is that Columbia has at least equal talent so being able to recruit to Columbia is not the issue. The issue is that the talent is not being allowed to be put into position to win.

At Mon Oct 17, 12:12:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, I know how passionate you are about CU football, but your recent hostility to the program and the outrageous drumbeat you are leading here is disgusting. The coaches, Billy Campbell and Dr. Murphy are all parts of the program, whether you guys like it or not, and ad hominem attacks on them are attacks on the program, whether you like it or not. The prejudice you guys are showing is amazing. When Brackett competes a pass, he made a great play. When he throws an interception it's a bad call by the coach. On every play, Brackett has multiple options -- he chooses the one he goes with, not the coach. The Fordham pick-6? Brackett's call -- and he said so, himself. Same last night. And yes that delay of game call was horrible, and Wilson deserves criticism for it. But you don't get there without the two false starts, the second of which was Adams, a senior who knows better. The squib kick is another legit criticism, and not what I would have done. But Penn's prior two KO returns got to the 42 and 46, and the kick was into a gale. Maybe the coaches were concerned about a big runback or maybe Guttas was trying to kick low and long to keep it out of the wind -- he had done that once earlier -- and he shanked it slightly.
Anyway, enough. You give no credit to the coaches for getting the team ready for the game. You give them no credit for strategy throughout the game and especially on the brilliant first drive of the second half.
The problem here is very apparent -- it's the offensive line play. Everything other problem stems from it, and it has been terrible. Ask the players, they will tell you.
Criticize Wilson for clock management and losing it over his players' boneheaded mistakes at the end of the game. But give him credit for getting and keeping his team in the game, too. Now you guys can start flaming me too. And, by the way, look at the current Spec about the core. It's being taught mostly by adjuncts and grad students. "World class" in theory, maybe, but not in execution.

At Mon Oct 17, 12:53:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The defense of NW and the coaches is wrong and Jake is right. We have comparable talent to Penn and much, much worse results. Is the right answer to just accept losing, to the point that we go 0-10 with a team that Bagnoli or Estes could coach to 5-5? To concede that we will always fail to make plays at the end of a game? That we can't manage the clock? That our best athletes play four years and don't really seem to improve along the way?

Yes, the players have to execute the plays and yes, it's not NW's fault when Brackett throws behind receivers or Adams false starts, but play-calling, clock management and composure are all bad. If CU is going to ask kids to spend hundreds of hours per year on football, it owes them a chance to win.

Kudos to Jake for having the guts to demand something better.

At Mon Oct 17, 01:00:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice dissertation...Maybe you can invite the coaching staff to dinner tonite. I'm sure they would like that....Give Marino an extra piece of pie from all us.

At Mon Oct 17, 01:28:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I saw GERST giving up his body on several blocks. It worked about 60-40. Nevertheless, I'll take a kid like that with guys any day! Also, PLEASE explain to me why GERST up the middle (on several occasions) made any sense? After the first five time, you would "think" that they know better. Why not flank him out and do some quick passes, like, ummmm, say PENN did successfully!

Great hustle Nico Papas on getting that fumbled punt. See, NEVER give up! Also, good hard running and blocking.

If, in the infinite wisdom of Marino, you will not use McHugh at FB (or at least give him a shot), then put him at TE or H-Back. Wow, what an idea? Using a 6'2, 225-230 all-state running back, who can block, and who has soft hands as an H-Back? Go figure??? I'm sure he's learning a lot on the sidelines...

Really nice job Paul Havas! Looks like you were limping a bit, but still played on! Love these kids with true grit!

Jake, keep up the GREt work! I only wish you has a Press Pass for the post-game news conference. I know hat you have FOX credentials, but a BLOG Press Pass would be fantastic!

At Mon Oct 17, 01:33:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why rip Bagnolli? For those of us who got to watch him on TV, you could see how professional he was. His game management and personnell management (minus swapping QBs for that period), was exceptional! Okay, so he never smiles, and looks a bit angry at times, but he wins! Who WOULDN'T trade Norries for him?

At Mon Oct 17, 01:35:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why have they been hiding Williams? Move him to punt combination of hands and speed on the team.

Get some faster guys on kick off return...current group is not getting far enough down the field to get good coverage.

Keep passing the team best opportunity to win.

At Mon Oct 17, 01:38:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...


* Very Good crowd!
* Brackett ran well (bit inaccurate throwing though)
* Regretfully, Jake proven right on all Staff and Administration fronts
* they all dressed alike (thanks Norries)

At Mon Oct 17, 01:40:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grassa's soft cast should come off this week. Fastest guy with talent on the team. Give him the ball on KO returns and see what happens. The other guys have "Happy Feet" when the defense approaches...

At Mon Oct 17, 01:45:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, it would be nice to give the JV results. They practice and work very hard to show their talents on friday or sundays. Let the rest of us know how well they are doing. Don't forget, they are our future varsity players and instilling confidence in them would be a big boost. God knows
all the players need that.

At Mon Oct 17, 01:48:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for Jake and his passion and courage in giving us a public outlet, or else the CU Admin would let this terrible losing go on another 60 years. Jake isn't too hard on the culprits, he's not hard enough!
Before I say another word, and I could say a billion, let me say our players are very talented, and of course they want to win more than anyone, so all the talk about recruiting and the NYC location is meaningless.
The refereeing was atrocious, but the ridiculous coaching was even worse. Whatever you want to say about Bagnoli, what stood out for me as I watched on national TV was his composure, the opposite of our coach's, and a sign of someone who knows what he's doing.
Speaking of national TV, it was embarrassing to see the half-empty home stands for Homecoming even though the cameras tried to angle in on "the crowd."
Where are all our students, in the entire huge U, the faculty, the employes? What else better do they have to do early on a nice Saturday afternoon than watch our football team in a lovely setting? And it IS a good team! Even though our coaches got Mike Stephens running back kickoffs at the end of lost squib kicks from our opponents that we can fall on at midfield!
One reason our apathetic Admin lets all CU sports stumble along for a century is that we don't have more people holding their feet to the fire, just a relatively small core of fanatics who provide enough support to keep the programs going while the Admin snoozes away. I have no way of knowing our young men and women athletes from afar, but one of my kids was a Columbia College student not that long ago and I believe their caliber is always high, as people, students and athletes. They deserve better, our university's name and pride deserve better.

At Mon Oct 17, 01:57:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watched a replay of the game.I know theres a lot of Gerst fans on this blog.Many of us questioned his durability.I'm buying...He put on a blocking clinic against 250lb kids...Says alot about this kid when he knows hes being wasted on offense....Any other team scores and wins after Williams makes that incredible catch....

At Mon Oct 17, 02:23:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that it should change any of the prevailing thinking on this blog, but the coaching may have sunk below the customary level in response to 1) the impact of the refs; 2) the awareness of national TV; 3) the impact of the record to date; and 4) the presence of the usual once-a-year-respectable Homecoming crowd in the stands.

Resilience under pressure remains an aspiration.

Five games left. Yesterday demonstrated much, including talent and grit on the field. It said nothing about what is inevitable over the next several weeks.

Insofar as "psychology" is an issue in winning, this blog --- presumably read by all who care -- should play its part.

At Mon Oct 17, 02:33:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger T A H said...

Way to play on national TV...

At Mon Oct 17, 02:42:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only question remains - why is Jake so loving towards Larry MacElreavy and so vituperative towards Norries Wilson.

Until he can answer that question, his platform is hypocritical. If it's all about results, there's no excuse for being so lovey-dovey to the former coach.

At Mon Oct 17, 03:52:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if AD Campbell has changed his tune now that he's seen what he is "supporting" first hand.

Watching Norries coach is like listening to a radio version of the Sony Walkman versus the Apple IPHONE. Dated and of no use...

At Mon Oct 17, 04:18:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake maybe you should start another blog in psychology. Unbeleivable...These boys have known long before this blog what a failure this coaching staff is..At this point they play for pride and their teamates as they have shown all along in spite of the leadership...

Wilson's only chance at this point is to take over as OC to let the boys know that something is being done to save their season. That would be good for psychology

At Mon Oct 17, 04:59:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at the game yesterday. Agree with most, if not all comments here. I must say, I was very impressed by the efforts of the Coulumbia players. They never gave up, and gave it 100%. I know we were on the wrong side of the score, but I for one couldn't be more proud of their effort. The darkest hour is before the dawn.

At Mon Oct 17, 05:12:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is someone here concerned about Larry McElreavy? Jake is nice to him but not to Norries Wilson? I always read this blog and I have no memory of McElreavy here. He IS the coach who broke the 44-game losing streak in 1988 so he'll always have that to his credit, even though he also coached more than half of the losses in the streak, but nobody cares about that now. Bob Naso was as bad, probably worse. And McElreavy resigned after the 1988 season because a little peccadillo was disclosed about him and a young female (was she a trainer?)
He's been selling real estate since.
But that was then, and now is when we are still in the same type of W-L predicament. Is CU just snakebit or do we have a particularly fossilized Administration?

At Mon Oct 17, 05:21:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hypocritical??? You must be one of those people who think Norries deserves an extension. Forgive Jake for stating the obvious, Norries is a terrible coach. Unfortunately, Jake does not have a brail translator for you.

Regarding Coach Mac... The difference is that over the years, coach Mac has admitted his shortcomings, and the fact that he I a recovering alcoholic. You, on the other hand, refuse to see that this program, under Norries, is in worse decline than the stock market!

I have read this blog since it's inception, NEVER question Jake's integrity!

At Mon Oct 17, 06:42:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Mitch '68 said...

>> Mystifying to see criticism of Bagnoli! As I just learned thanks to this blog, he's the winningest coach in Ivy history! It's a damn football game, not a popularity contest!

>> Paul Bryant said, "Any mistake a player makes on the field is actually a coaching mistake." Not sure if he walked this talk but it's an interesting principle. Certainly something to think about re the Penn game.

>> Speaking of Bryant and Bagnoli, let's ask ourselves if we really desire guys like that and/or if CU can handle them. Because those are the kind of guys it will take to have winning football here. "You buy the ticket and you take the ride." I'm ready to ride, but CU is a unique environment.

At Mon Oct 17, 01:24:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous TRON said...

defense looked like swiss cheese? i'm not sure we were watching the same game. defense played their asses off and the offensive staff took a piss on their effort and hard work. aside from all the other BS, Norries deserves absolutely everything coming his way for not changing things up at OC two years ago when it was abundantly clear that vinnie is no more qualified to run an offense than my sixth grade neighbor who fancies himself a savant on the PlayStation3. Penn has like 15 plays they run. Columbia has more than 75. It shows. Jack of all trades, master of none...

And then for Wilson to go off on the team in the lockerroom afterward? That's unconscionable. Dude needs to own it. If this staff had any respect for these players they'd resign this week.

At Mon Oct 17, 06:54:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wilson owes a public apology to his players and Columbia University for his stupidity in the last couple minutes of the game. They get one delay of game penalty because he is standing there talking to an official and talking on his headsets. They would have gotten a second one if the Brackett hadn't started yelling at him and I believe the WR coach hadn’t almost physically pulled him off the field. To be honest we were lucky the officials did flag us because he was on the field even after the play was snapped. That act at the end of a game was intolerable embarrassment to the university on national television.

There were execution errors, poor play calling and just some bad breaks again. The loss and all of that are insignificant compared to the embarrassment from Wilson’s own actions. I know it is an unwritten rule that you don’t fire a coach mid-season in the Ivys, but, I think the school should break that rule.

At Mon Oct 17, 10:21:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure if anybody really noticed, but on the second false start on the now infamous last drive of the game, the penalty was called late on Jeff Adams. Watching the game you can clearly see that there was no flinch by Jeff and therefore there was nothing warranting a false start penalty on us. The only thing that he did was turn around to say something to Sean Brackett. That move is completely legal and this simply adds to the incompetence of the referees in this game. It is unforgivable for the referees to directly affect the outcome of a game as they did in this contest.

At Tue Oct 18, 02:17:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Matt said...

I covered the team for the Spec for 3 years (2007-2009), which meant I had a lot of conversations with Norries Wilson. One of his famous sayings was "all that matters is which side of the page you're on" meaning all that mattered was whether you won or lost.

So if we put Saturday aside for a minute, we can just evaluate Wilson on whether or not he has won or lost in his time as head coach. Through 55 games since he started coaching the Lions, here are the W-L records for the entire Ivy League (emphasis put on Ivy wins).

Harvard 30-7 Ivy, 42-13 Overall
Penn 27-10 Ivy, 35-20 Overall
Yale 25-12 Ivy, 38-17 Overall
Brown 22-15 Ivy, 31-24 Overall
Princeton 16-21 Ivy, 22-33 Overall
Dartmouth 10-27 Ivy, 14-41 Overall
Cornell 9-28 Ivy, 20-35 Overall
Columbia 9-28 Ivy, 16-39 Overall

So as you can see, Columbia is tied for the worst Ivy record through 37 league games since Wilson arrived. The Lions have the second worst record overall, 2 wins ahead of Dartmouth. It's pretty hard to compare out of conference schedules, so we can just leave those numbers as they are.

The important thing is the Ivy schedule, and it's painfully obvious that despite fielding talented teams over the years, the Lions have not won in the league.

Since even Wilson acknowledges that wins and losses are the most important metric by which his team should be measured (regardless of what happens in each individual game), it only makes sense that this should be his final season at the helm.

At Tue Oct 18, 08:40:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the guy who brought up McElreavy. Jake, if you are going to continue to slam NW you need to stop with the admiration of McElreavy and you need to write the truth about him.

McElreavy deserves more credit for ensuring we broke the record than he does for breaking the streak!

He had zero regard for the Srs in his first season and he treated them as such.

Just hours before kickoff of the opening game against Harvard his first year, he fabricated a story about two starters breaking curfew the night before and suspended them, presumably to send a message to the team that he was a disciplinarian and teach them a lesson about integrity and dedication to the team.

The only problem was it was totally made up lie. He didn't care about that season, or the players who were graduating that year, so instead he used and slander two of them to make a statement.

The team's chemistry that day was totally thrown off and we lost two more very winnable games later that yeare (Lafayette and Dartmouth if I recall) because of it, too.

There are dozens of stories out there about Mac and his questionable ethics and character.

McElreavy was dishonest, lacked integrity, lacked character. Maybe Norries' time is up but he is a good guy and has done a lot for this program. He is leaving it in much better condition than when Mac had to leave.

Mac was a bad guy, Norries is not.

At Tue Oct 18, 10:01:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt - interesting analysis. However, the thesis you propose suggests that all eight schools have the same resources, talent and commitment to win, and started from the same point on the map.

Do a longitudinal study as opposed to a latitudinal study. That is - compare Norries Wilson to his predecessors, and their relative success vs. The Ivy League.

The notion that coaching alone is what dooms Columbia is specious at best; and the idea that a proven Ivy League or any other coach will come to Columbia to make a difference is probably fantasy (see the voy board).

After all, why would anyone want to deal with people like those on this board, when they can have success (or failure) in relative quiet elsewhere?

At Wed Oct 19, 03:35:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Matt said...

It's true, my initial analysis was a bit shallow. Here's a comparison of Wilson vs. his predecessors. I'll only cover Shoop and Tellier because, quite honestly, anything before that is skewed by the streak-that-should-not-be-named.

Winnings percentages
Wilson: .290 Overall, .243 Ivy (55 games)
Shoop: .233 Overall, .190 Ivy (30 games)
Tellier: .307 Overall, .285 Ivy (140 games)

Some thoughts
In his first 55 games, Tellier was 10-44-1 (6-31 Ivy) and his teams went on to do OK (with the exclusion of the outstanding 1996 team). So obviously at this point in his career Wilson can turn it around.

The difference that I see is that Tellier's teams started out bad and got better (1-9, 1-6 each of the first 3 years). Wilson's teams have moved up and down without showing any upward trend. Obviously outside of the 1996 season Tellier's teams were middling at best, but at least he showed initial progress which must have been even tougher in the immediate years after the streak.

There's probably more to say, but I don't have time now. Thanks for reading!

At Wed Oct 19, 04:13:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point last poster. Bagnoli's personality is an acquired taste to say the least. Who knows how the admin would have dealt with that.

Does make you think, too, that other than Steele, Penn has just kept winning and winning since Berndt. Are they that good at finding a winning coach nearly every time or is it more than just hiring the coach?


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