The Penn Rivalry
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Talented Penn RB Lyle Marsh is definitely out for the Columbia game this weekend, and he's actually out for the season.
For any other Ivy team, losing a super runner like Marsh would be almost a death sentence. But the Quakers still have so much talent at that position, it's hardly a bump in the road.
Maybe the seven other Ivies could start an "Occupy Penn" movement and protest the fact that Penn has 99% of the top running backs even though it's only 12.5% of the league.
We could call ourselves the "87.5 Percenters!"
More Teaser Videos
Evan Miller isn't the only Lion with a fun short video urging the fans to come out to Homecoming vs. Penn this Saturday.
Sean Brackett and Jerry Bell each star in individual videos you can see by clicking on their names.
Remember that everyone should make a special effort to be at the game, but it will be broadcast on national TV on Versus.
Versus color man Ross Tucker has this to say about the Lions in the Versus online preview:
“Head Coach Norries Wilson has done a nice job rebuilding the Lions back to respectability in recent years but they have gotten off to a slow start this season. Defensively they have struggled against the run but their pass rush has been ferocious and is a real strength. Josh Martin leads the Lions from his outside linebacker spot.”
I hear what Tucker is saying about Martin, but I think anyone who has been watching the Lions this year would agree that the pass rush has certainly not been a consistent strength. But perhaps he's seeing something we haven't?
Lion beat writer Victoria Jones takes a stab at why Columbia football has regressed this season and she sums it up in one word: stubborness.
The Penn Rivalry: the last 20 years
Can you really call it a "rivalry" when one team has won 14 straight games and 17 of the last 19?
In the Ivies you can because the tensions between schools run far beyond athletics.
Two schools as close geographically as Columbia and Penn are bound to have some bad blood between them.
But let's focus on football alone and look at the five most emotional/anger brewing games over the last 20 years.
1) 1991: Columbia 20 Penn 14
The Lions recorded their one victory of the '91 season on Homecoming against probably the weakest Penn team of the last 30 years. This win at Wien Stadium spelled the end of Quaker Head Coach Gary Steele's three year tenure at Penn. The Penn administration gave Steele three years to produce a winner and he never delivered. Three years is enough time to you know your head guy has it or not.
The money quote came after the game from Penn's captain:
"It's the lowest point of my career," said Penn's senior linebacker Joe Kopcha, "and I've been playing since I was 8 years old. Get beat by Columbia? I don't believe it."
2) 1995: Columbia 24 Penn 14
QB Mike Cavanaugh passed and ran all over Penn and led Columbia to victory in a game that ended the Quakers' 24 game winning streak.
Cavanaugh had the money quote this time with this:
"Nobody else really recruited me but Columbia. Well, for a week Penn expressed some interest but decided I was too small. I guess I've gotten my revenge, huh?"
3) 1996: Columbia 20 Penn 19 (OT)
The last time Columbia defeated the Quakers was a wild OT game that went the Lions' way after a blocked PAT and a miracle TD pass, both in overtime.
Penn's players were downright furious and pounding the Franklin Field astroturf after the loss.
4) 2003: Penn 31 Columbia 7
First year Columbia Head Coach Bob Shoop guaranteed the 2-2 Lions would defeat Penn at what turned out to be a record Wien Stadium crowd marking the beginning of CU's 250th anniversary celebrations.
The Quakers took it personally and put a beat down on the Lions.
The money quote after this contest came from Penn's Head Coach Al Bagnoli:
''It's not as if we were some team off the street, and he's going to say something like that. I'd like to thank Coach Shoop for helping us get motivated for this game.''
5) 2010: Penn 27 Columbia 13
Both the Lions and Quakers came into the game at 3-1 and this seemed like it was going to be a very close matchup.
Penn's defense dominated, and other than one long bomb for a CU TD, Columbia's offense wasn't a factor.
The Lions really haven't been the same since. Including that loss at Franklin Field last year, Columbia has lost nine of its last 10.