Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Season Ain't Over!

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Usually, this first Saturday after the season ends is very tough to take.

The realization sets in that we're now about 41 long weeks until we get to watch Columbia football play an official game again.

But with the coaching search now in full swing, it really feels like the Lions are still playing not just every weekend but every day.

And once the new staff is in place, the feverish activity that will follow as they prepare for the season will keep this entire off season exciting.

Albany-Stony Brook on Tap

And there's still a lot of great FCS football to watch. At 2pm Eastern today, week two opponent Albany comes back to the NYC area to take on Stony Brook in the first round of the FCS playoffs.

This should be an excellent game.

Margraff Accolades

Speaking of the coaching search, Jim Margraff's candidacy should be enhanced by the fact that his Johns Hopkins team had its first ever undefeated regular season this year, has won seven of the last 10 Centennial championships, and had nine academic All-District players this year alone.

Here are some of the interesting stats from Hopkins' season that should be of special interest to Columbia fans:

-Hopkins outscored its opponents in the 3rd quarter by 139-40

-Hopkins held its opponents to 2.6 yards rushing per carry for the season

-Hopkins converted 52% of its 3rd down plays and held opposing teams to just a 26% 3rd down conversion rate

-Hopkins had 33 sacks while allowing just 11

In addition to probaby having Ray Tellier in his corner, I can report that at least one other highly placed Columbia administrator is lobbying hard for Margraff.

And all of this continues even as I have NO idea whether Margraff is interested in or even applied for the job.

Toal on TV?

Right now, it doesn't look like MSG Varsity will be covering Head Coach Greg Toal's Don Bosco Ironment taking on Bergen Catholic in the New Jersy state championship game at MetLife Stadium this coming Friday night. But I will keep looking for some TV coverage of any kind.

More Random Thoughts on the Brown Game...

I know the Lions sole win of the year is an entire week old now, but the excitement over the win and all the coaching news that came right afterwards precluded me from getting a few more thoughts out there about the 35-28 double OT win:

-I was impressed by the number of Brown fans at the game and their enthusiasm. Their numbers far outweighed the total number of Harvard fans who showed up to Wien Stadium just two weeks before on a similarly beautiful day. After the game they were all gracious about the loss, although understandably they were mostly talking about the Bears' six turnovers.

-I saw a lot of high school recruits, complete with their school varsity jackets, in the stands enjoying the game until the very end.

-I have to agree with the many Brown fans who have bemoaned the fact that Coach Phil Estes inserted the wildcat formation and pulled 5th year senior Kyle Newhall-Caballero for the final two plays of the game. When it didn't work the first time, I can't understand why you don't get KNC back into the game and at least make Columbia defend the pass in some way. That said, I'd take Estes as our new head coach in a heartbeat!

-It's still amazing how perfectly a rarely used senior like RB David Chao finished his career. Those tough runs, great blocking, and the save of the bad snap in the 4th quarter were all truly crucial parts of the Lion victory.


At Sat Nov 26, 11:47:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great comments on the Brown game, Jake. In addition to Chao's heroics, Evan Miller was exceptional in his final game. For a team that had trouble tackling all year, one had to wonder how a fine tackler like Miller didn't get more field time. And you didn't say it, but I thought the Columbia fans were outstanding. A decent crowd, considering the circumstances, and boisterous. To see the D rise to the occasion in the second half was really fun. And to hear the crowd roaring was even better.

At Sun Nov 27, 01:01:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Leon L. said...

Margraff looks like a great candidate. His background, though, is 22 years head coaching at his alma mater -- winningest coach in school history. Question will be whether he wants to leave. Looks like he has a created a nice thing for himself.

At Sun Nov 27, 04:14:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Mitch '68 said...

Just got through watching as much Coach Toal stuff as I could find on Youtube. I personally like his "dese and dem" vernacular and the showmanship he brings to his games
(bagpipes etc.) I'm sure also that he's good with x's and o's and he's obviously a great recruiter of high school talent.

I'm certain as well that he is could not possibly be more wrong for the CU job. In fact, the whole notion of it is completely bananas -- which is why it's fun to research and write about. Coach Toal himself would instantly see what a complete mismatch he would be as CU head coach.

On the other hand, you never can tell what Columbia will do. They might pass on him as head coach but hire him to teach Oriental Humanities.

Mitch Sisskind '68

At Sun Nov 27, 08:12:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

East Asian Humanities nowadays.

Toal would be a GREt choice, especially if he brings 3 of his current all-American seniors. Who else can do that? NOBODY!!!

At Sun Nov 27, 11:13:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting that Columbia's football head coaching job advertisement does not state that college football coaching experience is required whereas Fordham's advertisement states that it is a requirement.

At Sun Nov 27, 07:45:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is recruiting on hold, or is the staff still beating the bushes? What about early admits?

At Sun Nov 27, 10:06:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice first W for hoops over a decent Jaspers team.

No disrespect intended but if we are looking at Johns Hopkins and HS coaches, this program isn't committed to doing anything differently then last 30 years. We need someone familiar with Ivy football, it's recruiting constraints and someone that can sell the city and the school. The facilities are the worst in the league and it's not close and the new BC center won't change that ranking.

Gilmore is that guy so let's do whatever it takes to land him soon.

At Sun Nov 27, 10:11:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger dabull said...

Again, no "all-americans" are following anyone to Columbia,got it? That caliber of player is going to a big-time program to play big-time games in front of massive,fervent crowds on national tv,got that? If your lobbying so hard for Toal, I'm starting to believe you have a son playing for him that has interest in Columbia, so you figure that move would benefit your own in play time, etc. Please don't push so hard for a guy if it's for personal benefit. We're looking for a real college coach here.

At Sun Nov 27, 10:16:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The job posting:

Head Football Coach and Associate in Physical Education Columbia University

Summary Description: The Head Football Coach is responsible for organizing and administering all aspects of the football program including: coaching, practice and competition, recruiting, scheduling, supervising personnel, friend and fundraising, stewardship, budgeting and complying with NCAA, Ivy League and University rules and regulations.

Minimum Qualifications: A high level of competency in football skill instruction and motivation, preferably at the NCAA Division I level; an understanding of the role of intercollegiate athletics in a highly competitive academic environment; strong recruiting, teaching and coaching skills; an inherent ability to build and maintain positive relationships with student-athletes, staff and alumni. Dedication to the mission of the University

Preferred Qualifications:

As a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Council of Ivy Group Presidents (Ivy League), it is imperative that members of the Columbia University community, in all matters related to the intercollegiate athletics program, exhibit the highest professional standards and ethical behavior with regard to adherence to NCAA, Conference, University, and Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education rules and regulations.

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

At Sun Nov 27, 10:21:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dabull, I agree and so do about 99%of the bloggers.You are right on!!!!!

At Mon Nov 28, 01:18:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark whipple would be a great fit for Columbia. I hope someone can convince Coach Whiple that Columbia can be a great fit for him as well. I can't imagine what Brackett would be like under his incredible offensive expertise.

At Mon Nov 28, 03:11:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who says we have the "worst facilities in the league"? Obviously somebody who has never seen our stadium or the new Campbell Center. Alternatively it has the rankings of a non-Columbia visitor to this blog. We have the best setting for football in the Ivy League. The Campbell Center will only enhance our facilities, and t looks like it is going to be ready for next football season.

At Mon Nov 28, 06:51:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone following Ivy athletics has to be taking note of Harvard basketball right now. There's talk the team will be ranked in the top 25 next week. They turned the program around by hiring a coach with national name recognition who could recruit. Let's do the same thing!

As for Margraff, I didn't know Hopkins had a football program. The reason is because the school doesn't recruit. I fail to understand why any DIII coach is attractive to CU.

Please do not hire someone who needs directions to the national recruiting circuit!!

At Mon Nov 28, 07:49:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hopkins recruits. They send assistants to the ivy camps and scout. They recruited my son that way. Margraff is a class act and their program, largely because of Lacross success, has great facilities and the feel of an FCS program. I agree that a national hire would be awesome for Columbia. Comparing Amiker to Tressel is crazy. Star player and great assistant at perceived cleanest and top program who then had short stint as head coach at major D1 program vs HC fallen from grace by not reporting violations to NCAA and destroying OSU overnight. I can't see an ivy going for that even if Tressel were interested.

At Mon Nov 28, 08:22:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who are the players who are part of the process?

At Mon Nov 28, 08:52:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rick Neuheisel, head coach of UCLA, will be available this Friday. How about him? Lots of high-level experience, some success, doubt anyone else will be rushing to hire him, and he badly needs a change.

At Mon Nov 28, 09:22:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neuheisal is a dirty word at both Colorado and the University of Washington. Read his Wikipedia entry. He may have been beat the rap at Washington when the NCAA came after him, but his integrity was in shreds when he left. No way an Ivy League program would touch him.

If Neuheisal does lose his UCLA job, the last place he would choose to go is a league with an Academic Index and a short season. A return to the pros is more like it.

At Mon Nov 28, 09:28:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with 10:18 .... I think Whipple would be an excellent choice for developing the program into a consistent winner .... McGraff doesn't fit the bill ... 22 years at a D-III makes me think he likes being in a "small pond" where he can be the "big fish" .... Gilmore works for me too ... Kelton was to inexperienced (2yrs HC at a D-III) ... I question how Toal would transition from HS playerrs to college guys ...

At Mon Nov 28, 09:34:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking at the Ivy athletics budgets that were posted (source ???) .... considering the COLA differences between NYC and all the other cities, we probably need to be 20% higher or else our pay scales won't attract the better coaches ....

At Mon Nov 28, 09:50:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My apologies on the Hopkins recruiting comment. I wasn't aware that DIII schools recruit off campus.

Let's not debate Tressel and Amaker. Instead, let's go find an "Amaker!"

I'm not opposed to anyone except a high school coach. All of the others mentioned as potential candidates seem like fine coaches and individuals.

I am, on the other hand, only for someone who has the national standing in the football community to overcome the historical record of the CU football program during recruiting, and send a clear message that CU is serious about change.

At Mon Nov 28, 09:55:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the salary range for head football coaches in D 1 AA? What is it for Ivy football coaches?

At Mon Nov 28, 11:10:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

Does anyone even know what the Columbia head coaching job might pay? I'm guessing in the low $200 range, not least because anything more and the already hostile faculty will rise up in righteous revolt.

And does anyone even know for a fact that Toal has expresed actual interest in college coaching at all, let alone at our alma mater? Because I've heard from a former Don Bosco trustee that it's well known he's more than once previously dismissed such speculation as foolish. (Also, not all of Toal's former players go on to D1 schools to play; a perusal of the program for the Albany game shows two Bosco grads on this past season's roster.)

As an idea of what a top h.s. coach might currently earn at a Jersey high school, however, I just read that the head coach at Wayne Hills, who also serves as assistant principal and as AD, makes approximately $145,000 a year.

Still, it is clear from reading posts the last several days that lack of knowledge of what CU might actually pay and who is actually under serious consideration never stops the mal-informed from attempting to comment.

So while it's just a wild guess, I'll toss out the opinion that the eventual hire won't be anyone mentioned on this website. (Which is also my way of saying that I often think you don't have any real idea of what you're frothing about, Jake.)

At Mon Nov 28, 11:40:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read about Neuheisel, sounds a bit shady.I question his integrity and character.Not a good fit for the Ivy League.

At Mon Nov 28, 03:53:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:22, I was making a little joke about Neuheisel. We don't want him, he doesn't want us. But you have to admit he obviously didn't cheat at UCLA.

At Mon Nov 28, 10:31:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Toal could be fine on the field and in the living rooms in the Metro area but the job is so much more than that.

Dealing with the admin, knowing how to balance the AI with the recruiting targets, dealing with a national recruiting program, fundraising, etc. They would be difficult for him

At Sat Dec 03, 08:30:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger sageman said...

give Toal the job!

At Sat Dec 03, 08:36:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger sageman said...

All this analysis about a prospective coach. Hire Toal if you want to win games, let Campbell do the fundraising! Who cares whether Toal is diplomatic or can raise money. Hearing the comments from the AD I guarantee Columbia will not get the best football coach. Go for it! I feel Toal will be outstanding and I guarantee when Columbia overlooks him he will be picked up by a competitor(Fordham or Princeton). Then God help the Columbia Lions because he will roll over the team and whomever Bill Campbell annoints as coach.



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