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.
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.