Friday, October 31, 2014

Moneyball



Columbia’s annual Giving Day raised a record $11 million-plus on Wednesday.

For the record, I decided to show my disgust for the football program and its mismanagement by giving $300 on Giving Day… to baseball.

I figured $300 in hopes of an Ivy championship 3-Peat made a lot of sense.

I know it’s not a lot, but I know it was appreciated.

Also for the record, I now promise to donate even more money to football as soon as the news breaks that Pete Mangurian has been fired. And I encourage everyone here to do the same. And I’m also planning to donate yet more as soon as we learn that a quality new coach has been hired and the same for a new athletic director.

We could even start the pledging/telethon right here.


Let’s let the administration know we’re willing to put our money where our mouths are and let it know just how much money we’re talking about.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Week 10 Picks



It was a tough week for me last week with a 3-3 record straight up and a 3-3 mark against the spread.

That puts me at 35-14 straight up and 24-23-1 ATS for the year.

On to this week’s games:


Dartmouth +9 vs. Harvard

The big one. Harvard won a rare road game against an undefeated, (in the league), Ivy opponent last week. I don’t think they can do it twice in a row. The Big Green to win.


Brown -3 at Penn

I like the Bears upward trajectory this season.


Cornell +16 vs. Princeton

Princeton has never played all that well in Ithaca, and as bad as this Big Red team is I think the timing is right for Cornell to stay within two scores of the Tigers. Princeton will win, but not by 17.


Colgate +21 at Fordham

The Rams are hitting their stride, but this won’t be a total blowout. Rams to win, Raiders to cover.


Monmouth -4 ½ vs. Charleston Southern

I like the Hawks at home.


Albany +18 at New Hampshire


I like the Great Danes to make a game of this.  UNH by 15 or so. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Cupboard was not Bare


Sean Brackett in 2010


Of Pete Mangurian's many crimes and misdemeanors as Columbia football's head coach, perhaps the worst was his egregious phone call to Robert Kraft complaining that the previous regime had left the "cupboard bare" of talent going forward.

Even if it were true, such an excuse should have been immediately flagged by Kraft and anyone else who heard it as a serious sign of a coach who was looking to shirk responsibility.

And since it wasn't true, it should have also flagged Mangurian as a coach who cannot evaluate talent properly for the Ivy League... which he clearly cannot.

The fact is, Norries Wilson was fired because he didn't get wins DESPITE amassing very good numbers of more talented players than his predecessors. Either no one in our incompetent and corrupt athletics department bothered to tell Mangurian this, or he just didn't listen.

Anyway, we received more proof today that the cupboard was not bare as the AFL's Las Vegas Outlaws published this press release touting QB Sean Brackett's accolades. Brackett is a charter player for the new team.

Oh, and joining Brackett in that empty cupboard Mangurian claims to have inherited was Josh Martin, who is currently getting more and more quality playing time with the KC Chiefs.

Columbia also handed Mangurian top players like TE Hamilton Garner and OL Scott Ward. Both were marginalized by the "genius" known as Mangurian.

25 days from now, when Mangurian is fired and we start interviewing new candidates, those candidates will be asked to take over a team in much worse shape than what Mangurian took over in late 2011. But the best candidates are the ones who won't be working harder on making up excuses and stonewalling student reporters than they will be on fixing the team.




Two More Names + Ivy Power Rankings

The D-III coaching ranks are often a great place to find a good football coach, as Penn found out in 1992 when they hired Al Bagnoli from Union College, (he took that job after turning Columbia down in 1989).

With that in mind, there are a couple more names we should throw into our mix of coaches we should consider to replace Pete Mangurian when he is dismissed in 25 days.


Jim Margraff

Margraff has made Johns Hopkins into a consistent winner and has been on the CU head coaching radar for years. He has the admiration of the many players he coached as an assistant at Columbia under Ray Tellier and he also worked with the first few very good teams at Penn in the 1980's.


Chris Wilkerson

Wilkerson was at Dartmouth for nine seasons before going to the University of Chicago last year. He's made a quick turnaround for the Maroons and he certainly understands coaching in a tough academic, urban environment. He also recruits the NYC area.


IVY POWER RANKINGS


1) Dartmouth

Don't believe the politically correct talk from the Big Green coaching staff. The truth is Dartmouth absolutely cruised to its 27-7 victory over Columbia Saturday.

2) Harvard

So it turns out all Harvard needed was Connor Hempel back at QB to look like a dominant team once more. The epic takedown of Princeton had some other roots as well, including a keen desire for revenge after two straight tough losses to the Tigers.

3) Yale

The Elis seem poised to pounce now that Princeton seems exposed and all Yale needs is to stay at one loss before the big game in Cambridge. The offense is multifaceted and powerful.

4) Princeton

The Tigers crashed down to Earth last weekend, so now the challenge is to try to recover and salvage a solid season.

5) Brown

The Bears are starting to look better and better. Penn will be hard pressed to beat them this weekend.

6) Penn

The Quakers could have been beaten by a lot more against Yale last weekend, but they got a pass. Brown won't be as generous.

7) Cornell

Very few bright spots.

8) Columbia 

Not even in anyone's rear view mirror,






Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Our Short List

Pete Mangurian will be fired in 26 days, so it’s actually a little late to begin the process of searching for his replacement.

But here we go.

Many sources now tell me Mangurian's salary is more like $500,000 a year and near the top of the Ivies. That makes his hiring and the job he's done here even more of a scandal, but at least we know more money is available than we thought. 

I’ll start with my top two choices, and please note that they were my top two choices and 90% of the fans’ top choices from three years ago. Does anyone in their right mind think we would be this bad right now if we had hired one of these guys instead of Mangurian?

Of course not.



Tom Gilmore

Tom is just a good a choice for Columbia as he was three years ago, despite Holy Cross’ difficulties in that period. The truth is, HC is deliberately not keeping up with its Patriot League opponents in the new athletic scholarship financial race. And yet, the Crusaders are still a very tough team. Gilmore turned this program around 7-8 years ago, but is now better-suited to do his magic in the Ivies. He’s a tough coach, but someone who has the deep respect and admiration from his former players. Mangurian does not have that in case you hadn’t noticed.


Joe Moglia

Moglia would have taken the Columbia job in 2011 if CU had been smart enough to offer it to him. Now, it’s not so clear but Joe would still get a step up in media attention and visibility if he came up north. Right now, he’s still doing miracles with Coastal Carolina and probably would like a shot at a big-time FBS team very soon. But I think he would still entertain an offer from Columbia very seriously. A big bonus here is we wouldn’t have to pay him.



Now, for some other interesting options.

Dartmouth’s quick and efficient turnaround from 0-10 in 2008 to contender by 2010 to top 3 team in 2013 and now a top 1 or 2 team in 2014 is worth noting.

Here are two guys from that program who catch my attention:


Keith Clark

The Green’s offensive coordinator has weathered the graduation of two once-in-a-generation quality RB’s in Nick Schwieger and Dominic Pierre in the last couple of years and still has his offense moving well. Clark was our O-line coach for our 1996 8-2 season and he knows what Columbia is all about. He is more than ready to be a head coach.


Cortez Hankton

A totally outside the box choice, except he’s not. The Big Green WR coach is universally acknowledged to be on the fast track to stardom. He’s a killer recruiter, great teacher, and has the personality to move mountains. No one at Dartmouth can believe he came back for a third year there and they are thanking their lucky stars. He’s worth taking a very long look at.


Princeton’s turnaround is also very instructive for our purposes. But the Tigers only have one guy I’d investigate as a possibility:


James Perry

The Princeton OC and former Brown QB and asst. coach was vehemently hated by Roger Hughes’ players when he came to the Tigers with Bob Surace. Now he’s universally loved as he’s turned Princeton into a scoring machine. And it didn’t take long.


I have some other names, but let’s get the conversation started.

In any event, we must never allow the A.D., an interim A.D. or anyone to subvert the hiring process like Dianne Murphy did in 2011 with Mangurian. There couldn’t be a better example of “garbage in, garbage out,” as that fraudulent “search process” yielded a disastrous coach.


26 days to go…