Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It looks like Harvard's cheating scandal WILL take some kind of toll on the football team. 

The linked article above has the tantalizing phrase "at least one key offensive player..."  

Of course, not all "key offensive players" are created equal. 

Harvard is a very deep team on both sides of the ball, but if the Crimson lose H-Back Kyle Juszczyk, then they become a lot more ordinary.

Losing QB Colton Chapple or RB Treavor Scales would hurt a lot too,

We'll have to wait until Harvard releases a two-deep to end all the speculation.

But Sports Illustrated is reporting that Harvard basketball team captain Kyle Casey is involved and will leave school for this entire academic year. 

Yale Two-Deep

The Elis are the first Ivy to come out with a two-deep for Saturday's opening day.

The big QB question is only partially answered as new Head Coach Tony Reno has listed the starter as junior John Whitelaw OR freshman Eric Williams. Former CU commit Logan Scott didn't crack the two-deep.

Missing from the two-deep are some fan favorites like Deion Randall, Javi Sosa and Keith Coty who are all out with injuries this year.

Excellent Interview

An extensive and very high quality interview with Head Coach Pete Mangurian is now available in the online edition of Columbia College Today. I'll let you all read it for yourselves, but I think it's the most personal look at a CU coach we've ever had, including Bill Campbell. 

Yeah, it's that revealing.

Columbia Optimism

Every year at this time, I have a hard time separating my excitement about the season beginning after the long layoff and my enthusiasm for the Lions chances on the field.

Last year, I was able to do that and I started writing well before the season started that I sensed disaster around the corner. Sadly I was right.

But this year, I am getting more and more reliable reports about excellent developments in the program just since training camp began. 

The team is unusually healthy for one thing, and it looks like the slimming down policy instituted by Head Coach Pete Mangurian is going to give the Lions a new and unexpected edge in several key areas.  

I'm not the kind of guy who goes back and changes his preseason predictions, so I stand by my prognostication for the season, but a lot of best case scenarios are percolating in Lion Land these last couple of weeks. 

Let me just list all the "newish" positives:

-The defensive front seven looks better than ever. And the players seem to be embracing their role as burden-carriers for this team.

-Week one opponent Marist had me scared after their 35-10 takedown of a respected Bryant team last week. But since then, Marist has lost at home to Patriot League bottom-feeder Bucknell and Bryant lost to NEC bottom feeder St. Francis. 

-Coach Mangurian gave us something, or somebody, to really get excited about Friday night when he compared freshman WR Isaiah Gross to Joe Splendorio. Make no mistake, this was HUGE praise. Splendorio WAS the Big Red during Mangurian's three years in Ithaca. Gross wears #81. Look for him on the field soon.

And then there's Princeton

There's optimism and then there's delusion. 

Delusion is what TigerBlog seems to be suffering from when it points to Penn's three-year record from 1979-81 as a reason to "cheer up" along Route 1. 

Penn was 2-27 over those three years before going on a super run of winning at least a share of the title from 1982-86. 

There's just one problem with that comparison.

Penn made that run after making a big coaching change, AND redoubling their efforts in recruiting, (they started to care about it, in other words). 

Princeton still has the same over-his-head coach. Still has a no transfers policy, and still has no one to replace their best player who is out this year recovering from a stroke.

Yes, I realize Columbia fans like me have been guilty of the same over-optimism many times. 

But TigerBlog and sycophants like Craig Haley are doing Princeton no favors by ignoring the obvious.

Sure, I took some terrible hits for predicting doom for our Lions last year and then demanding that Athletic Director Dianne Murphy do something about it by firing Coach Norries Wilson as soon as possible. 

But I survived, the team has a new coach and what have I really lost? I'll still be enjoying all the games this fall as always. 


oldlion said...

No schadenfreude here, but I wonder if Logan Scott has had any second thoughts. As far as our other Yale battle, over Isaiah Gross, it looks as if that was a key recruiting win for us. In any event, Yale is starting another freshman at QB, which should be interesting.

Anonymous said...

In fairness to TigerBlog, he is a paid employee of the Princeton athletic department whose principal job is to develop interest in Tiger sports. I'm not sure how else he can spin a losing football team other than to point to the few positives and other precedents for turnarounds.

Take a look at how all the Ivy sports websites handle losing teams and blow-out losses. It's slightly amusing. You'll see headlines or story ledes such as, "The hometown team showed great promise and gritty determination in dropping a close 8-0 loss to visiting team X." Princeton actually does this less than most for the simple reason that they have so few losing teams.