Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2013: Challenge... Accepted!

I remember writing after the 2010 season that the 2011 schedule looked tough and the Lions would need to improve as a team just to maintain the four-win level they had maintained in 2009 and 2010. 

Well, Columbia actually got worse and fell to 1-9 as we all know.

Fast forward to right now and we have a similar challenge: the 2013 schedule is very tough compared to 2012. And the Lions will again need to get better just to stay put at three wins which no one wants to settle for.

Here'a a look at the schedule week by week to prove my point:

Week 1: at Fordham

The Rams improved from their 1-10 season in 2011 all the way up to an impressive 6-5 record this year. One of those wins was against Columbia at Wien Stadium. Next year, the game will be in the Bronx. That seems like a net gain for Fordham and an increase in difficulty for the Lions. But the good news is that speedy RB Carlton Koonce should be graduating, (not sure about his possible 5th year status). Otherwise, I think the Rams may be stronger no matter where they play in 2013. 

Week 2: Monmouth

This is not a team to be ignored. Monmouth is a program on the rise. The Hawks beat FCS playoff team Wagner and gave Lehigh a run for their money. Columbia will almost surely not be favored to win this game.

Week 3: at Princeton

The Tigers didn't quite finish out their season as strong as they started, but this is a team that surprised with their talent. Some of the best weapons on defense are graduating, but the offensive stars are young. Another very tough game, especially on the road.

Week 4: Lehigh

As difficult a game as it gets, even though it is at home. Some of the best Mountain Hawk players are graduating but the program is just too solid to fall off a cliff like Lafayette did a couple of years ago.

Week 5: Penn

Defending Ivy champs with gutsy QB Billy Ragone likely coming back for a 5th year. Oy.

Week 6: At Dartmouth

An improving team with a hot young QB in Ivy Rookie of the Year Dalyn Williams at the helm. 

Week 7: At Yale

Seems like the most winnable game at this point, but it's at the Bowl and the Lions haven't won there since 1996. 

Week 8: Harvard

I don't think I have to go into why this game will be a toughie after this year's 69-0 loss to the Crimson.

Week 9: at Cornell

The Big Red are almost always a much better team at home than on the road. This will be QB Jeff Mathews last game at Schoelkopf field. Tough room.

Week 10: Brown

Never an easy game, but the Lions have beaten the Bears the last two meetings here in New York.

I don't think anyone can say that the 2013 schedule isn't very challenging. And while three wins will not be a satisfactory result, let's face it: Columbia needs to improve significantly just to get back to that mark next year.

Can it be done? 

Of course it can, but let's be really clear:  Mangurian and crew have a lot of work to do...

Good Shift

Kudos to the folks at Bwog,net (the Columbia student blog I read regularly to get some idea of undergrad life), for taking the distingustingly indulgent "Senior Wisdom" series and using it to start asking questions of the actual adults in their midst: the faculty.

I have found the Senior Wisdom pieces to be vulgar on the surface and dangerous at the core because they always featured a student doing something other than getting a real job.  


oldlion said...

Here's to a successful recruiting season and an equally successful Fall campaign! Go Lions! And keep up with the positive vibes!

DOC said...

In my opinion the Fordham game in 2013 will be like a 6th home game for us based on the fact that our presence on the visitors side will be substantial and we don't have to travel. The only teams that outclassed us last year were Lehigh and Harvard. All the other games are eminently winnable IMHO...If things break our way, and this is not far farfetched, we can reverse last years

oldlion said...

We get Harvard and Lehigh at home.

RedTiger61 said...

... just a note .... even a short stint at coaching at Columbia can help a coaching career ... Josh McDaniels is apparemtly in the running for head coach of the Cleveland Browns after being at Columbia for less than a month (Mangurian's first choice for OC) ... of course, being OC and QB coach with the Patriots didn't hurt ...

Anonymous said...

You are confusing Ben and Josh Mcdaniels

RedTiger61 said...

... oops

RedTiger61 said...

According to ESPN recruiting site, he was the 12th ranked QB coming out of high school ...

also, according to The Bootleg on, Nottingham was red-shirted in 2010



oldlion said...

Re Jeff Mathews: he isn't IMHO an NFL QB. He can't make all the throws, and he doesn't have great pocket poise. I think he'll sign a FA contract but will not be drafted.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that Oldlion is as qualified to snap to unrealistic judgement as anyone on this blog but... Jeff Matthews has the best pocket poise I've seen in a long time. He can make all the throws and is very athletic. I'm not sure what film you watched Oldlion, but he's the real deal when healthy.

oldlion said...

Not the Jeff Mathews I saw this November at Baker Field. He looked rattled by the pass rush and also missed some throws.

Anonymous said...

Not to put his business put there, but he was playing with a serious injury. He probably should not have been playing. When healthy, he is probably the best "pro style passer" I've seen in a while.

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