Monday, October 19, 2015

Where We Go from Here

Games like the 42-7 Homecoming loss to Penn that revert most us back to our preseason predictions of no more than one or two victories for the Lions even though we all felt new Head Coach Al Bagnoli would improve the team more dramatically in other areas right off the bat.

But here is one very crucial area where the new and better coaching staff will prove its worth. That is, how it works with the team after it gets its hopes dashed and embarrasses itself in front of 12,000 fans.

There was about half the current level of disappointment after these Lions blew a perfectly winnable game against Georgetown in week two. Columbia's coaches and players responded nicely the following week by almost beating Princeton on the road.

This test will be harder as the Lions now have to travel much further to a better opponent and try to make the game competitive against the 5-0 Dartmouth Big Green. But in some ways, the test is easier because not many people would expect Columbia to knock off Dartmouth even if the Lions had downed Penn at Homecoming.

So, it's not so much about how the Lions play this coming week but how much visible effort and enthusiasm the players show in all the five games left in the season.

The next three weeks are going to be exceptionally tough. After the road game at Dartmouth the Lion stay on the road to take on a defiant Yale team that refused to lose at Maine this past weekend. Then it's back home to face the dominant Harvard Crimson.

But there's a silver lining to this upcoming schedule, because the reduced expectations should allow the team to really work without much added pressure.

The last time Columbia played at Dartmouth, the Lions lost 56-0. The last time they visited Yale, they lost 53-12, and the last time they hosted Harvard they lost 34-0. I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict the Lions will not lose the next three games by a combined 143-12.


I remain, very truly yours, Richard Szathmary said...

We had 12000 AT Homecoming? Really? That's actually very impressive. Art least 3 times the Wagner turnout in the visitor's stands, too.

And Penn had the better band in terms of what it sounded like. A witty sort of half-time show by the CUMB, but theynonetheless slounded tinny and off-key. Maybe niot even on purpose.

Coach said...

Don't like to her complaints about playing Wagner- it is a good local game for Columbia- an inexpensive day trip for the team to go to Staten Island- and it is a game that Columbia would be in every year- the marketing departments at both schools should get together and come up with some ideas to generate fan interest. Now if we wanted to spend some money, heaven forbid, we could find a team in California to play, which would help us with recruiting-

Coach said...

Cornell looked awful against Sacred Heart.

I remain, very truly yours, Richard Szathmary said...

We had St. Mary's for a while back there as a "team n California" to play, Coach. Then they dropped football. (But, bless them, eventually gave us Kyle Smith.)

I don't know if we're signed for a home-and-home series with Wagner, but its listed stadium seating capacity is something like 2300. So a good CU turnout there might overwhelm the campus. Certainly doesn't say much about Wagner's own expectations.

Personally, I think we should have re-upped with Fordham. We're not talking the Crimson Tide up there in thee Bronx, after all.