Friday, November 21, 2014

Princeton On Tap

The email of the year to BGA arrived in response to the column in our local daily suggesting that Dartmouth folks don blue and white and cheer on the Bulldogs Saturday. The email said simply:
We do not root for Yale. 
We root against Harvard.

To watch this week's Teevens Teleteaser, CLICK HERE.
Dartmouth's game notes for Saturday are HERE.
The Daily Princetonian has a story HERE.

Nothing in The Dartmouth, which is on exam break.

Old friend TigerBlog writes about how the season has flown by. (LINK)
Our local daily has a piece on changing Dartmouth football uniforms over the years. (LINK) Color video from the 1938 Dartmouth-Cornell game in Ithaca accompanies the piece.
The Sports Network (LINK) picks Dartmouth over Princeton.

Other TSN picks:

Harvard over Yale
Penn over Cornell
Brown over Columbia

The story including the weekly picks opens with a look at another game called "The Rivalry" and begins with this lede, which I like:
Come across the nearly 50,000 people converging on Yankee Stadium on Saturday and you will find that they are going to one of two college football games.
About half are going to the Lafayette-Lehigh game.  
The other half are going to the Lehigh-Lafayette game. 
The way in which "The Rivalry" is referred matters when it's been the most- played game in college football history. No matter what it's called, the 150th meeting between the Patriot League schools located in eastern Pennsylvania will be big enough to fill Yankee Stadium.
Interestingly, you almost never hear about the Yale-Harvard game.

Speaking of which, Harvard-Yale is TSN's national game of the week. In a full story about the game (LINK), The Sports Network sees Harvard winning, 31-27.
Harvard students once again traveled to New Haven to prank the Yalies. This one is OK, but not quite as funny as the last:

The Wall Street Journal takes a lengthy look at how Harvard has become a football and basketball powerhouse. (LINK)

From the story:
At the very least, while Ivy League football teams have always spurned postseason play because it could interfere with final exams, should its football teams now have the chance to compete in the FCS playoffs?
Green Alert Take: There's a very good reason why the WSJ didn't attribute its casually mentioned explanation for the playoff ban – because it can't. I've written this before but when I was working on the Ivy League chapter of the ESPN College Football Encyclopedia, I talked to high-ranking Ivy League officials on and off the record about the ban on the FCS playoffs. Not one could give a solid answer for the ban other than something along the lines of, "No postseason play was one of the defining principles of the Ivy League." In other words, it's not for academic reasons, it is, "because it's always been that way." The Wall Street Journal should be better than that.

Columbia is bringing in Rick Taylor to review its football program. (LINK) Taylor, a onetime Dartmouth assistant who rose all the way to athletic director at Northwestern, did a similar review of the Big Green program a few years back. His report is widely credited with helping Dartmouth football get back on track.
Work continues on Memorial Field:

The front of the stadium is fenced off.


An opening will be cut in this side and the stands removed from north to south.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Winding Down

Memorial Field's home stands are closed off as work begins on taking them
down and replacing them for next season. (Click photos to enlarge, twice to supersize.)
Your guess is as good as mine
A crew works on the fence around the stadium in advance of demolition.
The local daily has a column reminding us that the Dartmouth faithful should be rooting hard for Yale in Saturday's matchup with Harvard. The column (LINK) ends this way:
So get those blue and white pom poms ready. Because as the old proverb preaches, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” 
Or as the Yalies would say: “We’ll leave poor Harvard behind so far/They won’t want to play us anymore.” 
Boola Boola.
Princeton's game notes for Saturday's game against Dartmouth may be found HERE. From those notes:
The members of the Class of 2015 have at least a .500 record against every other school in the Ivy League, but they are winless against Dartmouth. Princeton’s last victory over the Big Green came in the 2009 finale.
On the Princeton Football site (LINK) Jay Greenberg writes about Mike Zeuli, "one of the best linebackers in 146 years of Princeton football." From the column:
Zeuli has 14 and one-half tackles for losses this season, four more than anyone else in the Ivy League.  Nine tackles Saturday will put him at 200 for his career and one more sack will raise his four-year total to 10. Not bad for a once 185-pound safety and still an undersized 225-pound middle linebacker. And certainly attention-calling to a likely nomination – along with incumbent winner Zach Hodges of Harvard -- for the Asa S. Bushnell Cup as Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year.
Greenberg also lists five things Princeton must do to beat Dartmouth in another entry (LINK).

The Harvard Crimson has a long and detailed story under the headline Playing With The Rules (LINK) about how Ivy League schools game the system in a league that does not allow true redshirting. There isn't much particularly new in the well-done story for anyone who has been following the Ivy League for a while, but it will be an eye-opener for a lot of people.
When Harvard and Yale meet Saturday it will be the first time the captains for both schools are black. Find a lengthy story HERE.
ESPN GameDay will be at Harvard for The Game and The Yale Daily News has a Q&A with host Chris Fowler talking about this weekend. (LINK).
As big as The Game is this year, the Lehigh-Lafayette "Rivalry" game, which made a strong push for the Saturday morning show, will draw a bigger crowd for its 150th renewal at Yankee Stadium. From the New York Times (LINK):
Mark Holtzman, Yankee Stadium’s executive director for nonbaseball events) said the initial plan was to close the upper levels of the stadium and fill about 27,000 seats in the lower deck. Tickets went on sale a year in advance, and the response was immediate. 
“Lo and behold, the 27,000 seats went in, like, a week,” Holtzman said. “We didn’t even take this event to Ticketmaster because the teams sold all the tickets.” 
The colleges, which had emphasized their large numbers of alumni in the New York metropolitan area, actually sold more than their share of tickets, and they expect a capacity crowd of 48,000.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Watch And Listen

League-wide football highlights from Week Nine courtesy of the Ivy League office:

A reminder that the Dartmouth-Princeton game will be available on ESPN3, the "worldwide leader's" online streaming service.

NBCSports had a very interesting 4-minute video feature on Dalyn Williams in which he talked about giving up his dream of playing shortstop at Dartmouth to further his goal of playing in the NFL. Click HERE to watch.
The Daily Princetonian takes a look at the Ivy League football picture heading into the final week of the season HERE.
Inside Ivy League Football tonight has an interview with former Dartmouth great Zack Walz '98, who went on to start at linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals. CLICK HERE to listen in.
Here's how this week's Gridiron Power Index (think the old BCS) shapes up:

14. Harvard
39. Yale
40. Dartmouth
83. Princeton
88. Brown
100. Penn
112. Cornell
120. Columbia

Editor's Note: There are 124 teams ranked.
Massey Ratings system has Dartmouth beating Princeton, 33-27, with a certainty of 67 percent. It has Harvard defeating Yale, 38-27, with a certainty of 80 percent,
The Harvard-Yale game is officially sold out. (LINK) StubHub is selling tickets to The Game starting at $233.40. (LINK)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


It was beautiful but cold when I reached the peak during my morning hike. It's going to
be a bit brisk at practice this afternoon. Check out BGA Premium tonight for coverage.

Ivies In The National Spotlight

That's right. ESPN will be doing its Saturday morning telecast at Harvard from 9-noon. Read the story HERE. I had expected before the season that they would spend this Saturday at sold out Yankee Stadium for the 150th Lehigh-Lafayette game but 9-0 Harvard against 8-1 Yale with a share of the Ivy League title is pretty compelling!

Teams of interest in:

 The Sports Network Top 25
1. New Hampshire
2. Coastal Carolina (former Dartmouth assistant Joe Moglia)
7. Fordham (Patriot League)
15. Harvard
26. Sacred Heart (2015 opponent)
32. Yale
34. Bucknell (Patriot League)
43. Dartmouth

FCS Coaches Poll
1. Coastal Carolina
2. New Hampshire
8. Fordham
14. Harvard
25. Sacred Heart
29. Yale
37. Bucknell

ECAC Poll ("Supremacy in the East")
1. New Hampshire (9-1)
2. Villanova (9-2)
3. Fordham (10-1)
4. Harvard (9-0)
5. James Madison (8-3)
6. Yale (8-1)
7. Richmond (7-4)
8. William and Mary (7-4)
9. Bucknell (8-2)
10. Sacred Heart (9-2)

Preliminary work has started in advance of removing and replacing the home stands at Dartmouth's Memorial Field. Maybe this ticket Mrs. BGA bought for the last game in the historic grandstand will bring more than the $10 she paid for it some day on eBay. No, huh?
And finally, did you see that the Dartmouth women's basketball team made the ESPN Top 10? The Big Green buzzer beater came in at No. 5.

Check it out here:

Monday, November 17, 2014

McManus, Stone Honored By Ivy League

Dartmouth receiver Ryan McManus is the Ivy League co-offensive player of the week and freshman running back Ryder Stone is the co-rookie of the week. (LINK)

Linebacker Will McNamara and quarterback Dalyn Williams were named to the honor roll.

Monday Melange

For highlights from the NBCSports Network broadcast of the Dartmouth-Brown game, CLICK HERE.
The Dartmouth recap of Saturday's win over Brown is HERE.
The Brown Daily Herald story about the game is HERE.
Jay Greenberg's fine Princeton Football site (LINK) wastes no time mentioning something a few of us saw coming a few weeks back:
Princeton’s seniors have never beaten Dartmouth. What’s more, should Yale upset Harvard Saturday, the Tigers can deny The Big Green a share of the Ivy League title perhaps even more painfully than when Princeton’s opportunity to win it outright last year was spoiled in Week 10 at Dartmouth.
Here are the Sagarin Ratings for this week. The sequence of three numbers is preseason, last week, and this week in bold.

Ivy League
Harvard 149, 85, 94
Dartmouth 174, 154, 153
Yale 194, 161, 160
Princeton 137, 178, 191
Brown  195, 194, 207
Penn 184, 213, 218
Cornell 219, 233, 235
Columbia 241, 247, 248

Nonconference Opponents
New Hampshire 84, 77, 82
Holy Cross 213, 195, 200
Central Connecticut 225, 227, 229

Green Alert Take: Given conference play and the importance of strength of schedule in the Sagarin formula, it is really hard to make much of a move upward at this time of year. Cornell actually won for the first time and dropped two spots. Falling in the rankings is easy. Harvard plummeted with a win over a struggling Penn team while Brown lost a whopping 13 spots.
Norman Chad takes a shot at Columbia football in a Washington Post column HERE.


From the football alum and friend of BGA:
This week's NT18 contest (guess the number of sacks Dartmouth's defense would record) was set up to virtually guarantee the use of a tie-breaker to determine a winner.  Surely the winner would be the person whose backup tie-breaker guess (total points scored in the game) was most accurate, right?
Nobody picked the Big Green to record zero sacks. Most picks had Dartmouth recording between 2 and 5 sacks.  Amazingly, the only person who guessed the correct sack total (1) also chose not to submit a tie-breaker (meaning that if you, gentle reader, had guessed one sack and 500 total points, it would be you making reservations at Elixir Restaurant in downtown White River Junction, VT.).  I will leave it to you to decide if this week's winning pick by the amazing Al Stevens '72 was an act of pure genius, hubris, supreme confidence or plain old forgetfulness.  Or a combination of the four.  In any event, congratulations, Al!  Your $100 gift card to Elixir is on its way to you.
Incidently, all contestants who guessed '2 sacks' and at least 42 total points finished in the week's Top Ten!
On a final note, in a just world, Cody Fulleton's "crushing blow" to Brown QB, Marcus Fuller, in the second quarter should really be worth at least 5 sacks. The complexion of the game totally changed after that hit.  rown Head Coach, Phil Estes, was quoted after the game saying: "We couldn't protect him (Fuller).  We tried to move the pocket and (he was) still...taking hits.  I had to get him (Fuller) out of there." It's the first time I've ever heard a coach say that he had to remove his QB to protect him from the other team.  I thought that's what Brown's O-Line was supposed to be doing?  Kudos to Dartmouth's defense (and it's coaches) for prompting such an amazing remark from Estes.
On to Princeton.  Adapt and Adjust! 
The Dartmouth continues to follow the Clickergate story and today has an interactive chart that shows how many athletes from each sport are in the class. From today's paper (LINK):
Varsity athletes comprise just under 70 percent of the 272-person class, including more than half of the football team, or 61 players, more than half of the men’s hockey team, or 16 players, and more than two-thirds of the men’s basketball team, or 12 players. The men’s soccer team has 10 players in the class, and the baseball, women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse teams each have nine. Athletes in the class represent 24 of Dartmouth’s 34 varsity teams, and about a quarter of Dartmouth students are varsity athletes. 
The Brown Daily Herald surveyed student attitudes about athletic recruiting and resulted in a story (LINK) under the headline:
Majority of undergrads oppose reserving spots for athletes
Most varsity athletes favor admission slots, which enable teams to compete with peer squads, they say
From the story:
The University reduced the number of admission spots reserved for athletes from 225 to 205 over the last three years, as part of a series of measures to change the athletics department that former President Ruth Simmons proposed in 2011 following significant debate.
As part of the changes, the University also raised the minimum Academic Index  — a measure of grade point average and standardized test scores — for admitted athletes, beginning in fall 2012, The Herald previously reported.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Saturday Recap

How Dartmouth's opponents fared:

Harvard 34, Penn 24
Recap and stats
As expected, the Quakers (1-8, 1-5 Ivy) put up a terrific fight in their final home game under retiring coach Al Bagnoli. As expected, it didn't matter as the Crimson (9-0, 6-0) ended up winning. Paul Stanton, Jr., ran for 235 yards and three touchdowns for Harvard. Penn held a 24-17 lead heading into the fourth quarter but Harvard ran off the final 17 points of the game to earn at least a share of its eighth title under Tim Murphy and 16th overall. Backup Scott Hosch once again played quarterback for the Crimson who got TD runs of 75, 42 and 14 yards from Stanton and won despite turning the ball over three times.

Yale 44, Princeton 30
Recap and stats
Yale quarterback Morgan Roberts threw for 405 yards, Tyler Varga ran for 137 and Grant Wallace caught 149 yards of passes as the Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1 Ivy) kept their Ivy League title hopes alive while eliminating the Tigers (5-4, 4-2). Yale piled up 568 yards of total offense and also had a blocked punt for a touchdown. Princeton took a 14-7 lead midway through the first quarter before Yale went on a 27-7 run. Princeton managed 130 yards rushing but had no one run for more than 29 yards. The final home game in the 100th year of Yale Bowl drew a crowd of 23,260.

Cornell 30, Columbia 27
Recap and stats
Luke Hagy ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns as Cornell won an evenly played battle of two previously winless teams. Columbia (0-9, 0-6) ran off 27 consecutive points to take a 27-21 lead with 4:07 left in the third quarter. The Lions' final TD in the run saw the PAT blocked and returned for two points by Jarrod Watson, leaving the score at 27-23 heading into the fourth quarter. Hagy then put Cornell (1-8, 1-5) ahead for good with a 63-yard run with 13:25 remaining. Cornell finished with 14 first downs to Columbia's 13. The Lions had 304 yards to Cornell's 297. Cameron Molina ran for 118 yards for Columbia, which lost its 20th consecutive game before a crowd of  5,734.

New Hampshire 43, Delaware 14
Recap and stats
Sean Goldrich had four touchdowns passes and John Lyons' defense forced four turnovers as No. 1 New Hampshire (9-1, 7-0 CAA) started strong and ended strong against the Blue Hens (6-5, 4-3 CAA). UNH built a 17-0 lead by the midway point of the second quarter, saw Delaware pull within 23-14 in the third, and then reeled off the next 20 points to win going away.

Bucknell 31, Holy Cross 24 OT
Recap and stats
In their third overtime game in as many weeks the Bison (8-2, 4-1 Patriot) got a touchdown in the top half of the OT and then stopped the Crusaders (4-7, 2-3 Patriot) after they got a first down at the 8 in the bottom of the OT. Holy Cross forced the overtime with a 32-yard field goal with four seconds remaining. The hard-luck Crusaders now have lost four games by a total of 10 points in addition to falling against Bucknell in overtime.

Howard 28, Central Connecticut State 25
Recap and stats
Central Connecticut State (2-9, 0-5 NEC) fell for the sixth time in a row with a 28-25 loss to Howard (4-7, 2-5 MEAC). The Blue Devils had a 25-7 lead until Howard scored a TD with 4:03 left in the third quarter and two more early in the fourth to move in front. Central Connecticut State drove to the Howard 35 midway through the fourth quarter before its drive bogged down. After taking over on downs with 6:51 remaining Howard ran out the clock.