Monday, October 23, 2017

Columbia Denouement

Jake Novak's Roar Lions 2017 blog does a good job analyzing the Dartmouth-Columbia game from the Columbia perspective. (LINK)
Kudos to the Columbia Spectator for this in a story headlined, Four reasons why football topped Dartmouth (LINK):
. . . (T)here’s no question that the referees cost Dartmouth at least one more chance at the end zone. On the fateful play, the ball was snapped with 17 seconds remaining. Heneghan hit the ground roughly four or five seconds later, and, perhaps winded by the blindside hit, took his time getting off the turf. With the Dartmouth offense scrambling to get back to the line of scrimmage, there appeared to be confusion among the referees about where to spot the ball, and Dartmouth didn’t even have a chance to snap the ball until two seconds remained. It would have been a long shot, with Dartmouth needing to find paydirt from 17 yards out, but ten seconds is far too long to spot the ball and is inexcusable on the referees’ part.
Here's what I wrote in one of my follow pieces yesterday on BGA Premium:
You’ve already read and heard a lot about the mess at the end of the game. You will probably hear more. If it went down the way the TV cameras reportedly showed, the Ivy League office needs to put out a statement either explaining that what happened wasn’t out of the ordinary, or confronting the issue if there were mistakes made. It won’t change anything but the folks in the Ivy office cannot make believe nothing happened. 
The Dartmouth has a story about the Columbia game HERE.
Columbia gets a nod in a STATS column headlined, Five takeaways from FCS Week 8. (LINK)
The New York Times jumps on the Columbia bandwagon with a story headlined, Columbia Gives Its Neighbors a Football Team Worth Cheering HERE.
Timing is everything. With Harvard next on the agenda, the Crimson website has a story (LINK) about fifth-year quarterback Joe Viviano . . . who has lost the starting job to a freshman.
Sagarin COMBO Ratings (last week in parentheses)
104 - Columbia (123)
112 - Yale (106)
114 - Princeton (142)
122 - Dartmouth (117)
188 - Penn (182)
212 - Cornell (229)
213 - Harvard (216)
241 - Brown (241) 

185 - Holy Cross (172)
202 - Sacred Heart (213)
244 - Stetson (244)

(254 DI teams rated)
And finally, putting the disappointment of the first loss of the year behind them, Dartmouth players turned out to cheer on runners and walkers in the CHaD (Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock) HERO Half Marathon, 5K run, bike ride etc.:

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Saturday Wrap

First, a few links . . .

Those of you who get the Eleven Network had a huge advantage over everyone at the Dartmouth-Columbia game because you saw exactly what happened in the controversial ending. The Valley News has this real-time quote about the bizarre finish from Eleven announcer Matt Goldstein HERE:
It took forever. It seemed like Heneghan was going to have time to spike the football and run one last play, but the official was looking around and couldn’t find exactly where to spot the football.”
The video showed Heneghan underhanding the ball to the umpire, who lost the handle, scrambled to pick the ball up, misplaced it by two yards and had the time expire before he set it at the 17.

Green Alert Take: Unless there was something the replay didn't show, expect a huge apology from the Ivy League office.

Green Alert Take II: That won't change anything.

Green Alert Take III: As much message board noise as the officials' end-game problem will generate, it's important to remember that there were no guarantees what would happen if Dartmouth had gotten the last snap off. A completion and another miracle win for Dartmouth? A Columbia breakup? We'll never know and that's a shame.
The Manchester Union Leader game story is HERE.
The Columbia Spectator has a story HERE.
The last play of the game can be seen HERE.

Green Alert Take: Even in this abbreviated clip you can feel the confusion.
Count the New York Daily News as the latest media outlet discovering what is happening at Columbia. The tabloid has a lengthy story headined, How Columbia football, a perennial loser, is rising from the ashes. Find the story HERE.
Elsewhere around the Ivy League . . .

Yale 24, Penn 19
The Bulldogs have to be really kicking themselves about letting the Dartmouth game get away. Penn is spiraling the wrong way.

Cornell 34, Brown  7
Talk about spiraling. Since falling at Stetson the Bears have lost their last two by a combined 87-7. Cornell is somehow in the logjam for second behind Columbia.

Princeton 52, Harvard 17
Safe to say the Tigers are playing the best football in the Ivy League right now. Harvard? Not.

And outside the league . . .

Colgate 45, Holy Cross 7
The coaching change didn't do anything for Holy Cross, whose five-game losing streak began with the overtime defeat in Hanover. Crusaders have been outscored the past two week, 79-7.

Sacred Heart 21, Robert Morris 14
Pioneers take a page out of Dartmouth's book with all 21 points in the final quarter.

Morehead State 29, Stetson 26
If a tree falls in the woods . . .

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Old Friends Meeting Up On Memorial Field

In addition to the Dartmouth-Columbia game preview, last night's BGA Premium posting included a short sidebar on two of the players in this afternoon's game. Here's a look at the story:

When Dartmouth quarterback Jack Heneghan looks across the line on Saturday afternoon he’ll see a familiar face staring back at him.

As sixth- and seventh-graders growing up 10 minutes apart in the Bay Area, Heneghan and Columbia strong safety Landon Baty were teammates on the Menlo-Atherton Vikings Pop Warner football team. Three thousand miles and a decade later the two are captains of competing and undefeated Ivy League teams.

“We’ve been friends since like fifth grade,” Heneghan said late this week. “He was the quarterback and I played tight end and linebacker mostly.

“His dad (eight-year NFL tight end Greg Baty) was our coach and we were pretty good. We almost went to the national championships but lost in our regional final. We had some good players, with a couple of other guys going on to play at different places.”

Heneghan didn’t sound at all surprised that Baty has had success at safety as a collegian after moving over from the offense.

“He was a good quarterback, fast and physical,” the Dartmouth senior said. “It was Pop Warner so we didn’t throw much but he made plays. He played defense, too, and was an impact player who played with a lot of energy, kind of like he does now.”

The 5-foot-10, 195-pound Baty is second on the Columbia roster with 36 tackles to go along with one interception, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

The old teammates squared off for the first time as collegians last year in New York City.

“The first couple of years neither of us were playing or seeing much action,” Heneghan said. “I think he might have made the tackle on our very first offensive play. He’s a good player and a good guy.”

Heneghan’s memory is correct. Among Baty’s four stops in Columbia’s win over the Big Green last year was the tackle of Ryder Stone for a one-yard gain on Dartmouth’s initial snap.

Heneghan looks forward to sharing a handshake with his old teammate Saturday after the game – rather than meeting up with him in the backfield.

“He is been a guy that I see a lot when I go home,” the quarterback said. “We’ve definitely kept in touch. He sent me a text after we beat Penn on Friday night and they were watching. I have done the same thing after some of their big wins.

“He’s a good friend, but obviously we’re putting that aside Saturday afternoon.”

In another interesting coinci-dence, Baty’s older brother Turner played quarterback at UC Davis while Dartmouth offensive coordinator Kevin Daft was the quarterback coach and OC there.
The Valley News takes a look at twins John and Pat Kilcommons, identical twins and starters on the Dartmouth offensive line whose final choice of schools came down to Dartmouth and . . . Columbia. (LINK)
Princeton 52, Harvard 17
Chad Kanoff went 20-for-20 for more than 300 yards in the first half alone and finished 31-of-35 for 421 yards and two touchdowns as the Tigers (5-1)  thoroughly trounced the Crimson (3-3). The NBCSports Network broadcast offered a first look at Harvard freshman quarterback Jake Smith (21-of-31 for 268 yards), who appears to have a Baker Mayfield/Trace McSorley magic in him.
It's game day in Hanover where the forecast calls for 66 degrees and clear skies at the 12:30 kickoff with Columbia. Remember, the game is being televised on the Eleven Sports network and being simulcast on the Ivy League Network.

Friday, October 20, 2017

One Day To Go

From the Dartmouth football office:

Don't know if this quick promotional video for the TV broadcast will work for you. If not, CLICK HERE.
The Dartmouth game notes have been posted HERE.

This list of the 10 previous times undefeated Ivy League teams have played this late in the season is taken from the Dartmouth game notes. I've dug up and plugged in the scores of the games:

1964 — Princeton (7-0) beat Yale (6-0-1), 35-14

1965 — Dartmouth (8-0) beat Princeton (8-0), 28-14
1968 — Harvard (5-0) beat Penn (5-0), 28-6

1968 — Harvard (8-0) and Yale (8-0) tied, 29-29

1970 — Dartmouth (5-0) beat Yale (5-0), 10-0

1993 — Penn (7-0) beat Princeton (7-0), 30-14

2001 — Harvard (8-0) beat Penn (8-0), 28-21

2004 — Harvard (8-0) beat Penn (8-0), 31-10

2006 — Princeton (5-0) beat Harvard (5-0), 31-28

2015 — Harvard (6-0) beat Dartmouth (6-0), 14-13
The Dartmouth has a one-on-one with senior nickel Ky McKinney-Crudden. (HERE). Conspicuously missing from the story: McKinney-Crudden walked on to the Dartmouth team and earned not just a starting role, but election by his teammates as a captain.
The local Valley News has a notes column in advance of Saturday's game. (LINK)
The Roar Lions blog makes the interesting point that maybe this game should be called the Rick Taylor Bowl. (LINK) The onetime Dartmouth assistant coach who went on to become head coach at Boston University and eventually athletic director at Northwestern was brought in as a consultant to the Dartmouth program when it was struggling and reprised that role for Columbia. Both, obviously, have gone on to make significant improvements.

Green Alert Take: Some of us were joking yesterday that Taylor's phone might be ringing off the hook after this one ;-)

Green Alert Take II: Taylor's football expertise has been on display not just in the Ivy League, but internationally. (LINK)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

UNH Standout Returns

The Manchester Union Leader reminds us that Ricky Santos, who helped the University New Hampshire become an FCS powerhouse, returns to the Granite State this weekend as quarterback coach at Columbia. Santos once torched Dartmouth for five touchdown passes. (LINK)
An Athlon story written by STATS' Craig Haley lists Dartmouth-Columbia as one of the FCS games of the week nationally. (LINK) Who does he see winning? Here's an excerpt from his capsule on the game:
They’re fairly close statistically and should be on the scoreboard. The Big Green are particularly adept at winning tight games.
Pick: Dartmouth
Columbia's game notes can be found HERE.
Surfing for Columbia material I came across a video that begins with the inflation of the new bubble at the Wien Stadium. Watch the video HERE to see a little from their winter workouts at the Baker Athletics Complex as well as in the bubble. It's another reminder that while indoor facilities have popped up at the Ivy League's southern schools, the conference's northernmost outpost is still battling to get its own facility approved. For what it's worth, the video will get your blood flowing ;-)

A story on the STATS site is headlined: Ivy League touts safety impact of experimental kickoff rule. (LINK)
Here's how Massey sees this week's games shaping up:

Dartmouth 23, Columbia 20 (58 percent confidence)
Princeton 30, at Harvard 24 (68 percent)
Yale 30, at Penn 27 (61 percent)
at Cornell 26, Brown  21 (65 percent)

Colgate  21, at Holy Cross 17 (63 percent)
Sacred Heart 21, at Robert Morris (62 percent)
at Morehead State 34, Stetson 31 (57 percent confidence)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Two Views

Dartmouth's highlights from the Sacred Heart game:

Sacred Heart's highlights from the Dartmouth game:

The Roar Lions blog gives a scouting report on what Dartmouth might attack Saturday (LINK) with this proviso:
Trying to be completely honest about where CU's strengths and weaknesses truly are, I'd do the following five things, (and yes, this is a bit of reverse psychology and I hope the Columbia coaches are planning countermeasures to each).
The Providence Journal breaks the news that Brown grad Chris Berman of ESPN and Dartmouth grad Jake Tapper of CNN will be honorary captains for the Nov. 10 game at Fenway Park.
Speaking of the game in the iconic baseball stadium, the Huff Post has a story headlined, Thinking College Football? Think Fenway Park. (LINK). Mark Lev, Managing Director of Fenway Sports Management, tells the Huff Post:
“We’re expecting more than 20,000 for Brown against Dartmouth and Maine against UMass and we’re expecting a crowd of more than 30,000 to see Boston College take on UConn.”
Thanks to a friend for sharing a link to a Canada Keep Exploring promotional video that features former Dartmouth linebacker/defensive end Matt Oh '11. Slimmed down from his 225-pound playing weight, Oh is living and working as an actor and model in New York City. (See earlier BGA Daily posting.) Oh was in Fairfield, Conn., Saturday to watch his old team defeat Sacred Heart. The screen grab below is from the promotional video for Canada that you can watch HERE.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Miller Back With Jags

Dartmouth-Columbia Noise Starting Up

Want to win a $100 gift card to Pine, the restaurant at the Hanover Inn? Check out the contest at the bottom of the page!

The Wise Guys have installed Dartmouth as a 4.5 point favorite at home against Columbia Saturday.

Here's a question for you:

Assuming that home field is usually worth three points, when was the last time an undefeated Dartmouth team was considered 1.5 points better than Columbia on a neutral field?

Elsewhere, here's how the the offshore numbers people see the week:
Princeton is favored by 4 at Harvard
Yale is favored by 3.5 points at Penn
Cornell is a 7.5 point favorite at home against Brown 
Sacred Heart is a 3.5 point favorite at Robert Morris
Colgate is favored by 4 at Holy Cross
Stetson is a 1.5 point underdog at Morehead State
HERO sports has a fun comparison thingie where you can plug in two teams and see how their numbers match up. Check out Dartmouth-Columbia HERE.
Jake Novak at Roar Lions 2017 will be all over the Dartmouth-Columbia game this week. Check out his look at Columbia in light of last week's huge win over Penn HERE.
Lest  you think Dartmouth is the only one producing hype videos, the Columbia video before the Lions' win over Penn can be seen HERE.
At 0-2 in the Ivy League does Penn still have a chance? The Daily Pennsylvanian tries to answer the question HERE.
The Worcester Telegram caught up with Tom Gilmore, the longtime Dartmouth defensive coordinator let go as Holy Cross head coach on Sunday. Read the story HERE. Gilmore told the paper:
We didn’t win as many games as I wanted to in any season because anything less than undefeated was not a good season for me, but at the same time you look at all of the players I had the privilege to coach and one of the reasons I feel so strongly about Holy Cross, that I wanted to be at a place like Holy Cross, that I specifically wanted to be at Holy Cross, is because I know what it can do for a young person’s life and how it can be such a transformative experience.


You can also CLICK HERE to submit your prediction.

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