Saturday, August 17, 2019

Take A Look

Here are three pictures I shot yesterday showing progress on Dartmouth's new indoor practice facility.    Click the photos to enlarge them.
Here's a look from the front. Keep in mind that the playing field will be at the level of the old "sunken garden," practice field, probably a full floor below the level of the parking lot.
A few from ground level in the back puts the size of the building in better perspective.
From the side
CLICK HERE for the Dartmouth Campus Services weekly update on the 70,000 square foot facility that the college has projected will be ready in the first quarter of 2020.

For those unfamiliar with the indoor practice facility, CLICK HERE for more background. From that page:
The primary feature will be a 56,000 square foot FieldTurf surface which is nearly three times the size of the temporary turf used inside Leverone Field House’s track. The building will also include a lobby, meeting room, rest rooms, storage areas, a satellite sports medicine space, two video filming platforms, two baseball/softball batting tunnels, and netting to protect the facility and to divide the space when desired.
To put that square footage of turf in perspective, a regulation football field covers 57,600 square feet.
Speaking of athletic facilities, Jeff Jacobs takes a look in the Middletown Press at the somewhat controversial installation of artificial turf at the former swamp know as Yale Bowl. The story includes an aerial photo of the Bowl that really does look pretty sweet. (LINK)
The Post Independent in gorgeous Glenwood Springs, Colo., has a story under the headline USA Football pilots program to attract more young players that includes the following about USA Football's Football Development Model:
“The FDM is a progressive approach for the development and safety of our players as they are learning the game,” said Dartmouth coach Buddy Teevens, a member of the council. “This is 21st-century football that embraces the value of the team experience, fundamental skill instruction and contact reduction in an effort to teach the sport in a smarter and safer fashion.”
Green Alert Take: That ESPN story the other day certainly did not overstate Buddy Teevens' impact on the future of the game of football. CLICK HERE if you missed the story.

In-depth Colgate and Jacksonville season previews have been posted on BGA Premium the last two nights and Marist will go up this evening as I wrap up a look at Dartmouth's nonconference opponents.

Brown will be the subject tomorrow as the series moves on to Ivy League teams in alphabetical order over the next seven days. The opponent previews will conclude with a look at Yale one week from tonight, with practice coverage commencing one week from tomorrow. To sign up for BGA Premium, CLICK HERE.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Behind The Scenes

A few snaps I shot yesterday at ESPN:
The set for Ivy League media day at ESPN
Buddy Teevens on set
Teevens with moderator Jack Ford
Teevens in front of the iconic ESPN sign of old
At the Ivy League media day at ESPN yesterday Robin Harris, executive director of the conference, was asked about the Ivy ban on going to the NCAA football playoffs. Her response included this:
There's also a concern how the football championship extends into December and now goes into mid-January, and the impact that would have on our student-athletes academically during very critical times during the academic year.
"It's not just one game, our teams would win some games," she continued. "The impact academically on the student-athletes is a concern.
Green Alert Take: Hello? The 2012-2013 national championship Yale ice hockey team opened the season on Oct. 26 and won the national championship on April 13. That's 170 days, or two weeks short of a six month season. The Ivy League football season runs 64 days. Something doesn't add up.

Green Alert Take II: The Bulldogs played eight postseason games and they weren't the only Ivy League team in the postseason. Most years the Ivy League would have one team in the football playoffs play one game, and even in the highly unlikely event an Ivy team did make it to the national championship game in football the way Yale did in ice hockey, the season would last 113 days, a month and a half shorter than Yale's championship season.

Green Alert Take III: If the Ivy League presidents are so gung-ho about the "the impact (the NCAA playoffs) would have on our student-athletes academically during very critical times during the academic year," then why weren't they willing to move the football  schedule up one week so that Dartmouth doesn't have a game smack in the middle of fall final exams?

Green Alert Take IV: I had to bite my tongue – hard – after Robin Harris' finished her address and the floor was opened for questions. Maybe I should have called her on it but she was in the impossible position of trying to defend an indefensible policy that she wasn't responsible for on a day of celebration and good feeling for the Ivy League.

Green Alert Take IV: There were friends around the Ivy League who used to tease me that the conference stopped having a media day after I put people on the hot seat asking about the playoff ban and scheduling an 11th game during the Q&A session during the final media day at Yale Golf Course. If the Ivy League doesn't go back to ESPN again they can't blame it on me ;-)
The Middletown Press has a story out of media day under the headline: Silly NCAA rule deters Ivies from playing FBS schools. (LINK)

Green Alert Take: As I think about it, this might have been a more accurate headline: Silly NCAA rule deters FBS Schools from playing Ivies.
From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (italics are mine):
Dartmouth University is not synonymous with football, but the small Ivy League school in New Hampshire is winning by taking the tacking out of the game.
Or at least it has in practice.
ESPN recently published a long-form story about Dartmouth football’s unique approach to its practices, which is to basically not hit except during games.
Adam Redmond, the Harvard grad now with the Cowboys, told the writer:
“Every fall I think there was an article about Dartmouth and the blocking dummies, or their robots,” said Redmond, who graduated from Harvard in 2015. “It was a half joke - ‘Dartmouth and their robots.’ But they were one of the best defenses we played and it worked for them. But I think it was more of their guys."
One of the ESPN honchos yesterday gave a presentation about the initiatives the network is working on in celebration of the 150th year of college football. Someone with ESPN developed an algorithm to determine the 50 best college football programs at any level. Ivies that made the cut:

7. Yale
11. Princeton
13. Harvard
26. Penn
37. Dartmouth

Green Alert Take: All five are deserving but so you have your ducks linked up before you start bragging at the water cooler you should know the list also includes No. 16 Mount Union,  No 18. St. John’s, No. 27. Wittenberg, Wisconsin-Whitewater, Linfield and Pittsburg State.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Greetings From The Worldwide Leader

O-Dark-30 wake-up today for the 200-mile drive down to Bristol, Conn., and the headquarters of ESPN for the Ivy League football media day. Fortunately the rush hour traffic around Hartford wasn't bad ;-)
The Hero Sports podcast predicting the champions of every FCS conference can be heard HERE. To save yourself time scrub ahead to 23:07 to hear about 3 1/2 minutes of Ivy League banter.
And so it begins.

Year 15 of Big Green Alert officially kicks off this evening with the first opponent preview, a look at defending Patriot League champion Colgate. Jacksonville will be tomorrow's post followed by Marist and then the Ivy League teams in alphabetical order.

Barring something untoward, there will be full stories on BGA Premium every day, seven days a week, until Nov. 25. To quote the Bard, or maybe it was Hank Williams, Jr., "Are you ready for some football?"

Your BGA Premium subscription not only brings you what may well be the most comprehensive coverage of any FCS program in the country but it also supports BGA Daily, which would not exist without your help.

CLICK HERE to subscribe or learn more about BGA Premium.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

ESPN On Teevens, Dartmouth Football

Dartmouth football coach Buddy Teevens' imagination and innovations have received a lot of publicity in the past half dozen or so years but this might be the big one.

ESPN writes about Teevens and his push to save football HERE.

The full story is HERE.

Caveat Emptor

If 247Sports is to be believed, Dartmouth football has made a minimum 157 "offers" to rising high school seniors.

Here's the breakdown per 247Sports of Dartmouth offers by position:
7 Pro style quarterbacks
6 Dual-threat quarterbacks
1 All-purpose backs
15 Running backs
10 Wide receivers
13 Tight ends
13 Offensive tackles
14 Offensive guards
6 Centers
4 Weak-side defensive ends
8 Strong-side defensive ends
8 Defensive tackles
15 Inside linebackers
10 Outside linebackers
8 Cornerbacks
8 Safeties

How does that compare to the number of "offers" other schools have put out, again per 247Sports?
Yale 191
Columbia 171
Dartmouth 157
Cornell 130
Princeton 110
Harvard 98
Penn 87
Brown  47

And how do those numbers compare with teams Dartmouth has played and is playing outside of the Ivy League?
Holy Cross 65
Colgate  47
Sacred Heart 33
Jacksonville 18
Marist 5

A few things to keep in mind about the recruiting services:

• At the FCS level they are largely dependent on self-reporting by the recruits.
• A high school player or his family is a lot more likely to want to share news of an offer to, say, Yale, than to, say, Marist. Just sayin' ;-)
• The schools are not allowed to confirm "offers."
• The services are notoriously slow to catch up on commitments. Dartmouth has three commits that have been noted on this page and 247Sports lists the Big Green as having none. Penn is listed with three commits and reports are that no fewer than 11 have Tweeted their intentions on playing for the Quakers. 

Dartmouth commits to date per Twitter:
• Jack Dyett, 6-5, 210, DE/TE, Brentwood School/Los Angeles, Calif.
• Marcus Romboli, 6-3, 270, DE, Deerfield Academy/Everett, Mass.
• Paxton Scott, 6-1, 183 WR St. Mark’s/Dallas

And finally, consider this:
Those three Dartmouth commits? Not only are they not included as Dartmouth commits, they aren't even listed as having received offers.

Bottom line: Let the buyer beware.
A reminder that the comprehensive Dartmouth opponent previews kick off tomorrow on BGA Premium. If you haven't subscribed yet, don't fall behind on your daily Dartmouth football fix or you may never catch up with daily practice coverage starting Aug. 25 ;-)

CLICK HERE to sign up.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Tuesday Newsday

Watch as former Dartmouth offensive lineman Matt Kaskey (68) of the Rams blocks Clelin Ferrell, a 6-4, 265 defensive end out of Clemson and the Raiders' top draft pick.

Kaskey is lined up against fellow rookie Anthony Rush out of Alabama-Birmingham and meets with former Dartmouth quarterback Jack Heneghan, whose back he used to protect. (Thanks for the pix!)
From the lead-in to an Ivy League prediction by the Fanatic site (LINK):
Returning eleven starters, including six on defense, Dartmouth looks to be the team to beat in the Ivy. Meanwhile, another perfect season is probably out of the question for badly-depleted Princeton.
Now, before you get too excited, read on:
The unblemished Tigers, who were badly decimated by graduations, will likely face stiff challenges from the perennial triumvirate of Dartmouth, Harvard and Penn, as well as resurgent Columbia, while trying to win their second straight Ivy League title for only the second time in program history.
Uh, everyone and his sister is predicting Yale to either be the favorite (the official media poll) or among the Ivy League elite. Fanatic? Here's how the site sees the Ivy finish:
1. Dartmouth
2. Harvard
3. Princeton
4. Penn
5. Columbia
5. Yale
7. Cornell
8. Brown 
Craig Haley has a story in Athlon under the headline, Make no mistake, they're unranked, not unloved. Haley writes about Yale:
The Bulldogs went 9-1 and won the Ivy League title in 2017. It may happen again. They get a mulligan for last season because of injuries to key players, which has led to head coach Tony Reno's team suffering minimal losses. There's an embarrassment of riches of offensive players who have already had great success
The piece ends this way:
The Bulldogs will have the strongest senior class in the Ivy League. They also face road games at Princeton and Dartmouth, which were a combined 19-1 a year ago. 
Green Alert Take: Craig got it half right. Yale is unranked. But it's certainly unloved  . . . by the Fanatic ;-)
Connecticut's Waterbury Republican-American has a story about Yale being picked first in the media poll and it includes this:
The Bulldog offense did not graduate a starter from 2018.
Keeper’s College Football Rating bids each year to quantify who has what returning from a year before by combining yards per game rushing, passing and receiving with tackles from returning starters on the offensive line and across the defense. Here's the Keeper chart for the Ivies:

Click on table to make it readable.

For a look at Keeper's full FCS ratings click CLICK HERE.
And finally, could ESPN's GameDay be at the Dartmouth-Princeton celebration of the 150th anniversary of college football at Yankee Stadium on Nov. 9? Hero Sports thinks if the flagship program of ESPN's college football coverage is going to do an FCS game there's a pretty good chance. (LINK)

For what it's worth, Hero lists 10 possible FCS venues for GameDay and Dartmouth-Princeton is considered second-most likely after South Dakota at North Dakota State. From the story:
Princeton and Dartmouth are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first-ever college football game with a Week 12 game at Yankee Stadium. While I don't understand the venue (the first game was played in New Jersey, not the Bronx), it's still a headline-grabbing novelty game with minimal FBS competition.

Monday, August 12, 2019

A New Name

The recruiting news has been quiet for a while but there's finally a new name. Tweeting his intention to come to Dartmouth is Jack Dyett, 6-foot-5, 210-pound tight end/defensive end from Brentwood School in Los Angeles who reports a 4.8 time in the 40.

Find Dyett's Tweet announcing his decision HERE and his HUDL highlights HERE.

He reports offers from Colgate and Columbia.

Interesting Numbers

Craig Haley’s STATS Twitter feed has a list of the longest active conference winning streaks in the FCS:

29 – San Diego (Pioneer Football League)
11 – Colgate (Patriot)
10 – North Dakota State (Missouri Valley)
10  – Kennesaw (Big South)
7 – Princeton (Ivy League)

Princeton’s last Ivy League loss? That would be a 54-44 barnburner at Dartmouth on Nov. 18, 2017.

If the Big Green had managed to outlast Princeton last Nov. 13 instead of dropping a gut-wrenching 14-9 decision, its win streak in Ivy League play would be 10, dating back to an Oct. 28, 2017 loss at Harvard, 25-22.

Digging up those dates and scores led to these facts about Dartmouth’s Ivy League record in recent years:

• Counting a win over Princeton in the final game of the 2012 season, Dartmouth has gone 30-13 in the Ancient Eight since Nov. 17, 2012. That's a .698 winning mark.

• Since 2011 Dartmouth's only losing record in Ivy League play was in 2016 when it went 1-6 and 4-6 overall. (The last overall losing record apart from the '16 season was in 2009.)

• Discounting the 2016 season, Dartmouth has gone 28-7 in Ivy League games since 2013, with no more than two Ivy losses in a season. That's an .800 winning mark. The conference records since 2013, again apart from the 2016 stumble:

2013 – 5-2
2014 – 6-1
2015 – 6-1
2017 – 5-2
2018 – 6-1

It would be interesting to see where Dartmouth fit in if someone dug up a list of consecutive nonconference wins in the FCS. (Don't look at me ;-)

The Big Green hasn't dropped a nonconference game since Sept. 27, 2014 when it fell at New Hampshire, 52-19. It has won 13 consecutive games against non-Ivy opponents. Scores and opponents since then:

2014 – Defeated Holy Cross 24-21
2015 – Defeated Georgetown  31-10, defeated Sacred Heart 49-7, defeated Central Connecticut 34-7
2016 – Defeated New Hampshire  22-21, defeated Holy Cross 35-10, defeated Towson 20-17
2017 – Defeated Stetson 38-7, defeated Holy Cross 27-26 (OT), defeated Sacred Heart 29-26
2018 – Defeated Georgetown  41-0, defeated Holy Cross 34-14, defeated Sacred Heart 42-0