Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Final Week

The final Ivy League standings are perfect, with each team losing to all the teams above it!
A look at how Dartmouth opponents fared on the final Saturday of the season:

Harvard 31, Yale 24
Story and stats
The Associated Press is calling it The Finish and with good reason. Tearing a page from the famed 29-29 tie, Yale (8-2, 5-2 Iv) stormed back from a 24-7 deficit with 17 consecutive points in the fourth quarter to knot the score with 3:44 left, only to have Harvard (10-0, 7-0) drive 78 yards for the winning touchdown with 55 seconds remaining. Conner Hempel's 35-yard TD pass to Andrew Fischer ended the scoring but not the game as Yale put together a furious drive that brought a first down at the Harvard 26. A Zach Hodges sack pushed the ball back to the 32 and forced a Yale timeout with 15 seconds remaining. On the next snap Scott Peters intercepted Morgan Roberts at the 15 to clinch the win and give Harvard sole possession of the Ivy League title. Tyler Varga carried 30 times for 127 yards with two touchdowns rushing and another receiving for Yale. Paul Stanton Jr., ran 22 times for 109 yards and one touchdown for Harvard, which got 18-of-28 passing for 191 yards from Hempel and 149 receiving yards and two touchdowns from Fischer. Roberts was 26-of-48 for 305 yards for the Bulldogs but was picked off twice.

Penn 34, Cornell 26
Story and stats
While Cornell (1-9, 1-6) was giving it a good shot Penn (2-8, 2-5 Ivy) was giving retiring coach Al Bagnoli one final win. After the Quakers ran off 20 consecutive points to turn an 18-14 deficit into a 34-18 lead, Cornell drove 65 yards for a touchdown and two-point conversion that made it a one-possession game. Penn then chewed up most of the clock before Cornell could finally get a stop with 35 seconds remaining. After hitting a 22-yard pass for a first down at the 42 the Big Red missed its next four passes, including a heave at the end. Alek Torgersen completed 26-of-37 passes for 331 yards and three touchdowns for the Quakers, with Spencer Kulcsar grabbing 11 for 187 yards and three scores. Torgersen also ran for 86 yards. Rapidly developing Cornell quarterback Robert Somborn was 22-of-39 for 316 yards and three TDs. Luke Hagy had 111 rushing yards for the Big Red.

Brown 41, Columbia 7
Story and stats
Brown (5-5, 3-4 Ivy) got two passing touchdowns from Marcus Fuller and two rushing scores from Seth Rosenbauer and didn't give up a point until the final 1:05 of the game. Columbia (0-10, 0-7) lost for the 21st time in a row. The Bears reeled off 21 consecutive points in the first quarter and never looked back while piling up 483 yards of offense. Columbia managed just 11 first downs and 26 yards rushing.

New Hampshire 20, Maine 12
Story and stats
The nation's top-ranked team according to The Sports Network turned the ball over six times but UNH (10-1, 8-0 CAA) survived thanks to a stingy defensive effort that allowed Maine (5-6, 4-4 CAA) just 179 yards of total offense. After Maine pulled within eight points with 6:19 remaining a UNH drive stalled but the Wildcats downed a 45-yard punt at the Maine 1. The Black Bears made it only to their own 27 before an interception with exactly one minute remaining ended the rivalry game.

Georgetown 21, Holy Cross 16
Story and stats
A Crusader touchdown with one second left was window dressing as Holy Cross (4-8, 2-4 Patriot) fell to Georgetown (3-8, 1-5 Patriot), which had lost its last six games.

Central Connecticut State 22, St. Francis 17
Story and stats
Central Connecticut State (3-9, 1-5 NEC) drove 75 yards for a touchdown with 10 seconds remaining to top St. Francis (5-6, 3-3 NEC) and snap a six-game losing streak.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Game Day

It is a glorious day here in the Garden State without a cloud in the sky. The temperature at gametime should be pushing the mid-40s, which will feel pretty good to those of us who froze at practice this week.

While the buses came down earlier in the day, Team BGA took about two extra hours to make the trip, courtesy of three separate accidents that tied up the Interstates. On most road trips that would be just an inconvenience, but this time we were picking up That Certain Nittany Lion, who had caught a bus to a mall in North Jersey to start his Thanksgiving break. Fortunately we arrived just as the mall was closing.
The Trentonian takes a look at the Dartmouth-Princeton game here.
Our local daily writes about the timely emergence of freshman running back Ryder Stone (LINK) under the headline, Ryder's On The Storm; Down Three Runners Canadian Freshman Will Carry Dartmouth's Hopes. (Gee, thanks for that headline. I've been humming that song for a week now as it is.)

The story explains how the family ended up moving from Texas to Canada and talks about how working with his ranch foreman father in Alberta has toughened him up:
“I think my family’s work ethic has helped a lot,” Stone said, noting that he also helps his father with cattle branding in the spring if he’s home. “I always get the job of wrestler, the guy who has to take the calves down and hold them. They’re anywhere from 200 to 400 pounds.”
A reminder that the Harvard-Yale game starts a half hour ahead of Dartmouth-Princeton. You can follow both on Gametracker. Live Harvard stats will be HERE and Dartmouth stats HERE.

Watch Dartmouth-Princeton on ESPN3 by clicking HERE if you have the right TV or internet provider. Harvard-Yale is on the NBCSports Network.

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.