Friday, March 07, 2014

A Huge Challenge

Fulfilling a contractual obligation for a previously scheduled game, the Dartmouth football will cross the state to play at 2013 FCS national semifinalist University of New Hampshire on Sept. 27. Needless to say, it will be a challenge.

UNH, which went 10-5 last  year with three NCAA playoff wins, is 20-0-1 against the Big Green since 1980. The teams played every year from 2000 through 2009 with the Wildcats averaging a whopping 44.3 points per game and winning by an average of 23.5 points per game.

While the Dartmouth program would seem to be much more competitive than it was during that 10-year span, New Hampshire doesn't figure to be going backward. The Sports Network continues its spring look at FCS conferences with the Colonial Athletic Association and has this to say about UNH:
New Hampshire can rotate quarterbacks Sean Goldrich and Andy Vailas for the third straight season. Over the last two campaigns, including the Wildcats' run to the national semifinals last season, Goldrich has posted 3,869 yards of total offense and a combined 30 TD passes and runs; Vailas, 3,582 and 35.
UNH also returns 1,000-yard rusher Nico Steriti, 1,000-yard leading receiver RJ Harris, three starting offensive linemen and its two leading tacklers (and six of the top seven).
Columbia has updated its roster for 2014, sans freshmen.
The National Football Foundation has released its ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame and there's one Ivy League product among the 75 candidates at the FBS level and one among the 87 players at the FCS level.

Eligible at the FBS level is Princeton alum Charlie Gogolak, who helped pioneer "soccer-style" kicking along with his brother Pete of Cornell. Charlie Gogolak was a first-round pick of the Washington Redskins in the 1966 NFL draft. From the NFF:
1965 First Team All-American…Set seven NCAA records and led Princeton to an 8-1 season (1965)… Two-time First Team All-Ivy…Holds four school records…Helped popularize the soccer-style technique in the kicking game.
On the ballot at the FCS level is Yale middle guard John Zanieski. The NFF has this to say about him:
Named First Team All-America and First Team All-Ivy League in 1984...Selected as the team's MVP in 1984...Finished second on school's quarterback sack list with 21.
Sports Illustrated has a follow on the tabling of the ill-fated 10-second substitution proposal for college football.
In a New York Times story headlined, Harvard and Yale Pick Up the Pace, Reshaping Ivy League Basketball, a Dartmouth player gets a nice nod:
(Yale coach James) Jones mentioned Sears, Wesley Saunders of Harvard and two injured players — Shonn Miller of Cornell and Gabas Maldunas of Dartmouth — as being among the top athletes in the league.
Maldunas is a junior center for the Big Green.

Green Alert Take: Yes, Harvard has helped reshape Ivy League basketball but please let me know when Yale belongs in that same headline.
The Times also has a story about Harvard women's coach Kathy Delaney-Smith being tied with Princeton's Pete Carril for most wins in Ivy League basketball history. It's a nice story about Delaney-Smith although comparing win totals is bogus.

For what it's worth, Delaney-Smith is 514-347. Carril was 514-261.
Saw this in the Daily Pennsylvanian a couple of days ago and meant to post it. A mention on a message board reminded me. From a story about the Penn athletic director search:
1987 Wharton graduate Tom Donatucci was a die-hard Penn basketball fan during his time as a student and continues to help plan events for the program, so he’s been around long enough to know that some crucial questions await the next athletic director. 
“You’ve got a rapidly growing substantial portion of the student body that doesn’t care and will never care, it’s not part of their culture. You have passionate alumni from the ‘60s through the mid-‘90s getting older and less involved,” Donatucci said.
That calls to mind a discussion I had with someone at another Ivy League school several years ago about the concerns raising money to help support football. He talked about how it used to be that football programs would receive gifts from alums who had packed the stands cheering for their classmates as students. But, he said, the changing demographics at Ivy League schools, which along with the move to the FCS has contributed to a decreased interest among the students in the sport, will likely mean former players may provide the only significant financial help the programs receive in the not-too-distant future.

... If not already.