Friday, February 23, 2018

Regional Rivalries*

A Daily Princetonian story about the change in the Ivy League football schedule notes that both the Tiger games against Harvard and Yale will be on the road next fall. To the paper's credit, it does point out that the new schedule, "eliminates the need for Dartmouth to travel to Princeton during its final exam period."

That, of course, is what triggered the change. Instead of traveling 315 miles every other year the Big Green will now finish with Brown (174 miles away).

The Daily Princetonian story includes this quote:
“Now, the last game will not only have title implications, but it will also feature regional rivalries,” Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris said. “How exciting is that?”
You can make the case that if a regional rivalry was the impetus for the change, Harvard and Yale wouldn't be playing on the final Saturday. They are 133 miles apart according to Google. Nope, Yale would be playing Brown (54 miles) or Columbia (77 miles).

As noted above, Dartmouth and Brown are 174 miles apart, but oh look at that. Dartmouth and Harvard are separated by just 123 miles.

Given those numbers, let's take a look at what the schedule would look like if regional rivalries were what truly mattered.

(Unfortunately poor Cornell doesn't have an Ivy League school near it, so that bollixes things up, but we'll go with the Ivy League poobahs on that one and keep Cornell and Columbia together for New York State purposes. And while Harvard and Brown are the closest two schools, pitting them against each other would orphan Dartmouth.)

Here's the new Week 10 schedule with the miles between the schools:


BROWN-YALE 103 miles



How do you think that would fly in Cambridge and New Haven? Maybe "regional rivalries" really should be written "regional rivalries."*

* Except Harvard and Yale