Sunday, November 28, 2021

Sunday Wrap

From the Dartmouth football office, a behind-the-scenes and field-level look at the clinching of the Ivy League championship:

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Down in Waco, No. 9 Baylor and Dartmouth alum Drew Estrada improved to 10-2 with a 27-24 win over Texas Tech. Estrada tied for the team lead with four catches covering 42 yards and ran one time for a yard as the Bears clinched a spot in the Big 12 championship game against Oklahoma State at AT&T Stadium. Baylor will be looking to avenge a 24-14 loss at Oklahoma State in which Estrada led the Bears with six catches for 88 yards. The former Dartmouth standout has 22 receptions for 320 yards and a 14.6 average in 10 games this fall after returning from a muscle pull.

Drew Estrada celebrates Senior Day at Baylor.
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Cornell football fans watching the "Bedlam" game featuring Estrada's next opponent last night had to be proud of the mentions of Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles.

From a CBS Sports posting (LINK):

Jim Knowles deserves more attention

Oklahoma State's defensive coordinator has quietly been one of the most versatile defensive minds in the nation, and his adjustments in the second half prove why he should be a top contender for the Broyles Award.

An All-Ivy League defensive end at Cornell before graduating in 1987, Knowles was the Big Red's head coach from 2004-09. From his Oklahoma State web page (LINK): 

In his first season as head coach of the Big Red, Knowles turned a 1-9 squad that lost seven games by at least two touchdowns into a 4-6 unit that went 4-3 in conference play and lost all six contests by 10 points or less.

Cornell’s 2004 squad became the first team in Ivy League history to go from zero conference wins to a winning league slate in just one season. Under Knowles, Cornell posted three consecutive seasons (2005-06-07) at .500 or better for the first time since 1990-91-92 and, in 2007, enjoyed a stretch of scoring 30 or more points in four straight games for the first time since 1921.

Knowles was 26-34 at his alma mater, leaving in 2009 to become defensive coordinator at Duke, where he stayed until moving to Oklahoma State in 2018. 

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Editor's note: Because the Ivy League does not allow its teams to compete in the FCS playoffs, BGA Daily has adopted traditional rival Holy Cross as the shadow Ivy League playoff representative.

Holy Cross 13, Sacred Heart 10
Sophomore quarterback Matthew Sluka capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a 35-yard touchdown pass to classmate Jalen Coker, who won a jump ball with 14 seconds remaining to give the Crusaders (10-2) their fist-ever win in the FCS playoffs.

Sluka finished with 171 yards through the air and 90 on the ground. Junior linebacker Jacob Dobbs was the defensive standout with 18 tackles as Holy Cross limited Sacred Heart standouts Julius Chestnut to 55 yards rushing on 17 carries and Malik Grant to 59 on 14 carries.

Holy Cross now plays at fifth-seeded Villanova Friday at 7 p.m.
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EXTRA POINT
As the first one up the mountain yesterday the only tracks ahead of me in the snow were those left by animals.

I couldn't help but wonder as I spotted footprints left by deer, rabbits, chipmunks and more whether I was hiking on their trail or they were walking on mine. It's probably a little bit of both.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Drew Estrada And A Little More

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Average home attendance for Ivy League football teams (Yale listed with and without The Game):

Yale 12,361 (factoring in The Game's attendance of 44,989)

Harvard 10,812
Princeton 7,019 (four games)
Columbia 5,549
Dartmouth 5,480
Penn 4,971
Yale 4,204 (without The Game)
Cornell 4,075
Brown 3,366

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Two familiar Dartmouth opponents are appearing in the NCAA playoffs today. Here's The Analyst preview (LINK):

Sacred Heart (8-3, 6-1 NEC) at Holy Cross (9-2, 6-0 Patriot)

Kickoff – Noon at Fitton Field in Worcester, Massachusetts (ESPN+)

Series – Holy Cross leads 2-0

Coaches – Sacred Heart: Mark Nofri (62-46, 11 seasons); Holy Cross: Bob Chesney (24-15, four seasons; 91-40 overall)

3 Players to Watch – Sacred Heart: RB Julius Chestnut (74 carries, 487 yards, 3 TDs), RB Malik Grant (226 carries, 1,288 yards, 9 TDs), LB Kevin Peprah (43 tackles, 2.5 sacks); Holy Cross: QB Matthew Sluka (84 of 154, 1,172 yards, 10 TDs, 4 INTs; 672 rushing yards, 13 TDs), RB Peter Oliver (134 carries, 726 yards, 4 TDs), LB Jacob Dobbs (112 tackles, 8 sacks),

3 Key Factors – 1. Sacred Heart is full go at running back, with Chestnut back after missing seven-plus games and getting more carries over the last three games than Grant, the potential NEC offensive player of the year. Holy Cross counters with the No. 5 rushing defense in the FCS (77.9 ypg). 2. Behind Dobbs and LB Liam Anderson, the host Crusaders are tied for fourth in the FCS with 39 sacks and rank second in dropping quarterbacks for 272 yards in losses. 3. The three teams that beat the Pioneers attacked with the run (237 ypg, 5.5-yard average), which is a strength of Holy Cross’ offense.

Up Next – The winner will play at No. 5 seed Villanova (9-2) in the second round on Dec. 3.

Prediction – Holy Cross 24, Sacred Heart 21

Green Alert Take: It's hard to read that and not imagine how Dartmouth and/or Princeton would do if they were allowed to participate in the playoffs.

Green Alert Take II: It's also hard to reconcile Dartmouth women's rugby being able to play for (and win) the national championship when the football team is prohibited from doing so by the Ivy League presidents.

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EXTRA POINT
We got the '84 VW camper bus parked crosswise in the back of our garage yesterday but it wasn't easy. I'd guess at least 12-to-15 times I had to inch it forward, cut the wheel hard and then inch it back. Then rinse and repeat, again and again, not an easy thing in a four-speed without power steering. One slip with the clutch and the gas pedal and we would have had a new door in the garage. But it's put away for the winter now with dryer sheets tucked around inside in a vain attempt to keep the mice out. And yes, our timing was pretty good given that this is what we awoke to morning:



Friday, November 26, 2021

Congratulazioni



Former Dartmouth quarterback Jared Gerbino '20 is returning to the football field in the Italian Football League, whose champions last year with the Parma Panthers, the team made famous by John Grisham in his entertaining novel, Playing for Pizza.

Here's a Google translation of the release announcing his signing:

Jared Gerbino is the first import of the Guelphs Florence 2022.The purple team, led this year by Art Briles, went to look overseas to start composing the team next year. The first name for next season is that of Jared Gerbino, born in 1998 from Dartmouth University, Ivy League university where the import concluded his career in the NCAA with 1400 yards ran and 1100 yards thrown. The player, who in the Guelphs Florence will take the place as a native, is extremely versatile in attack and can play such as Tight End, Half Back  and Quarter Back. After a 2021 that saw the team then led by Steve Hagen at one step from the final, defeated by the Parma Panthers in the penultimate act, the reasons for trying to aim high in 2022 are many.

To get a sense of what it's like for a Dartmouth player heading overseas, check out a Q&A I did with former Dartmouth defensive end Nick Tomkins' 18 HERE. One Q&A from that story:

Let's cut to the chase right at the start. Would you recommend playing in Europe for your teammates or other Ivy League graduates?

Definitely, 100 percent. I tell everyone who asks it's like studying abroad, except you don't have to go to class and you don't have to pay for school. Instead you're getting paid to play football in Europe. The competition is better than people think, but it's not as hard as what you might be used to. recommend it to everyone. Work can wait.

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The Dartmouth catches up on the football season with a story headlined, Dartmouth football breaks records and earns honors as program takes 20th Ivy League title HERE.

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Per AthLinkd:

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Tailback Zack Bair has posted his highlight video HERE and writes on his Twitter account (LINK):

 "Recruitment for the 2022 season is now open. Senior running back graduating from Dartmouth College as a 2x Ivy League champ with 2 years of eligibility left." 

Tight end Robbie Mangas reports offers from James Madison, Richmond, Youngstown and Southern Illinois as a grad transfer while John Paul Flores reports Temple, Bowling Green, Akron, Buffalo, Central Michigan and Western Michigan as well as Texas State have offered.

EXTRA POINT
We may be getting anywhere from a dusting to several inches of snow today. Time to get the '84 VW camper into the garage for a long winter's sleep, the grill put away, firewood moved into the sun room and more. It's coming . . .

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Enjoy


 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Like Father, Like Son

From Zach Lehman's '95 Twitter:


Find offensive lineman Griff Lehman's Dartmouth bio HERE. And from the 1994 Dartmouth media guide the bio for his defensive lineman dad:

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No fewer than five of the 10 most efficient offensive games in the Ivy League this year in terms of yards per play were produced by Dartmouth


TOP 10 YARDS PER PLAY

Yds

Pl

Avg

1

Princeton at Brown (10/16/2021)

650

63

10.3

2

DARTMOUTH at Brown (11/20/2021)

539

60

9.0

3

DARTMOUTH vs Sacred Heart (9/25/2021)

404

46

8.8

4

Yale at Brown (11/6/2021)

527

62

8.5

5

DARTMOUTH at UNH (10/16/2021)

604

77

7.8

6

DARTMOUTH vs Cornell (11/13/2021)

499

67

7.4

7

Penn at Bucknell (9/18/2021)

491

67

7.3

8

Harvard at Columbia (11/6/2021)

444

61

7.3

9

DARTMOUTH vs Princeton (11/5/2021)

334

46

7.3

10

Yale at Lehigh (10/2/2021)

420

58

7.2

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By now you've seen the All-Ivy League selections and two things jump out.

Green Alert Take: There were 15 members of the first-team offense and 18 members of the first-team defense. The second team had 14 selections on offense and 15 on defense. Does everyone get orange slices and a trophy? I fully understand it would be more arduous for both the Ivy office and the coaches but maybe, just maybe, they might want to consider runoff voting at the positions where there were ties.

Green Alert Take II: Reading TigerBlog's story about Princeton's James Johnson being named first-team All-Ivy only got me angrier about Dartmouth quarterback Derek Kyler being chosen to the second team. Look, Nick Howard absolutely belonged on the first team. No question about it. But he should have been classified as a running back. He completed 11 passes this year. Does that sound like a quarterback? I've written it before and I'll write it again. Kyler belongs in New York as a finalist for the Bushnell Cup as the outstanding offensive player in the league and not just for the 17 touchdown passes to one interception or the 70.7 percentage completions. What doesn't show up in the numbers is presence he brought to the most efficient offense in the Ivy League.

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A story in The Dartmouth is a reminder that maybe the football season ended just in time. From The D (LINK):

According to the College’s COVID-19 dashboard, there are currently 29 active undergraduate cases, 16 active faculty and staff cases and one active graduate student case. In the past seven days, there have been 75 new active cases identified — 50 among undergraduate students, 23 among faculty and staff and two among graduate students. In comparison, the week of Nov. 7 saw only 10 positive tests. 

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EXTRA POINT
Travel safely everyone. Enjoy turkey and football, and most importantly, cherish your loved ones.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

All-Ivy League

From the Dartmouth All-Ivy League release (LINK):

The Ivy League announced its all-conference football teams as selected by the league's coaches this afternoon, and 19th-ranked Dartmouth had five players named to the first team and a total of 17 All-Ivy League honors, most in the Ancient Eight. The conference also unveiled the Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year awards with Buddy Teevens, the Robert L. Blackman Head Football Coach at Dartmouth, earning the latter honor for the second straight season, becoming the second coach to receive the honor twice since its inception in 2014.

Ivy League release (LINK)

FIRST TEAM ALL-IVY^
OFFENSE
Hunter Nourzad, Cornell (Sr., OL – Marietta, Ga.)
Evan Hecimovich, DARTMOUTH (5th, OL – Lisle, Ill.)
Jake Guidone, DARTMOUTH (5th, OL – East Walpole, Mass.)
Spencer Rolland, Harvard (Sr., OL – Burnsville, Minn.)
Henry Byrd, Princeton (Sr., OL – Nashville, Tenn.)
Reily Radosevich, Princeton (Sr., OL – Manalapan, N.J.)
EJ Perry, Brown (Sr., QB – Andover, Mass.)
Dante Miller, Columbia (Sr., RB – Rockingham, N.C.)
Nick Howard, DARTMOUTH (Jr., QB – Green Bay, Wis.)
* Aaron Shampklin, Harvard (Jr., RB – Paramount, Calif.)
Collin Eaddy, Princeton (Sr., RB – Raleigh, N.C.)
Thomas Glover, Cornell (Sr., WR – Pasadena, Calif.)
* Jacob Birmelin, Princeton (Sr., WR – Royal Palm Beach, Fla.)
Carson Bobo, Princeton (Sr., TE – Birmingham, Ala.)
JJ Howland, Yale (Sr., TE – Fiskdale, Mass.)

DEFENSE
Chris Smith, Harvard (Jr., DL – Detroit, Mich.)
Jacob Sykes, Harvard (Jr., DL – Kansas City, Mo.)
Prince Emili, Penn (Gr., DL – New City, N.Y.)
Samuel Wright II, Princeton (Sr., DL – Lawrenceville, Ga.)
Clay Patterson, Yale (So., DL – Frisco, Texas)
Jake Stebbins, Cornell (Jr., LB – Cranberry Township, Pa.)
Jalen Mackie, DARTMOUTH (Sr., LB – Miramar, Fla.)
Jordan Hill, Harvard (Sr., LB – Silver Spring, Md.)
Jack McGowan, Harvard (Sr., LB – Canton, Mass.)
Brian O'Neill, Penn (Gr., LB – Roseland, N.J.)
* Jeremiah Tyler, Princeton (Sr., LB – Detroit, Mich.)
James Johnson, Princeton (Sr., LB – Moorestown, N.J.)
John Dean, Yale (Sr., LB – Wrentham, Mass.)
Ben Mathiasmeier, Columbia (Sr., DB – Katy, Texas)
Isaiah Johnson, DARTMOUTH (Sr., CB – Beverly Hills, Mich.)
Alex Washington, Harvard (So., CB – Hoover, Ala.)
Trevor Forbes, Princeton (Sr., DB – Memphis, Tenn.)
Rodney Thomas II, Yale (Sr., DB – Pittsburgh, Pa.)

 SPECIAL TEAMS
Jonah Lipel, Harvard (Jr., K – Tarzana, Calif.)
Will Powers, Princeton (Jr., P – Plano, Texas)
Michael Roussos, Columbia (Sr., RS – New Port Richey, Fla.)

SECOND TEAM ALL-IVY^
OFFENSE

Chad Broome-Webster, Brown (Sr., OL – Orlando, Fla.)
Tyler Worrell, Columbia (Sr., OL – Katy, Texas)
Jack Burns, Cornell (Sr., OL – Kansas City, Kan.)
John Paul Flores, DARTMOUTH (Sr., OL – Arlington, Texas)
Trevor Radosevich, Penn (Sr., OL – Englishtown, N.J.)
David Hoffman, Princeton (Sr., OL – Basking Ridge, N.J.)
Derek Kyler, DARTMOUTH (5th, QB – DeKalb, Ill.)
Aidan Borguet, Harvard (So., RB – Franklinville, N.J.)
Isaiah Malcome, Penn (Gr., RB – Atlanta, Ga.)
Wes Rockett, Brown (Jr., WR – Marblehead, Mass.)
Andrei Iosivas, Princeton (Jr., WR – Honolulu, Hawaii)
Melvin Rouse II, Yale (Sr., WR – East Charlotte, N.C.)
Mason Tipton, Yale (So., WR – Akron, Ohio)
JJ Jones III, DARTMOUTH (5th, TE – Tracy, Calif.)

DEFENSE
Paul Akere, Columbia (Sr., DL – Carrollton, Texas)
Shane Cokes, DARTMOUTH (Jr., DL – Dayton, Ohio)
Seth Walter, DARTMOUTH (5th, DE – Longboat Key, Fla.)
Nate Leskovec, Harvard (So., DL – Solon, Ohio)
Uche Ndukwe, Princeton (Jr., DL – Dedham, Mass.)
Cam Dillon, Columbia (Sr., LB – Findlay, Ohio)
Junior Gafa, Brown (Jr., LB – San Pedro, Calif.)
Scott Valentas, Columbia (Jr., LB –Wichita, Kan.)
Lance Blass, Cornell (5th, LB – Mountaintop, Pa.)
Marques White, DARTMOUTH (Jr., LB – Glendale, Ariz.)
Michael Irons, Cornell (Sr., CB – McGregor, Texas)
Niko Mermigas, DARTMOUTH (5th, S – Wexford, Pa.)
James Herring, Harvard (Jr., S – Dallas, Texas)
Jason McCleod, Jr., Penn (Sr., DB – West Palm Beach, Fla.)
Wande Owens , Yale (Jr., DB – Cooksville, Md.)  

SPECIAL TEAMS
Alex Felkins, Columbia (Jr., K – Tulsa, Okla.)
Jack Bosman, Yale (So., P – San Diego, Calif.)
Melvin Rouse II, Yale (Sr., RS – East Charlotte, N.C.)

HONORABLE MENTION
OFFENSE

Calvin Atkeson, DARTMOUTH (Sr. OL – Raleigh, N.C.)
Hunt Sparks, Harvard (Sr., OL – Norman, Okla.)
Kiran Amegadjie, Yale (So., OL – Hinsdale, Ill.)
Cameron Warfield, Yale (Sr., OL – Washington, D.C.)
Cole Smith, Princeton (Sr., QB – Knoxville, Tenn.)
Allen Smith, Brown (Sr., RB – Westerville, Ohio)
Ryan Young, Columbia (Sr., RB – Wheaton, Ill.)
Spencer Alston, Yale (Jr., RB – Reston, Va.)
Graham Walker, Brown (So., WR – Hinesburg, Vt.)
Paxton Scott, DARTMOUTH (So., WR – Dallas, Texas)
Dylan Classi, Princeton (Sr., WR – Englewood Cliffs, N.J.)
Robbie Mangas, DARTMOUTH (Sr., TE – Chantilly, Va.)

DEFENSE
Jake Heimlicher, Penn (Sr., DL – Aurora, Colo.)
Micah Morris, Penn (Sr., DL – Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Reid Nickerson, Yale (Jr., DL – Friendswood, Texas)
Jordan Colbert, Columbia (Sr., DB – Washington, D.C.)
Will Allen, Columbia (Sr., DB – Pembroke Pines, Fla.)
Logan Thut, Cornell (5th, S – Mantua, Ohio)
Delan Stallworth, Princeton (Sr., DB – Cincinnati, Ohio)
Miles Oldacre, Yale (Jr., DB – Spring, Texas)

SPECIAL TEAMS
Connor Davis, 
DARTMOUTH (Sr., K – Ocala, Fla.)
Drew Schmid, Columbia (Sr., P – San Diego, Calif.)
Jamal Cooney, DARTMOUTH (Jr., RS— Miami, Fla.)

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Joe Green, Columbia (So., QB – Sammamish, Wash.)  

COACH OF THE YEAR
Buddy Teevens, 
DARTMOUTH

^ First and Second Teams Expanded Due to Ties in Voting

* Unanimous Selection

Also from the release:

One Ivy League student-athlete from each institution was recognized for their commitment in the classroom and on the field as members of the 2021 Ivy League Football Academic All-Ivy team. Brown senior Chad Broome-Webster, Columbia senior Ben Mathiasmeier, Cornell senior Hunter Nourzad, DARTMOUTH senior Connor Davis, Harvard senior Spencer Rolland, Penn graduate student Isaiah Malcome, Princeton senior James Johnson and Yale senior Brett Gerber were each named to the team.

Green Alert Take: It is an absolute travesty for Derek Kyler to be second team. Not only should the Dartmouth quarterback have been first team, but he should be in New York City for the Bushnell Award.

Stay Tuned

The All-Ivy League football selections will be announced this afternoon. In the meantime . . .

From Dartmouth sports information (LINK):

Stats Perform announced the finalists for its FCS postseason awards today, and Dartmouth had two members of its football team included — linebacker Jalen Mackie for the Buck Buchanan Award as the nation’s top defender, and Buddy Teevens for the Eddie Robinson Award as the national coach of the year.

And this out of Dartmouth as well (LINK):

The New England Football Writers Association and Ivy League office announced its final weekly award winners of the 2021 season with Dartmouth quarterback Derek Kyler earning the Division I Gold Helmet Award and Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week honor, respectively. He was recognized for his performance in the Big Green's 52-31 victory at Brown that gave Dartmouth a share of the program's record 20th Ivy League title. 

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From USC's Daily Trojan comes a story headlined Micah Croom is USC’s Renaissance man. From the story about the former Dartmouth defensive back from the Class of 2020 (LINK):

As a USC football player with an Ivy League bachelor’s degree in political science, Croom is part of an exclusive club. 

Moved in his second years as a grad transfer from safety to linebacker, Croom has seen most of his action on special teams with two tackles and a forced fumble. Find his USC bio HERE.

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From the Morning Call down in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley (LINK):

“On behalf of the college and our student-athletes I want to thank John Garrett for his work and contributions to Lafayette athletics,” said director of athletics Sherryta Freeman in a release. “We will begin a national search immediately to name the next Fred M. Kirby ‘42 head football coach.”

John Garrett was the head football coach at Lafayette who was let go after posting a 15-33 overall record and a 13-14 record in the Patriot League. The key name in the release, though, is that of Sherryta Freeman, the athletic director who will be doing the hiring. She happens to be a former basketball player at Dartmouth, where she later worked in athletic administration.

It's probably a safe bet that, given Dartmouth's record over the past six or eight years, she either has spent a little time studying the Big Green coaching staff or will be looking it over.

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STATS Perform Top 25

W-L

Pts

Previous

1

Sam Houston (49)

10-0

1,248

1

2

James Madison

10-1

1,190

2

3

North Dakota State (1)

10-1

1,154

4

4

Eastern Washington

9-2

1,027

5

5

Montana

9-2

1,013

7

6

Villanova

9-2

996

6

7

Montana State

9-2

916

3

8

Sacramento State

9-2

908

11

9

ETSU

10-1

886

8

10

Kennesaw State

10-1

826

9

11

South Dakota State

8-3

721

12

12

Missouri State

8-3

701

14

13

UIW

9-2

629

18

14

UC Davis

8-3

581

10

15

Jackson State

10-1

512

19

16

UT Martin

9-2

469

13

17

South Dakota

7-4

372

16

18

Southeastern Louisiana

8-3

366

15

19

DARTMOUTH

9-1

365

20

20

Stephen F. Austin

8-3

293

22

21

Southern Illinois

7-4

286

17

22

Florida A&M

9-2

239

23

23

PRINCETON

9-1

157

24

24

Holy Cross

9-2

103

NR

25

Mercer

7-3

99

21


Dropped Out: Rhode Island (24)





Also Receiving Votes on two ore more ballots: Northern Iowa 94, Sacred Heart 24, Eastern Kentucky 23, HARVARD 17, Richmond 7, Monmouth 5, Rhode Island 4, Elon 3, Davidson 2






FCS Coaches Poll

Rec

Pts

Last

1

Sam Houston (27)

10-0

675

1

2

James Madison

10-1

647

2

3

North Dakota St.

10-1

619

4

4

Kennesaw St.

10-1

561

5

5

Montana

9-2

556

7

6

Eastern Washington

9-2

543

6

7

Villanova

9-2

496

9

8

East Tennessee St.

10-1

477

10

9

Montana St.

9-2

447

3

10

Missouri St.

8-3

404

14

11

South Dakota St.

8-3

401

13

12

Sacramento St.

9-2

377

18

13

UT Martin

9-2

304

8

14

Jackson St.

10-1

301

17

15

UIW

9-2

265

19

16

UC Davis

8-3

261

11

17

Southeastern Louisiana

8-3

197

12

18

PRINCETON

9-1

191

20

19

Stephen F. Austin

8-3

178

22

T-20

DARTMOUTH

9-1

175

21

T-20

South Dakota

7-4

175

16

22

Florida A&M

9-2

156

25

23

Southern Illinois

7-4

144

15

24

Holy Cross

9-2

80

NR

25

Northern Iowa

6-5

29

NR


Dropped Out:  Mercer (23), Monmouth (N.J.) (24)





Others Receiving Votes: Eastern Kentucky, 26; Mercer, 26; Chattanooga, 14; Monmouth (N.J.), 12; Davidson, 8; HARVARD, 8; Elon, 5; Nicholls, 5; Sacred Heart, 4; Rhode Island, 3; Maine, 2; Weber St., 2; Austin Peay, 1.





Green Alert Take: I have just one question for the coaches who vote in the poll:

Really? When you vote this way it means you think winning a head-to-head matchup by 24 points doesn't mean anything. Either that or you simply aren't paying attention.

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EXTRA POINT
With a solar tracker generating electricity we weren't in any great hurry to call for service when the radiant heat in our master bedroom went wonky. We just plugged in an electric heater. When the weather started to turn colder, however, we finally decided it was time to have the problem looked at.

Turns out the issue was a plug-in relay module the size of a sugar cube. A technician came yesterday, identified the problem in five minutes, pulled out the faulty relay and replaced it with another. A Google search this morning found the exact relay for $14.44.

It took 10 minutes and a part costing less than $15 . . . and our bill was $174.

And exactly why did I go to college and graduate school?