Monday, November 1, 2010

Ivy League Football Power Rankings (Week 8)

This week featured two Ivy League unbeatens clashing at Pennsylvania with championship implications (followed by Princeton facing off against Cornell for the possible right to finish the season winless in the conference). Again, Penn stands at the top of the mountain with a dominating performance over the Bears. However, the Harvard Crimson are steamrolling their opponents, setting up an anticipated showdown against Penn in two weeks. Lots of tricks and treats from the Halloween weekend in the Ivy League, and much to look forward to in the coming weeks…

Penn (6-1, 4-0) – Peerless Penn once again proved to be alpha male of the Ivy League herd with a all-to-easy performance against the Brown Bears. Can anyone stop this team from winning? Harvard is breathing down their necks, eager to avenge last year’s de-facto championship game at Cambridge. I head that when the Boogeyman goes to sleep at night, he checks the closet and under his bed for the Penn Quakers. They will push full team ahead against the visiting Tigers to create the “defeated vs. undefeated” bowl. I would advise them to avoid the trap game, but…
NEXT GAME: vs. Princeton

Harvard (5-2, 3-1) – Harvard now control their destiny with Brown’s loss to the Quakers. With a renewed passing offense lead by preseason Ivy League POY Collier Winters and a fast defense lead by Collin Zych, the team is picking up where it left off last season. Head Coach Tim Murphy unleashed the collar from Winters, resulting in 3 touchdowns from the quarterback. The momentum needs to continue against Columbia, and all problems must be fixed heading into Quaker territory. How the defense responds to Lions QB Sean Brackett will be pivotal.
NEXT GAME: vs. Columbia

Yale (5-2, 3-1) – What a bipolar performance from the Bulldogs in a bipolar game. Yale built up a 31-17 lead in the first half only to see it slowly dwindle in the second; Patrick Witt continued his fast development and threw three TD passes to round out the day. One star to look out for is freshman WR Cameron Sandquist, who caught 2 TD passes and showed great agility and separation from defenders. Quietly, Yale stands in the league with only one conference loss, and, I’m sure, is also cheering on Harvard to win against Penn. Should we change the conference name to Ivy Parity League?
NEXT GAME: vs. Brown

Brown (4-3, 3-1) – Newhall-Caballero was solely missed last Saturday, and the vaunted passing attack faltered. Is Brown imploding or are they being exposed as a weak 3-1 team? Despite the loss to the Quakers, Brown is still in great position to at least share the Ivy League crown. They will need to do some score watching and hope that Harvard pulls off the upset at Penn. Of course, they also need to win every game, and the surprisingly proficient Yale marches in for a knockout punch. Hibernation season is far away, but the Bears must be on guard.
NEXT GAME: vs. Yale

Dartmouth (4-3, 1-3) – The Big Green forced Harvard to win the game through the legs and arms of Collier Winters, and the gamble was a costly one as Winters burned the Big Green like a shining star. I still think they are the best 1-3 team in the conference, but I swear if they lose to Cornell next Saturday, I will disown them as my sleeper pick of the year. Hopefully, the promise and talent found at Dartmouth can translate to the ever-elusive wins for the Big Green.
NEXT GAME: vs. Cornell

Columbia (3-4, 1-3) – The cowardly lions must salvage what was once a promising season with a 3-1 start. Sean Brackett once again proved that he deserves consideration as the best QB in the Ivy League by throwing for 4 TD passes but his costly interceptions ultimately doomed Columbia. Even worse, they have to visit Cambridge to face a menacing Crimson defense, which notched 3 interceptions against Dartmouth. 4 straight losses are not out of the cards. The two sequels to the Lion King were nowhere nearly as good as the first. Columbia needs to avoid a similar outcome for their season.
NEXT GAME: vs. Harvard

Cornell (2-5, 1-3) – Cornell, again, gets a thumbs up in my book for having the best hospitality in the Ivy League. The defense won the game for the Big Red with CB Emani Fenton having a career day, capped by an interception with 23 seconds left in the game to seal the deal. Freshmen starting QB Jeff Matthews also had an impressive outing, notching over 200 yards passing and two touchdowns. I think the holidays are coming early for Cornell as the Big Red clash against the Big Green in a battle of the large Christmas colors. I’m sure they are rolling out the season’s greetings cards at the School of Hotel Management.
NEXT GAME: vs. Dartmouth.

Princeton (1-6, 0-4) – In a season already marred by miscues and turnovers, Princeton got a rude reminder on Saturday that they could be the worst team in the Ivy League. Even worse, an 0-5 start in the conference looms ahead with the Quakers ready to eat the tigers that roam Jersey Shore. I think Trey Peacock, the veteran and super productive WR, is the only bright spot for the team. Maybe they should host a reality TV show modeled after Jersey Shore called Jersey Football to spice up the season.
NEXT GAME: vs. Penn

My Weekend “4 the Win”

Harvard 33 – Columbia 14
Dartmouth 28 – Cornell 7
Penn 35 – Princeton 6
Yale 21 – Brown 18 (UPSET SPECIAL OF THE WEEK)

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