Monday, November 8, 2010

Ivy League Football Power Rankings (Week 9)

Football is entering its final two weeks, and life without Ivy League football is looming ahead for fans and players alike. However, the race to the league championship has never been more tighter, with Penn, Harvard, and Yale all vying to be the champion of the Ancient Eight. Penn leads the pack with an impressive deconstruction of Princeton, but Harvard and Yale have also notched impressive wins over the weekend, setting up the highly anticipated Harvard v. Penn II. The saga continues…

Penn (6-1, 4-0) – The Quakers offense, which has often been overlooked for its defense, proved that Penn is not an one-dimensional team with a 52-10 romping over Princeton last weekend. Penn scored 4 TDs on the first quarter alone, reinforcing the Tigers’ place in the Ivy League hierarchy. QB Billy Ragone is playing phenomenally, but has not faced a great defense quite yet. Their undefeated league record is on the line against the upset-minded Crimson next week. I found out that the Penn Quakers football team is the reason why Waldo is hiding…
NEXT GAME: vs. Harvard

Harvard (6-2, 4-1) – Despite the early loss to Brown to start the season, Harvard is on track to possibly capture/share the Ivy League crown next weekend against Penn. Like last year, this game has championship implications, but the Crimson enter this time as the underdog. Or are they? This is not the team that came in the season favored to win the conference, but with Collier Winters returning to form, the running game steamrolling, and the defense picking out passes like apples, next week is going to be a battle between two closely matched teams. The Ivy League titles is on the line for Harvard
NEXT GAME: vs. Penn

Yale (6-2, 4-1) – A surprise, dark horse candidate for the Ivy league crown is coming off a thrilling upset over Brown and has improved dramatically from last season. Head coach Tom Williams’ sophomore campaign is aided by the play of Patrick Witt and his poise in pressure situations. Can there be any doubt that Yale is back?
NEXT GAME: vs. Princeton

Brown (4-4, 3-2) – Providence, we (might) have a problem. The free-falling Bears need to find some semblance of consistency in the running game, and the defense is reeling after two straight losses. The upset by Yale hurts their title chances, but since the injury to QB Newhall-Caballero, Brown has not looked like the dominant team that bulldozed over the Crimson in week 2. With the streaking Big Green looming ahead, the Bears need to win out to have a shot at the diminishing chance for the conference title.
NEXT GAME: vs. Dartmouth

Dartmouth (5-3, 2-3) – The Big Green were a little bit larger than the Big Red. Nick Schweigger is having a career season, most recently capped by a 146 yard 2 TD performance against the Big Red, and the defense seems to be carrying some momentum with 10 sacks and limited Cornell to just 188 yards. The nationally-televised Brown game will be a testament to how much they have progressed throughout the season. All eyes will be on PoY candidate Schweigger to set the tone early on against a porous Brown defensive line.
NEXT GAME: vs. Brown

Columbia (3-5, 1-4) – Sean Brackett is only a sophomore, but he has been single handedly driving this Lions offense, both passing and rushing. It is scary to realize that he has two more year of eligibility, but without a supporting cast, the team is bound for mediocrity. Playmakers like Kurt Williams have the talent but have had inconsistent production throughout the season. They finally return to Pride Rock, where they have a 3-1 record, next week to host the Big Red.
NEXT GAME: vs. Cornell

Cornell (2-6, 1-4) – Cornell, again, gets a thumbs up in my book for having the best hospitality in the Ivy League. Once they develop some appearance of a running game, providing some relief to freshman QB Jeff Matthews, I think the offense can truly start to roll. In addition, the offensive line needs to do its job if they want to see Matthews survive the season; 10 sacks a truly depressing figure. Utility man Luke Tasker has been one of the bright sports thus far, offering sparks on the offense.
NEXT GAME: vs. Columbia.

Princeton (1-6, 0-4) – The idea of an undefeated conference season is a legitimate threat for the Tigers, and unlike the NFL where teams can look forward to a high draft pick, Princeton does not have such luxuries. The thrashing against Penn must have been crippling to the morale. Being motivated for the rest of the season will be as important as their play on the field.
NEXT GAME: vs. Yale

My Weekend “4 the Win”
Harvard 24 – Penn 21
Dartmouth 17 – Brown 7 (UPSET SPECIAL OF THE WEEK)
Yale 33 – Princeton 14
Columbia 28 – Cornell 10

Record: 7-1 since Week 7

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