Saturday, October 15, 2011

Football: Ivy League Week 5 Preview

Princeton (1-3) at Brown (3-1)
All three Princeton losses have come against non-conference opponents, including a 28-23 loss last weekend against Hampton. The Tigers are out-gaining their opponents by 72 yards/g on the ground, but giving most of that back through the air. The Brown Bears have taken Princeton’s record and flipped it, going 3-0 out-of-conference. Look, we get it, Brown. You’re different. And I mean that’s great. But it sorta feels like you’re trying too hard, y’know?

Cornell (2-2) at Colgate (3-3)
Big Red vs Big…what is that, Magenta? Wikipedia claims it’s a Maroon. Whatever. Colgate RB Nate Eachus has 628 rushing yards in only four games. The Red (it’s more brown than red, but I guess you know best) Raiders have won two straight with Eachus back from injury. Cornell’s last outing saw them give up 530 yards of offense to your Harvard Crimson. Sophomore QB Jeff Mathews (155.2 efficiency rating) has built on last year’s strong freshman campaign.

Bucknell (4-2) at Harvard (3-1)
The Bison run defense has been very good this year, allowing only 62 yards/g. Their pass defense has been less good, giving up closer to 244. Bucknell’s +13 turnover margin on the year helps explain their winning record; Senior DB Bryce Robertson has five picks already. Harvard, meanwhile, goes for their fourth straight win after last week’s offensive explosion at Cornell. Come on guys, you’re not going to lose on Drew Faust’s 375th birthday, are you?

Dartmouth (1-3) at Holy Cross (2-3)
After two close losses, Dartmouth had a more Dartmouth-y 30-0 loss to Yale last weekend. Senior RB Nick Schwieger’s 39 yards was enough to move him into first on Dartmouth’s all-time rushing list. Holy Cross could also use a win, having dropped consecutive seven-point games to Brown and New Hampshire. The Crusaders are only 11-for-15 on extra point attempts, somehow.

Pennsylvania (2-2) at Columbia (0-4)
Oatmeal has won two straight, including last week’s 35-20 victory over Fordham. Billy Ragone has looked more like himself lately, completing 68% of his passes with no picks in those two wins. Meanwhile, Columbia is bad.

Yale (3-1) at Lafayette (1-4)
The Bulldogs have won games by 10, 20, and 30 points this year, and lost one by 30. I’m just going to assume this means Yale doesn’t have the constitution to keep games close and exciting. Boooo Yale. You’re boring all these nice people! Lafayette hasn’t played since losing to Harvard two weeks ago. The Leopards’ have been doubled-up on the ground so far this year.

Picks to bet your BoardPlus on
Princeton over Brown; Colgate over Cornell; Cornell joins the 300-team New Mountain West Conference; Harvard over Bucknell; Holy Cross over Dartmouth; Columbia over Columbia (to Penn’s benefit); Lafayette over Yale by 40.

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