AROUND THE IVIES: A Potentially Interesting Weekend in Ivy Football

The Real Matchup of the Year
Y. Kit Wu

Though Harvard students might put a lot of meaning on the The Game, this year’s real matchup is taking place this weekend as the Crimson is set to take on Ivy League contender Penn away this weekend. A win in Philadelphia would secure the Crimson’s fourth Ivy League title in a row.

Cornell, Columbia, Brown, Dartmouth, and Yale. What do these teams all have in common?

They are all mathematically eliminated from contention for the Ivy League championship. It’s down to Harvard and the Killer P’s, Penn and Princeton.

I know it’s shocking, but Harvard is once again in prime position to claim the throne. A win against Penn would guarantee the Crimson four straight Ivy League titles.

But just how exceptional an achievement is four straight?

Well to be honest, I’m not sure a certain football co-writer could go four seconds without saying, “Ivy League football suuuuuucks.” I don’t hate the Player, I just hate the game. And I think it would be a minor miracle if my other co-writer failed to ask four consecutive questions at a press conference. Enter SamDan? More like Exit SamDan.


As you can see, four straight of anything is pretty impressive, but four straight championships would be especially remarkable.

That said, Harvard is certainly not guaranteed to clinch the league on Friday. As you’ll see, more on that later.


Cornell and Columbia have recently been perennial bottom-feeders in the Ancient Eight. After a dominant 3-0 start to the season, the Big Red has dropped its last five contests. Meanwhile, the Lions sit at 2-6, having scored a combined 24 points in their two victories.

Suffice to say, it won’t be pretty.

With the NBA season having started up recently, I thought some basketball analogies were appropriate here.

Cornell and Columbia are seventh and eighth, respectively, in points scored in Ivy League games. Based on these less-than-stellar offenses, we might see more field goal attempts in this game than when Russell Westbrook tries to play one-on-five after deciding the rest of his team is a lost cause.

There may be more turnovers in this game than in a 76ers-Pelicans matchup. Just thinking about watching this hypothetical game is appalling. Boy, am I glad to be a Celtics fan. (Alright, maybe I shouldn’t be talking—the early 2000s were not a good time in Boston.)

One positive note: newspaper correspondents won’t have to suffer through bland, Gregg Popovich-style postgame interviews. Columbia coach Al Bagnoli was openly critical of his team after playing Harvard, and the Lions actually put up a good fight against a top-tier opponent.

When it’s all said and done, however, Big Red fans will be more red in the face than Brian Scalabrine when he returns to the bench after a few garbage-time minutes. Coming off a near win against Harvard, the Lions will grind out a close one at home.


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