It’s been a busy week here in Cambridge and on other Ivy campuses. The Head of the Charles came and went, winter sports have started, and homecomings are arriving. But in this season of change, much has stayed the same. The Ivies are still good at rowing, Princeton is still good at basketball, and Dartmouth’s football team will still play and lose to Harvard. Let’s take a trip around the water cooler and breakdown the latest and greatest from the Ancient Eight.
Coming out of the Head of the Charles weekend, the big story that dominated the pages was Harvard taking home the MacMahon Cup Regatta Point Trophy for the most total points by any club, school, college or university. However, the story that was buried under the accolades for Harvard was the strong showing that the Ivy League overall at Head of The Charles Regatta. For example, Princeton’s lightweight crew, which will go into the 2011 season as the two-time defending EARC and IRA national champions, smashed a 13-year-old course record on the Charles by nearly 12 seconds. Yale's lightweight crew took the top two spots in the lightweight four, while Princeton's women beat the reigning NCAA champion Virginia by more than eight seconds.
Basketball season is almost here. With the start of the regular season in only three weeks, preseason rankings for the Ivy League have been released. Both the Princeton’s men and women teams will start the season ranked first among Ancient Eight contenders while both Harvard’s teams will similarly start ranked second overall. Their matchups should be interesting as both the men and women teams of Harvard and Princeton are scheduled to face each other on the same days this season.
In news from the gridiron, Harvard will be on the road for a second straight week in another important conference matchup at Dartmouth. Saturday’s game, Dartmouth’s homecoming, will mark the 114th meeting between the two teams—Harvard’s second-longest running rivalry, second only to Yale. Crimson coach Tim Murphy has never lost a game in Hanover throughout his tenure. Against Princeton last weekend, senior running back Gino Gordo rushed for a career-high 204 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown to boot. He will look to match or even beat his record as he faces the Big Green defense that is ranked sixth in total defense within the Ivy League.
On Fitzpatrick watch, Harvard grad and NFL quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick ’05 passed for 374 yards with 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in a loss against the notoriously stingy Ravens defense. While the 0-6 Bills may be the joke of the NFL right now, they actually have a passing offense that's moving the chains on a regular basis. Fitzpatrick has thrown for 11 TDs and owns a passer rating of 102.0 since regaining the starting role four games ago.