For most, the Ivy season is over. Harvard emphatically took the title, high-stepping into history by somehow finishing three games ahead of the rest of the league with only seven conference games on the slate.
And most of the accolades have been given, too. The first team, second team, and rookie of the year awards were announced earlier this week.
But two big prizes—the largest of them all—remain: the offensive and defensive player of the year.
In all liklihood, one of two Harvard seniors—defensive tackle Josue Ortiz or cornerback Matt Hanson—will take home the defensive honor, while Dartmouth running back Nick Schwieger and Cornell quarterback Jeff Mathews are the favorites to nab the offensive accolade.
Things just keep getting better for Harvard football coach Tim Murphy.
Just weeks after setting the program’s all-time wins record with his 118th victory at the helm of the Crimson against Columbia Nov. 5, and just days after leading Harvard to a dominant 9-1 season in which it finished three games ahead of any of its competitors for the Ivy League title, Murphy was named on Monday one of 20 finalists for the 25th Eddie Robinson Award, which honors the national coach of the year.
The honor was established by The Sports Network in 1987, and is voted on by a panel of over 150 Football Championship Subdivision sports information directors, broadcasters, and selected sports writers. It was named for College Football Hall of Famer Eddie Robinson, who led Grambling State University for 56 years and is the second-winningest coach in Division I history, behind only Joe Paterno.
“When you are nominated for an award like this it generally means you had a great team and it is a reflection of what your team (players and coaches) accomplished,” Murphy wrote in an e-mail.
Though she already boasts four All-Ivy first team recognitions, two Academic All-American distinctions, and a Harvard diploma, Claire Richardson ’11 added something pretty special to her resumé on Monday: a national title.
On Saturday evening, the stars were out at Lavietes Pavilion.
While the Harvard men's basketball team was in Los Angeles, Calif., beating up on Loyola Marymount, it was a group of NBA players—including Paul Pierce (making a fashionably late appearance in the first quarter), Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, Josh Smith, and Rudy Gay—which took to the court and dazzled a sold-out crowd of over 2,000 to benefit local charities SPIN (Serving People In Need), Sojourner House, and Crossroads Family Shelter.
Just days after the players union chose to dissolve itself—putting the 2011-2012 NBA season in doubt—the myriad highlight-reel dunks and long-distance bombs served as a small reminder of what fans would be missing through the upcoming long winter months.
It’s been an eventful week in Harvard athletics. Championships were won. Students are leaving for “The Game.” And the NBA is back, at least for one night.
5. Lavietes Sellout
No, it’s not for a Harvard basketball game. Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo will host an exhibition game on Sautrday in what may be the only professional basketball action in Boston this year. Ticket sales will benefit Boston charities. If you don’t already have a ticket, don’t waste your time trying to get one. The event is completely sold out.
4. Shaq’s Book Signing
Shaq will be signing his autobiography, “Shaq Uncut,” at the Harvard Book Store on Saturday. The four-time NBA champion is the largest addition-by size-to the list of NBA players that will invade Cambridge this weekend.
3. Harvard-Yale Hype
The 128th edition of “The Game” is here. Thousands of Harvard students will travel to New Haven to watch the Crimson attempt to make Yale quarterback Patrick Witt regret his decision to skip his Rhodes Scholar interview. Kickoff is Saturday at 12 p.m.
2. Women’s Soccer (12-5-1, 6-0-1 Ivy)
The Crimson lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament to No. 12 Boston University last Saturday. The team has a lot to be proud of though, as it won 12 games and the Ivy League championship this season.
1. Football (8-1, 6-0 Ivy)
Harvard beat Penn 37-20 last Saturday, locking up the school’s second Ivy League title of the fall season. The Crimson will look to extend its eight-game winning streak by leashing the Bulldogs at the Yale Bowl this weekend.