Around the Water Cooler: The Other Games

Published by Robert S Samuels on November 18, 2010 at 10:11PM

While everyone’s mind is on The Game, other sporting events are still going on. Shocking. The Ivy League football title is still not totally secure, and four Ancient Eight soccer teams have qualified for the men’s NCAA tournament. Meanwhile, in cross country, there are still a couple of big races left, especially for Harvard’s stud runner. We’ve got a busy week ahead of us, as we’ll show you in a little trip around the water cooler.

As the Ivy League football season winds to a close, Penn has practically locked up the league title. All the Quakers have to do is beat Cornell this Saturday in Ithaca, and it should be a pretty easy victory. In fact, Penn has scored more than twice as many points as the Big Red while allowing over 100 points fewer.

Although another Ivy League football game a few hundred miles south might be getting a little more attention, Penn-Cornell has some history of its own. The two teams have faced off 116 times and have done so every year since 1919. The Quakers have held the upper hand from the start, winning the first game, 50-0, and taking 66 of the next 115 contests. It looks as if the tradition of Penn dominance will continue on Saturday.

But, if Cornell were to pull off a major upset, then the 127th matchup between Harvard and Yale would all of a sudden have Ancient Eight title implications. A Quaker loss combined with a Yale win would mean a split of the league crown between these two teams.

While there are still a few loose ends in Ivy League football, the book is closed on the women’s soccer season after league champion Penn lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament to Penn State. On the other hand, the men’s NCAA tournament is just getting started, and the Ancient Eight is well represented. In its best season since Bob Bradley—the coach of the U.S. men’s soccer team—was at the helm, Princeton won the Ivy League title, receiving a spot in soccer’s version of the Big Dance. Additionally, Brown, Penn, and Dartmouth all earned at-large bids. All four teams play their opening-round matches tomorrow.

Princeton also asserted its authority in the world of cross country. In each of the nine NCAA regionals this past weekend, the top 25 finishers earned an All-Region honor. Princeton led the way for the Ancient Eight, tallying six such honors, while Cornell was second with four.

Though senior Dan Chenoweth was the only Harvard athlete to earn the All-Region accolade, he just might be the best runner in the Ivy League. After breaking the Harvard-Yale meet record earlier this year, Chenoweth has continued to have an excellent season, placing second at the Heptagonal Championships and most recently finishing third in the NCAA regionals. For his performance last weekend, Chenoweth will go to Indiana on Nov. 22 to compete in the NCAA cross country championships for the third year in a row, but not before he runs in this weekend’s IC4A/ECAC Championships in New York City.