Around the Ivies: Hanover in the Spotlight

I apologize in advance for going a little off-script here. This space is normally reserved for getting you up to speed on the state of Ivy League football outside the Harvard bubble. But doing that just doesn’t make sense this week.

To explain why, here is a quick quiz. Below are the records for each of the four Saturday matchups. Which do you think is the most interesting?

A) 6-0 vs. 5-1

B) 5-1 vs. 0-6

C) 3-3 vs 0-6


D) 3-3 vs 1-5

English concentrators, I’ll wait. Ok, got an answer? Yes, 6-0, 3-0 Ivy Harvard’s trip to 5-1, 3-0 Ivy Dartmouth this weekend is the only meaningful contest on paper, so that’s the game I will talk about first. Predictions for the other games will come after (Plus, this is the first time in the history of ever that Hanover was the center of anything, so it deserves recognition.).

Concerning the meaningfulness of this week’s game, the Big Green Athletic Department agrees.

“Dartmouth football hosts #18 Harvard on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in the biggest game at Memorial Field in 17 years,” the school’s athletics website reported this week.

For Harvard, this is the biggest game since last Saturday. That says a lot about the recent history of these two programs.

Wondering why Dartmouth was so specific about the “17 years?” Well that’s when Harvard coach Tim Murphy killed Big Green football. In 1997, Dartmouth was coming off an undefeated 10-0 season and had beaten the Crimson in five of the seven previous matchups. But Harvard routed the Big Green that day, 24-0, en route to Murphy’s first conference title. Since then, the Crimson has won a share of six more championships and beaten Dartmouth in 15 of 16 contests. The Big Green meanwhile went from 8-2 in ‘97 to 2-8 each of the next three seasons. It has not registered a seven-win season since.

Given all of that, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dartmouth coach Buddy Teevens has been watching Terminator for some tips on a project he’s been working on in his garage.

But maybe he’ll be able to finally let it go this weekend. The Big Green is back. It is 5-1 after handing Yale its only loss three weeks ago and skating by Columbia last Saturday.

Some of the most exciting players in the league wear green again.

Dual-threat quarterback Dalyn Williams has a big arm and a big propensity for breaking big plays. At 6’0”, 210 lbs., he’s also flat-out big.


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