Harvard Red Flag tradition
We begin this week with a tradition, an old supporting alum, and a red-letter day.
Paul Lee, Harvard ’46 will be attending the Harvard-Yale game, aka “The Game,” for a record breaking seventy-fourth time, busting the previous attendance record set in 1969 by Allen Rice ’02, and equaled by Dick Bennink ’38.
The tradition: the alum who has attended the most H/Y game is given the honor of waving a small red (Harvard – crimson) flag, as he enters the stadium, which made by Frederick Plummer ‘1888, in 1884. Just another cool tradition associated with the game of college football.
This weekend, let’s see which alums proudly wave its colors over another big victory, and which wave a white flag in surrender over another desultory performance by the alma-mater.
Yale at Harvard – “The Game” (CNBC, 12:30 p.m.) Are there more important contests on this week’s agenda than the 133rd (Yale: 65, Harvard: 59 – 8 ties) playing of this classic, the third most played rivalry in college history?
To paraphrase Sarah Palin; “You betcha!” [Note: during US Presidential election years; Yale is: 19-12-1 against Harvard, and an even more impressive 14-5 when a republican captures the White House.]
But if you love the tradition that makes college ball special, then there is no better place to be on Saturday afternoon; than Harvard Stadium.
In New Haven, the “Sons of Calvin Hill” (2-7), who have lost 9-in-a-row to the Crimson, have been struggling more than Hillary Clinton post-election.
Yale Coach Tony Reno
It has also been difficult for Yale’s fifth-year Coach Tony Reno (23-26, 14-20 in Ivy League), a Worcester State grad, who has endured the Shakespearean cries of King Richard III; “Off with his head” regarding his continued employment in New Haven.
The Bulldogs, whose offense is more dysfunctional than Congress (105th overall, and 99th in scoring), have decided to focus on the future, by giving t-freshman QB Kurt Rawlings (3 TDs – 3 Ints -48%), the keys to the gates of the Yale Bowl.
The kid is assisted by tailbacks Alan Lamar, Dale Harris, and if his radar can lock on Reed Klubnik, J P Shohfi, and Myles Gaines are comforting targets.
But as the faithful are painfully aware, the Elis seem to find the end zone about as often as this Yale man; Secretary of State John Kerry ’66, refuses a Botox treatment.
The Bulldogs D, featuring defensive backs; Hayden Carlson, Foyesade Olukun, and Jason Alessi, has more holes than a DNC server, and surrenders a jaw dropping average of nearly 40-points per game, which is a recipe for an extra-long afternoon against “The Johns.”
In Cambridge, a victory by the “Sons of Dick Button ’52,” and the Crimson will have secured that rarest of Ivy League feats: a “Four-peat” championship, which would be a first in school history.
But these “Veritas Boys,” who lose a game about as often as the Harlem Globetrotters, are not one of Coach Tim Murphy’s usual offensive juggernauts.
Harvard Coach Tim Murphy
The Crimson, who are 17-5 in “The Game” under Murphy, and rank fiftieth in scoring (27), are under the command of its scrappy QB, Joe Viviano (14 TDs – 8 Ints – 61% – 5 rushing), who is assisted by a pair of tailbacks; Charlie Booker, Semar Smith (7TDs), and a trio of chain-moving receivers: Anthony Firsker (7 TDs), Justice Shelton-Mosley, and Adam Scott.
The D, featuring the backing trio: Luke Hutton, Jordan Hill, and Anthony Camargo has been the anima (translation: soul, for you non-classical language scholars) of this Cambridge eleven, and has been harder to penetrate than the Trump Tower penthouse suite of our President-elect.
In this 133 renewal, the refrains of: “Ten thousand men of Harvard, want vict’ry today…” will reverberate often throughout Harvard Stadium, as Coach Murph ties Yale legend Carm Cozza with his 10th Ivy League title.
P.S. Wouldn’t Murphy look good prowling the BC sideline?
No. 8 Oklahoma at No. 10 West Virginia (Ch.5, 8 p.m.) After two early season stumbles, it’s been a Rogers and Hammerstein; “Ooooklaaaahooooma” revival in Norman.
The Sooners, who have won seven straight, are also riding a wave of 14-consecutive conference victories, the longest such streak since Texas lassoed 20 – straight between 2004 and 06.
The run has put OU back into the playoff conversation, and with another apocalyptic Saturday like the last, anything is possible.
These “Sons of Lee Roy Selmon,” the nation’s ninth highest scoring (44) eleven, have galvanized around its dart-throwing All-America QB Baker Mayfield (33 TDs – 7 Ints -72%), who hits his target with more accuracy than an Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
The nation’s pass efficiency leader, is assisted by arguably the country’s most dominating receiver; Dede Westbrook (68 catches – 1254 yards – 14 TDs) who is also second with 125 receiving yards per game, while the tailback tandem of; Joe Mixon, and Samaje Perine, have also been destructive combining for: 1512-yards, and 14 TDs.
But if the OU offense is worthy of a Fifth Avenue residency, its D is as embarrassing as Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson, surrendering a sieve-like average of 30-points a game, and often appearing clueless and seemingly homeless.
These matadors, led by backers Jordan Evans (8 tfls), Ogbonia Okoronkwo (8.5 tfls – 7 sacks), and Emmanuel Beal, are 81st overall, and defend the skies (121st) about as well as Saddam Hussain in the Gulf War II.
But the tensile strength of these “Sons of Jack Youngblood” is its D, the nation’s fifth stingiest (13), which features safety Nick Washington, end Jordan Sherit, and corner Marcell Harris, and has kept the Gators chomping in every game.
In the “old days” a show bound for Broadway, would go on the road to work out the kinks, listen to the critics, and sharpen all its edges before its opening night on the; “Great White Way.”
In that spirit, this is another tryout for Louisianan native Ed Orgeron, who has won the raves of the out of town critics, but has yet to sign for a permanent parking spot in Death Valley.
And in this bombs-away era of “Air-raid” offense, LSU has done it like “Smith Barney” “the old fashioned way;” bowling over the opposition.
In fact, outside of Baton Rouge, the only place with better runners than Derrius Guice, and Leonard Fournette (1684 combined yards – 17 TDs), is Kenya’s Rift Valley.
But the passing attack (112th) led by another Boiler Maker transfer, QB Danny Etling (7 TDs – 4 Ints – 58%), with solid assists from Malachi Dupree, and Travin Dural is seemingly out of the Jurassic era.
As always in Baton Rouge, the signature of the “Sons of Jim Taylor” is the nation’s sixth stingiest (13.9) D, led by a group of anvil pounding harasses: featuring backers Kendell Beckwith (6 tfls), Duke Riley (8 tfls), and All-America safety Jamal Adams, who are more disruptive than an Elton John meet and greet with Donald Trump.
Coach O’s performance continues to get Tony Award reviews, and if he is able to put on another captivating performance, and we think he will, this Bayou native just may earn a “marquee” Death Valley parking spot.
No. 20 Washington State at No. 12 Colorado (FOX, 3:30 p.m.) Not even Nostradamus could have predicted that this would be a game of such high-cotton significance.
On the Palouse, Coach Mike Leach’s unbalanced (2nd passing – 112th rushing) Cougars are the antitheses of the Wallendas. It constantly attacks behind its signature “Air-Raid” offense, a Leach creation that is the envy of Vladimir Putin.
The triggerman of the nation’s eighth highest (44) scoring eleven, is QB Luke Falk (33 TDs – 6 Ints – 73%), who averages a nation’s second best; 361 passing yards a game.
The Wazzu gunslinger gets a huge assist from a trio of dynamic receivers (now minus one) in Gabe Marks (12 TDs), Tavares Martin (7 TDs), but will be without River Cracraft (5 TDs), who tore his ACL and is out for the season.
When the “Sons of Drew Bledsoe” decide to rotor-till, which is about as often as the appearance of a Supermoon, tailbacks James Williams, and Jamal Morrow, who average 6-yards a carry, have decisively answered the call.
WSU’s D led by backer Peyton Pelluer (6.5 tfls), corner Darrein Molton, and end Hercules Mata’afa (11 tfls – 3 sacks) has had Herculean issues attempting to defend the pass, but like a good meringue, has managed to stiffen in the red-zone.
How dry has it been in Boulder?
Well coach Mike MacIntyre’s Buffaloes have now captured as many conference victories (6), as Colorado has had in totality since joining the Pac-12.
And if the “Sons of Dick Anderson” are able to win out, the Buffs will amazingly earn a spot in the Pac-12 conference championship game.
Colorado, which hasn’t been to a major bowl since W was just settling into the White House (2001), is directed by QB Sefo Liufau (10 TDs – 4s ), with assists from tailback Phillip Lindsay (13 TDs), and a trio of chain movers: Devin Ross, Byrce Bobo, and Shay Fields, who have combined for 112-catches and 13-TDs.
In addition to the legalized weed, the Buffs revitalized D has also been smoking in Boulder.
The nation’s ninth stingiest (17) eleven, led by backers Kenneth Olugubode, Rick Gamboa, and safety Tedric Thompson, stones runners, and shoots down passes with the same disdain of Rudy Giuliano toward Hillary Clinton.
In a game that is hard to get a handle, we’ll go with the Buffs to light up a “smoking” victory, its biggest in fifteen long and very dry years.
With a slate that is less than Himalayan, we thought we give some love to the local scene, Division III to be precise, where a lot of good football, hear that BC, is being played.
Husson College at Western New England University – Round one of 32-team Division III playoff – Noon
The Eagles of Husson (9-1) have soared down from Bangor on the wings of a defense that has been so impenetrable, it has caught the eye of Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu.
These shutdown shakers, who hit more often than Lizzie Borden, are tops in the division, anchored by backer Ellis Throckmorton (10.5 tfls – 4.5 sacks), end Luke Washburn (12 sacks – 17.5 tfls), and safety Logan Steward.
These disruptors attack an offense with the ferocity of Attila sacking the Balkans, allowing a jaw-dropping, microscopic 29 rushing yards, while surrendering an eye-popping average of 152-yards of offense per game.
It’s the twenty-first century version of the: ’85 Bears, or Bashar al-Assad sacking Aleppo.
On the offensive side, Pembroke sophomore QB Cory Brandon (23 TDs – 10 Ints -60%) is the director of the Eagles attack, which leans heavily on its thoroughbred tailback John Smith (1715 yards -17 TDs – 3 200-yard plus games), who gallops with the same intensity that Jared Kushner flashes toward Chris Christie.
When the visitors from Maine take to the crystal-clear skies, wideouts Deon Wiggins, and Kadeem Edge, have squeezed the most out of their combined 51-catches; scoring 14 TDs.
In the central part of Massachusetts, Springfield’s Western New England University has displayed more firepower than a hometown made; “Springfield Model 1903” rifle.
And just like a swim suited fishnet Christie Brinkley, the Golden Bears are a perfect 10-0 for the second consecutive regular season.
The commander of this unblemished eleven, is QB Anthony Service (22 TDs – 2 Ints – 62% – 6 rushing) with assists from a pair of agribusiness earth movers: Nick Connell, and Dante Aiken, who have combined for: 1570 yards, and 17 TDs.
WNE’s sniper also has a trio touchdown makers: Mark Dietrich, Mohamed Camara, and Trent Vasey, who have collectively corralled 17 scoring grabs.
The D, led by safety Sam Olsson, and backers Kurtis Jolicoeur, and Tim Huffam deflates the pass (18th) better than the New England Patriots, and is solid in all areas allowing an undefeated average of: 17-points a game.
As much as we’d like to see the Boys from the Bay State carry the day, we think the bangers from Bangor and its DeSalvo-like D heads back to the Pine Tree State with a victorious ornament.
Last week; 2-3 Season record: 34-21
That’s it from cyber-space we’ll be up and running with our recap Sunday by one. Until then, Peace, and listen to the music. pk