Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ivy League Dynasties

The best Ivy team ever won't be this year's edition of the Crimson.

Let's just keep repeating that to counterbalance the myriad national writers who have suggested or even predicted that Harvard would go down as the best Ivy team in the league's 60-year history. The 1970s saw Penn have two different teams that finished third in the final Associated Press poll and a third which made the Final Four. When it comes to great teams and great dynasties, that Quakers run will be nearly impossible to beat, unless the Ivies get far more reasonable about their athletics admissions policies. Consider that Penn won eight out of 10 Ivy titles during that decade (making the Top 10 in an AP poll during five of those seasons), while losing one of the two times to a Princeton team that rose to No. 15 in the AP poll itself.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The 2013-14 Ivy Pre-Season Projection Uber Post

There has been an undeniably strange structure to the questions posed this offseason.

Will Harvard become the first team to win a share of four-straight Ivy titles since Penn and Princeton both accomplished the feat in the early-to-mid 1990s?

Will Harvard spend most of the year in the Top 25?

Will Harvard make a deep run in March?

Will Harvard be the best Ivy team ever?

In the world of rhetoric, these might be derisively exposed as instances of begging the question or in the world of law, potentially labeled as leading the witness. For these questions wantonly assume the conclusion to the examination undertaken in this piece - that Harvard is a lock to win the Ivy title and the only race is for spots two through eight.

No, the ultimate finding of the preseason projection model wasn't that your 2013-14 Ivy favorite is the Princeton Tigers (quite bold, Sporting News...). But the Crimson doesn't take home 100 percent of the solo titles either, nor does it even claim a share of the crown in every simulated season.

Like most stories in life, reality comes up a little short of the associated hyperbole.