Ivy Power Rankings – Dec. 15, 2015

AQ Bite

Yes, it’s time for another completely biased, absolutely unrealistic Penn-centric IHO Power Rankings.  Although it’s still early in the basketball season, the nonconference schedule will in no way stop me from mercilessly belittling and mocking the competition in the Ivy League. There is more fodder than usual as unfortunately no team has distinguished itself as  “Q” worthy.  So without further ado, I bring you the AQ’s “Special” IHO Power Poll.

As always, for the purists, out there here’s how the poll probably should look based on current results:

Yale

Princeton*  (Has played a bullshit schedule to pad its standing, conveniently leaving powerhouse Incarnate Word off this year, but more on that later.)

Columbia

Harvard

Penn

Dartmouth

Brown

And of course……,

Cornell.

The last four are almost interchangeable so far.

1. Penn:

I ask you, who can possibly imagine the Quakers in any position but this one?  I cannot, thus it is done.  I also cannot add much more than what I have already opined in my award- winning article from yesterday. Penn is showing slow but steady progress with a squad dominated by underclassmen.  They will indeed give some Ivy contenders a battle, most likely when the opposition visits The Cathedral, and upsets await those who take them lightly. However, there will be some ugly games as well — specifically on Dec. 28 against No. 12 Villanova.  The ‘Cats have won 12 straight City Series contests. Of course, if you’ve ever seen one, you can never tell what can happen in a Big 5 game.  Still, somehow I think I know how this one is going to turn out. Please prove me wrong.

2. Yale:

A former colleague of mine once confided that he “never met anyone from Yale that he liked.” I thought this statement was a tad harsh. Maybe he said this because he had four Ancient Eight degrees (Harvard, Columbia, Penn, Dartmouth) and was too embarrassed to admit that Yale had rejected him. Maybe he said this because of the vicious mugging he received while visiting beautiful downtown New Haven. (Apparently after his attackers left him bleeding on the ground, one was heard to utter, “Okay man, take care.”) Or maybe he was just a douche. I’m going with the latter.

Question: How do you turn Yale into Cornell?  Answer: Give Justin Sears a sinus infection.

Yale has played a big boy schedule so far and handled it pretty well – the Elis  haven’t won – but they’ve been competitive in every game except Albany.  However, they do have the “dog ate my homework” excuse for that one as Mr. Everything, Justin Sears, was incapacitated. They’re good but not great, and since they rest of the league is certainly nothing to write home about, I like their chances to finally win it all this year. Unlike my former coworker, The AQ (I have thenceforth decided to refer to myself in the third person) iscompletely indifferent toward the Dark Blue, but The AQ does have a soft spot in his heart however for James “oh so close” Jones.  As long as it’s not potentially at Penn’s expense like in 2002, “Q” really wants this guy to win.He’s a good coach, he’s paid his dues.  What good is 50 top-half finishes anyway? No one remembers and no one cares.  You got to bring home the hardware with the coveted NCAA bid or you’re just another dude facing a long off-season.  Since Star Wars is opening soon, Jones kind of reminds me of one of those Imperial Stormtroopers. They work hard and look formidable, but in the end you just know they’re going to get a laser in the ass.  The AQ is hoping this year Mr. Jones is finally wearing his blast proof Jockey shorts.

Boola Boola.

3. Columbia:

My man crush for Kyle Smith continues, but his squad is disappointing.  As the AQ resides in Manhattan, he has seen them play a lot and at least to me, The AQ, they just don’t have that intangible championship “sparkle” about them.  Something’s missing. Indicative of this is how much they labor with inferior opponents.  The Lions are deep, talented and experienced, yet they do not dispatch bad or middling teams with the ease one would expect. This was evident yesterday with Robert Morris and a few days before with an undermanned Manhattan team. Sure, they win and at the moment own the most wins in the league at 8-5, but their defense well … sucks.

As presently constructed (which is still pretty good), The AQ sees this team getting ambushed in Providence or Hanover.  With this potentially formidable roster, The AQ also believes this is Mr. Smith’s best shot at a title before the next Extinction-Level Event threatens the earth. Harvard is having a dynastic coffee break. (Ya know, like Napoleon before he invaded Russia. Let’s face it, all that winning is exhausting – trust me, I know.) He’s got Maodo Lo, Alex Rosenberg, Grant Mullins and Isaac Cohen all in their hoop primes, so pull the ol’ Ex-Lax in the ice cream sandwich trick with Justin Sears before you play Yale and you’ve got yourself a title.

All I’m sayin’ is think about it.

4. Dartmouth:

Last year in this forum The AQ accurately predicted that The Green would be an “X” Factor in the Ivy race and, of course, The AQ was correct.  They look dangerous again this year especially with super-frosh Evan Boudreaux — a man who hobnobs with famous golfers and looks like he was born with a beard.  In addition, they also possess the reigning Ivy Rookie of the Year. Although they are not Ivy Title dangerous mind you, The AQ is still impressed by the plethora of talent that is hidden deep in New Hampshire wilderness.  (Note to Coach Donahue: the Ex-Lax in the ice cream sandwich trick will probably work on Boudreaux as well, but he actually might need two.)

5. Brown:

Let’s put it this way, if the most notable thing about your team is that your junior guard has a famous brother, you got yourself some problems.

6. Cornell:

The Red are as confounding as they’ve been in years. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose, but they never look good doing either. Strangely, they seem to have improved with the subtraction of Shonn Miller.  (This could only happen in the hookup-with-your-cousin, bizarro world of upstate NY.) Regardless, they will suck again this year (as they should), but there is a silver lining for the likeable and avuncular Bill Courtney — he will finally get to see Ithaca in his rearview mirror.

Also, look for The Red to get Cornelled™ by Syracuse on Saturday.

7. Harvard:

The Crimson analytic weenies feel that if they can somehow just make the numbers all add up properly, Harvard will win the title.  Uh … no. Despite all of their numerical machinations, the Crimson are not a title contender and, quite frankly, it’s a pleasure. Otherwise, as far as analysis goes, who gives a shit….

8. Princeton:

Once again The AQ can put the Tigers in their rightful place—last. Unlike my former coworker however, The AQ has met many people from Old Nassau that he has indeed liked. Before her syphilitic spiral into madness, there was the now infamous alumna Beth Morgenstern.  Some years later there was Nobel Laureate John Nash.

True story: While an undergraduate in Philadelphia, I (I use the first person here because I was not yet the AQ) once staked out Nash’s office in Princeton’s Fine Hall. Sure enough, after about 20 minutes of waiting, I could see the wiry genius ambling slowly down the hallway.  Upon reaching his office, I jumped out of the shadows and soundly chastised him for stealing the formulae for the so-called “Nash Equilibrium” from my second-grade science project on game theory.  Recognizing he had finally been caught, the old man humbly apologized … then we both repaired to PJ’s Pancake House for a short stack. He paid. Economics at its finest.

But The AQ digresses…

Like Columbia, Princeton also has a potent roster. In fact, The AQ thinks it is the league’s most balanced and complete.  One must discount their 5-2 record as Mitch Henderson insists on getting fat on weak teams to compensate for his seemingly relentless alopecia. (Try the Pancake House if you want to get fat.) The next few games against Maryland and Miami will be telling to see whether Princeton can make a title run or once again pull a “James Jones.”  Naturally, The AQ prefers The Jones. He also prefers to start the Ivy season with a win on Jan. 9. This is because when it comes to Penn-Princeton, a zero sum game in favor of the Quakers is always an immutable law.

 

Stay Red & Blue my friends,

The AQ

 

3 thoughts on “Ivy Power Rankings – Dec. 15, 2015

  1. One thing that hasn’t changed since many years ago when I was an undergraduate is the chip-on-the-shoulder attitude that some Pennmen bear toward my beloved alma mater. Back then, when Penn was generally regarded as a safety school within the league, their attitude was easy to explain. But, since Penn is no longer a back-up school for HYP applicants, it is more difficult to understand this apparent inferiority complex. I wonder how many current undergrads in Philadelphia share AQ’s prejudice? Could it be something in the Philadelphia water?

  2. Mr 69,

    I have not, nor have I ever, had an inferiority complex with regards to my alma mater. (I am not sure what I have written (this is basketball, remember) that would lead you believe otherwise.) You are correct however, I have always regarded Penn as a “safety” school. It has kept me safe from going to other less desirable institutions.

    Love your nom de plume. By the way, did you know Beth too?

    The AQ

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