Early in last Saturday’s broadcast of the Penn-Cornell game, Big Red announcers Barry Leonard and Eric Taylor recounted a recent conversation with coach Bill Courtney in which the coach was unsure of the identity of his team. After 22 games and in the throes of a four-game losing streak, what does this mean for the program going forward?
Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you,
And I’m wondering what it is I should do,
It’s so hard to keep this smile from my face,
Losing control, yeah, I’m all over the place,
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you
-Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan, “Stuck in the Middle with You” by Stealers Wheel (1972)
Heading into this weekend, Cornell looked to build upon its road sweep of Harvard and Dartmouth to solidify its hold onto fourth place in the Ivy League. After being thoroughly dismantled by first-place Yale, Cornell ended its four-game road trip at 2-2 and finds itself in a tie for fifth place at 2-4 (9-11 overall). After week four of the conference schedule, the league appears to be divided into several groups. While Yale, Princeton and Columbia are at the top, Harvard and Dartmouth find themselves clustered at the bottom. The Big Red are presently stuck in the middle with Penn and Brown.
On Saturday, Cornell’s Board of Trustees held a controversial vote to establish a new College of Business by merging its School of Hotel Administration, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Johnson Graduate School of Management. Many students, alumni and faculty are upset at the Board and new President Elizabeth Garrett for pushing this College through without any input from the greater Cornell community. On Tuesday and Wednesday, President Garrett will be meeting with students and faculty to discuss this important development. Given how well the Big Red men’s basketball team performed this weekend, the President may want to quickly befriend Matt Morgan and have him stand beside her.
A longtime friend of IHO, Rob Browne has agreed to join the site as a contributor focused on Cornell, a team poised to pull off a key upset or two during Ivy play. Here’s Rob’s in-depth look at the state of the Big Red:
Although picked last in the preseason Ivy League poll and having an initial KenPom raking of 311, Cornell has started the season 7-9 (0-2 Ivy) and finds itself with a current ranking of 232. While its most lopsided victory was against Division III Penn State Harrisburg, the Big Red scored decisive victories at home against Binghamton (No. 333) and Lafayette (No. 321). They had several close wins against Howard, (No. 269), Colgate (No. 209), St. Peter’s (No. 178) and Siena ( No. 109).