Columbia football: Big city, big losses
With blowout losses and inappropriate tweets, Columbia football has become a complete embarrassment
October 15, 2013, 8:35 pm · Updated October 15, 2013, 8:39 pm·
Rachel Bleustein | DP
It hasn’t been a good season for Columbia football. Or last couple of years. Or decade.
One can easily say that the state of the Columbia football program is moribund at best, and it doesn’t look like the 2013 season is a sign of change.
The problems on the field were manifested last May when then-sophomore defensive lineman Chad Washington was arrested for a hate crime.
While Washington received an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal — meaning charges will be dropped provided he stays out of trouble until February — the problems for Columbia football didn’t stop there.
WKCR, Columbia’s student radio station, found 46 objectionable tweets from Columbia football players, including Washington and former captain Sean Brackett. The tweets ran the gamut from racist to anti-Semitic to homophobic and gave an already struggling program a black eye.
All in all, Columbia’s football program is currently in a state of disarray.
Heading into Saturday’s matchup against Penn, the Lions sport an 0-4 record, having lost to each of their opponents by double digits.
This is in spite of coach Pete Mangurian’s optimism heading into this season.
“History tells you that your second season is when you make your biggest jump in a new program,” he said at the Ivy football preseason teleconference. “Your players understand what you’re looking for and develop a work ethic.”
To make matters worse, Columbia ranks last in the Ivy League in a plethora of categories: scoring offense and defense, total offense and defense, pass offense, pass efficiency and run defense.
Needless to say, this season has been lousy for the Lions.
The epitome of the Lions’ struggles was their season opener against cross-town rival Fordham.
Columbia scored the final points of the game, but that was only after spotting the Rams 52.
And not only did the Lions lose, 52-7, but two of their most important players — junior quarterback Brett Nottingham and senior defensive lineman Seyi Adebayo — suffered season-ending injuries.
“This is an unfortunate, ugly reality of football at any level,” Mangurian said in a press release. “Of course it is disappointing. These two young men have worked extraordinarily hard to prepare for the season.”
Unfortunately for the Lions, that wasn’t even their most lopsided defeat of the year. After losing by 23 in their home opener against Monmouth, they were obliterated by Princeton, finding themselves on the wrong side of a 53-7 margin.
Columbia closed out its nonconference schedule with a 24-10 loss to Lehigh, in which the Lions were competitive on national TV for the early part of the game.
An awful start to the season is sadly familiar territory for Columbia.
Just two seasons ago, the Lions reeled off nine straight losses to begin the season before winning their final game of the 2011 campaign against Brown.
The historical numbers don’t get much better. Columbia football hasn’t had a winning season since 1996, and since the beginning of the Ivy League in 1956, Columbia has only won 93 conference games total.
To put that in perspective, Al Bagnoli has won 108 Ivy League games in his 22-year tenure as Penn’s head coach.
Columbia football seems to be stuck at the bottom of the Ancient Eight standings and their place does not seem to be changing anytime soon.