Are you tired of the bowl alliances, national polls, TV timeouts, Heisman-trophy poses and all the other ugliness of the NFL's minor league, Division I-A Big Time College Football? Well, don't despair; there's still plenty of old-fashioned Saturday afternoon fare at the Division I-AA, II and III levels, where people still remember what it's all about: trounce your rivals and win your conference. My favorite example is the Ivy League; although it may be tough to read about your favorite lower division team in the paper if you're far from home, the magic of the internet makes the job a lot easier. Here are a few Ivy and I-AA links I've come across.
The Ivy League website has been contracted out to one of those professional outlets, so there is a little more in-depth coverage on the official Ivy football page than in the past. Another good bet has historically been USA Today's Ivy Football page, and for Ivy coverage with archived game reports try Nando SportServer's Ivy Football page
Having trouble tuning in those Ivy League radio broadcasts in Louisiana? You may be able to listen to the radio broadcast from your favorite school over the internet. Unfortunately, Brown, Cornell, Penn, and Princeton have joined an evil pay service which charges you $7 (minus 5 cents) per month to listen to radio broadcasts of their sporting events over the internet. If you're lucky enough to be a fan of one of the schools listed below, though, you'll be able to listen to your team's webcast for free.
It's a mixed bag for those of us trying to watch a little Ivy Football action on the tube this fall through the magic of the minidish. The YES Network will be televising four Ivy contests live, and it's a good thing, since Empire Sports Network doesn't seem to have any games on, and New England Sports Network has dropped most of the Ivy games from their college football coverage. The composite schedule:
|September 21||7pm||YES||Fordham at Columbia|
|October 4||1pm||FOX Sports Pittsburgh||Harvard at Lehigh|
|October 12||1pm||YES||Cornell at Harvard|
|October 19||1pm||YES||Columbia at Penn|
|November 9||12:30pm||YES||Yale at Brown|
|November 9||3pm (tape delay)||NESN||Yale at Brown|
|November 16||12:30pm||YES||Harvard at Penn|
|November 23||1pm||YES||Dartmouth at Princeton|
The Ivies actually play only a small part in the national I-AA scene; Eric Gemunder's I-AA Preview, continuing in the tradition of Patrick Dunn, is a weekly newsletter on the whole division.
The Eastern College Athletic Conference, best known for its hockey leagues, does keep tabs on the football activities of its member institutions, including the Ivies, as they compete mostly at the I-AA and Division III levels.
What fan of small-time college football hasn't gotten sick of staring at the sports ticker on TV in hopes that the Columbia-Fordham score will be posted? Well, my friend, that's the kind of thing the internet was made for! USA Today's scores page gives you all the scores at once so you can pick out the one you want. Nando SportServer's Ivy League Scoreboard and ESPN's Ivy League scoreboard go them one better, providing a ticker with all of the Ivy results in one place. (Plus corresponing tickers for the other I-AA conferences.)
If your local newspaper skimps on the real college results, never fear. The Nando sports server has an "Other/Small Colleges" section where you can read the AP stories the local paper doesn't care to show you.
For the past few years a couple of Ivy football fans have been entertaining themselves by offering competing picks for the Ivy League results each week, and this season several more of us have joined them. These guys are up on the weekly happenings in the Ivies, so you may want to check in on the link above, as well as their IPC Central page for an up-to-date Ivy lowdown.
Finally, a good source of info on the distributed world of Ivy League Football is the schools themselves. Here are links to the football or athletic department page for each school: