November might mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but I think we can all agree that it mostly screams out, “Fall sports Ivy championship hunt crunch time!!!!” Am I right or what? While you kick back and pat yourself on the back for getting through those midterms mostly alive, athletic Brunonians are out fighting for those elusive Ivy League titles. Let’s see how they’re doing.
[Update: Football, men’s soccer, and volleyball were all eliminated from championship contention over the weekend.]
Football: While Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman ’77 may have predicted big things, football’s Ivy chances took a big hit when it opened its conference schedule with decisive losses to Harvard and Princeton. Wins over Cornell and, this past weekend, Ivy-leading Penn have snuck Brown kind of back into the picture, but da Bears still need to win out against Yale, Dartmouth, and Columbia, then hope Princeton, Penn, and Harvard choke real hard. Championship chances: 5%
Men’s Soccer: Much like football, men’s soccer more or less played themselves out of contention by starting its conference schedule with two ties and a loss. But, much like football, it have (kind of) played themselves back into the picture with consecutive wins over Cornell and Ivy-leading Penn (I’m having deja vu writing this). With two conference games left, Bruno needs to win out and then pray that Princeton, Penn, and Harvard tie their remaining games against each other. We believe. Maybe. Championship chances: 10%
Women’s Soccer: It’s been a season of huge improvement for women’s soccer, who finished 1-5-1 in the Ivy League last year but stand at 3-2-1 this year. Unfortunately, 6-0 Harvard has already wrapped up the conference championship, so there won’t be any postseason play for these Bears. Championship chances: 0%
Volleyball: More deja vu. Much like women’s soccer, volleyball has seen a huge improvement from 2012, when they finished 3-11 in conference. This year they sit at an admirable 5-5 in the Ivy League with four matches left; sadly, 9-1 Yale is just about mathematically out of reach. Championship chances: 1%
Men’s Water Polo: Technically, water polo has already played for the Ivy championship in their weird little tournament with Princeton and Harvard, the only other schools with varsity teams (they beat Harvard and lost to stupid Princeton). But the real prize for water polo is the equally well-known CWPA Eastern Championship, a tournament whose winner heads to the national championship to get slaughtered by UCLA and USC. Fresh off a promising showing at the Santa Clara Invitational, Bruno looks like a contender to take that CWPA Eastern shit by storm. Championship chances: 30%
Field Hockey: It’s been a season of highs and lows for field hockey, whose 1-5 Ivy record is certainly nothing to write home about. Still, it counts that the lone victory was in overtime against Harvard (every win is better if it’s in overtime against Harvard). Even more impressive was a non-conference win over #14 Louisville. The last Brown team to beat a ranked team from Kentucky in anything was roughly never, so that one’s pretty sick. Sadly, 1-5 still ain’t winning any trophies. Championship chances: 0%
So the cumulative odds of a Fall championship? Not ragingly high, but you never know.
Bonus content! Sports things possibly worth going to this month:
Women’s hockey vs. Quinnipiac. Nov. 8, 8 p.m.: Tonight! Home opener against #7 Quinnipiac. We’re 1-2-1 so far, but you never know.
Men’s basketball vs. Binghamton. Nov. 10, 4 p.m.: Home opener. Sixth Man is all-in on men’s basketball this year.
Men’s soccer vs. Dartmouth. Nov. 16, 4 p.m.: Only if they’re still in the title hunt, which means a win and a Harvard loss or tie this weekend. Possible.
Football vs. Dartmouth. Nov 16, 12:30 p.m.: They probably will have been eliminated from Ivy title chances by then, but it’s worth it anyway to see John Spooney ’14 run.
Squash vs. Navy/Mt. Holyoke and Tufts. Nov. 23, all day-ish: Another home opener. Squash is fun. Men’s and women’s teams play next to each other, and there are like 20 matches in these double-headers. Swing by for 20 minutes.