By David Coulson
College Sports Journal
PHILADELPHIA, PA. — Thoughts of most Philadelphians are not on the forlorn Eagles, Philly Cheese Steaks, or even the locked-out, strike-ridden Philadelphia Flyers on a cloudy and cool Saturday afternoon at historic Franklin Field.
Penn and Brown are more of a diversion for a Philadelphia crowd that is lukewarm on college football, even in the best of times.
It may be homecoming here in University City, but most people are keeping an eye to the sky and awaiting Hurricane Sandy, with the potential wind and snow of another October perfect storm
I'm back for more Ivy League football after last week's Harvard-Princeton instant classic. This game a battle of survival between Penn and Brown teams that were expected to compete for the league title, but are both needing wins to stay afloat.
Penn's battered ranks — beaten up by games against CAA foes Villanova and William & Mary — were upset by a rebuilding Yale squad, 27-13, last week at the Yale Bowl. The Quakers are still alive for the Ivy League title at 2-4 overall and 2-1 among the Ancient Eight, but there have been plenty of injuries along the way and a second straight Ivy League loss would finish off reasonable championship hopes.
Brown may also be done with a loss on Saturday, with a 2-1 record in league and an overall mark of 4-2 coming in.
Particularly surprising was when the Bears' normally potent offense was shut out by Princeton, 19-0, two weeks ago. It was the first shutout tossed against Brown since 1996 — an Ivy League-record 162 consecutive games.
Of course, now Princeton is alone in first place an Ivy League turned upside down.
Injuries have also been hard on the Bears, making this survival scenario even more finely honed.
Both teams have lost their featured running backs for the season, Brandon Colavita for Penn and Mark Kachmer of Brown. Colavita has a broken bone in his foot.
This is the 81st lifetime meeting between Ivy League opponents (Penn leads 39-9-1 at Franklin Field and 56-22-2 overall) that have played an entertaining series over the past decade, with five wins each. Last year, Brown won a game dominated by a snowstorm that ground offenses virtually to a halt.
Penn and Brown may have missed the snow by a couple of days this time. We will see if injuries will be the thing to hold down these normally efficient teams this time.