Dartmouth is a mediocre 18-37 over the last four seasons (including a dastardly 3-11 effort in 2013), and the statistical profile of the program over the last three years bears that out: The Big Green have held a rank of 40th nationally, a position at the top of the bottom-third of the country. That's a difficult position to sit on a consistent basis, mostly because it is tantalizingly close to an average existence but still within striking distance of some of Division I's most inconsistent teams. This is an important campaign for the Big Green in 2014, an effort that won't have a ton of "gimmie games" on the agenda.
Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:
The What-the-Heck Win?
February 22: @North Carolina; March 18: @Penn State; April 6: Yale; April 12: @Princeton
Despite Dartmouth's trouble with getting to .500 over the last few years, something interesting has happened under Andy Towers' direction: Despite the program's apparent win ceiling, the Big Green have, in each of the last four seasons, knocked off a team in LaxPower's top 15 -- Princeton (2013, 8); Colgate (2012, 9); Harvard (2011, 15); and Cornell (2010, 7). That's . . . I don't know what that is. Look: The Big Green aren't better than the Heels, Lions, Bulldogs, or Tigers, but . . . it's not like Dartmouth has never done the unthinkable against opponents that it had no business dropping.
Two League Wins or More?
March 22: @Harvard; March 29: Cornell; April 19: Pennsylvania; April 26: @Brown
Not since Towers' first season in Hanover has Dartmouth earned two Ivy League wins. The Big Green have consistently finished at the bottom of the conference since then, bagging just one conference win in each of the last three seasons. With the league looking like the gossipy social club that it often functionally recreates, is this the year that Dartmouth is able to capitalize on the dissent within the league's social order? The Big Green were somewhat close last year to realizing gains on the league table -- in addition to Dartmouth's surprising defeat of Princeton, the team suffered tight losses to Brown and Yale -- and 2014 could provide the circumstances necessary for Dartmouth to string together some wins that thrusts the Green toward the muddled middle of the conference. Chaos could be Dartmouth's biggest ally in the coming spring, and how the Big Green take advantage of it is an important facet of Dartmouth's Ivy League campaign.
Dartmouth is Playing Sacred Heart at SMU which Obviously Means that SMU is Going to Sponsor Division I Lacrosse
March 1: v. Sacred Heart (Dallas, T.X.)
No doink. (This didn't happen last year when Dartmouth met Georgetown at SMU Stadium, but if I keep writing it the event may actually happen. Or not. I don't know. I'd almost contend that Texas isn't a real place, but I did spend a few days in Waco looking for the live bear on Baylor's campus, only to fail in that mission. Instead, I went to IHOP and stuffed my fat neck with garbage and wondered why cowboy boots remain a thing as beef is now widely available in grocery stores and not only accessible on the wild open plains.)