The Ivy League is a weird place, man. All fall the talk about the conference has been centered around a few things: (1) Cornell demolishing teams at the Capital Classic and the potential that the Red have with the return of Rob Pannell; (2) how Princeton is going to need to re-tool its defensive posture with the departures of a trio of seniors from the back; (3) where Yale is looking to go after a strong 2012 campaign; (4) all the youth at Harvard that has the opportunity to contribute next spring; (5) the development of Pennsylvania under Mike Murphy; and (6) if Brown can make a return trip to the Ivy League Tournament in 2013 (continuing its build under Lars Tiffany).
The meat about Dartmouth? They hired Tim McIntee after Manhattan let him go in the offseason. That's about it. It's like Dartmouth is your other friend Todd, not the Todd that you hang out with but the Todd that you get weird Facebook messages from and are, like, "I guess I know two Todds? Is that normal?" So, yeah.
Outside of somehow dropping Colgate in their opener, last season wasn't an especially memorable year for the Big Green. An eight-game losing streak that stretched from March 6th to April 21st marred the view that was Dartmouth's sunrise to its season, and if the Big Green hope to move forward in a messy Ivy League in 2013, chock full of ickily-similar-but-sort-of-different, they're going to have to play above their heads a little bit.
Let's tear this apart.
Is This the Year for Six (or More)?
February 9: @ Quinnipiac; February 26: Vermont; April 23: @ Holy Cross
Andy Towers has never won more than five games in a season while serving as headmaster for Dartmouth. He also hasn't won fewer than five games in a season while serving as Commandant-In-Charge (Color Nickname Unit) in Hanover. It's an odd reality to exist within, as the hurdle sits aside of any kind of purpose other than that it's a weird trend. If Towers hopes to get to -- at least -- six wins this season, he's going to have work to do: The schedule only features three games in which Dartmouth will be a favorite; everything else is either in "push" territory or the Big Green will need to pull an upset (more on that in a second). The pool to which sits another three potential victories is somewhat small -- Georgetown, Robert Morris, Brown, and Pennsylvania -- and listing some of those games falls into the "Hope, Hugs" bucket.
It's not that Dartmouth is necessarily bad, it's just that there aren't a lot of should-be wins on the slate. It's a schedule full of dog fights and difficulty, and that's not good for a program that is looking for its first non-losing season since 2008 (7-7).
Dartmouth is Playing Georgetown at SMU Stadium which Obviously Means that SMU is Going to Sponsor Division I Lacrosse
March 2: v. Georgetown
Dartmouth is playing Georgetown at SMU Stadium which obviously means that SMU is going to sponsor Division I lacrosse. No doink.
Grievous Bodily Injury?
February 23: Colgate; March 18: @ North Carolina; March 30: @ Cornell
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 five-win ceiling, the Big Green have, in each of the last three seasons, knocked off a team in LaxPower's top 15 -- 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 Raiders, Heels, or Red, but . . . it's not like Dartmouth has never done the unthinkable against opponents that it had no business dropping.