Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:
March 4: Sacred Heart; March 7: at Wagner; March 24: Vermont; April 14: at NJIT; April 21: Massachusetts-Lowell
Dartmouth has averaged a 4-9 record over the last five seasons against a schedule with an average ranking of 29th in LaxPower's system. That's not great, but it also isn't so bad that the government is considering locking the Green deep within a mountain somewhere out west. Brendan Callahan -- Dartmouth's new head coach -- isn't going to have his first tour with the Big Green judged on the program's record, but the team does have the opportunity to maintain or slightly exceed the program's average win total over the last half-decade: The Green will face five teams that either didn't exist in 2014 or held a LaxPower ranking of 50th or worse last spring. Ignoring the overall strength of these wins is more important than the fact that these dates provide opportunities for Callahan to teach what winning entails, building a culture around securing consistent victories against foundational opponents that can create greater success against more established programs. Dartmouth has had the capacity to spring some big victories over the last five seasons -- wins against Princeton in 2013, Colgate in 2012, Harvard in 2011, and Cornell in 2010 stand out as prime examples of the Big Green bagging big kills -- but the structure of the team's slate in 2015 -- wherein the annotated five games constitute almost 40 percent of Dartmouth's campaign, all such dates having the outward appearance of the Green having the ability to generate success -- puts extra importance on what Dartmouth does against these opponents.
[looks at the digital clock on the bomb]
February 28: at Notre Dame
March 21: Harvard; March 28: at Cornell; April 4: at Yale; April 11: Princeton; April 18: at Pennsylvania; April 25: Brown
Dartmouth has a lot of ground to make up in the Ivy League:
|TEAM||'05-'09 IVY RECORD||WINNING %||RANK||'10-'14 IVY RECORD||WINNING %||RANK|
In the last decade the Green have gone from finding a residence in the fat middle of the conference to squarely occupying the basement. When you look at the last 10 years of Ivy League competition and aggregate the seven teams' records, Dartmouth holds a conference winning percentage of 28.33 percent, the lowest in the Ivy League and a full eight wins weaker than Brown, Pennsylvania, and Yale (and the Elis had almost as bad of a five-year stretch as the Green have gone through recently). The Green are also the only Ivy League member to not participate in at least one Ivy League Tournament. Dartmouth isn't likely to address the gap that it's facing in the Ivy League in 2015 -- this is going to be a multi-year build for Callahan -- but finding some semblance of increased vitality in what should be a leveraged conference next spring would at least create some combustion to run with.