While disappointed that the Ivy League title is outside its grasp, the Brown football team has a wide array of positives to take from the 2011 season, one that will go down as one of the finest in the history of Brown Football. Heading into Saturday's final game at Columbia, the second place Bears' seven wins (7-2 overall) are already third highest number of victories since the Ivy League was formed 55 years ago. Only Brown's 1999 (9), 2005 (9) and 1976 (8) teams have won more games. In addition, head coach Phil Estes is assured of his 11th Ivy winning season in his 14 years at the helm of the Bears' football program.
The Records: Brown (7-2, 4-2 Ivy) stands in a three way tie for second place in the Ivy standings with a 4-2 league mark, tied with Penn and Yale. Harvard (6-0) clinched the Ivy title last week. Since the Ivy League began play in 1956, just nine other Brown teams have won 7 or more games – 1976 (8), 1977 (7), 1987 (7), 1994 (7), 1997 (7), 1999 (9), 2000 (7), 2005 (9) and 2008 (7). Columbia (0-9) dropped its ninth straight game last week in a wild shootout against Cornell, 62-41.
Another Winning Ivy Season: With a 4-2 Ivy League record, the Bears are assured of a winning Ivy season for the 11th time in head coach Phil Estes' 14 years at Brown, and the 28th time since the Ivy League began playing football in 1956.
Brown vs. Columbia – 76th Meeting: Brown and Columbia have met 75 times, dating back to 1902, with the Bears holding a 48-25-2 series advantage over the Lions. Brown has won 12 of the last 14 games between the two teams, including a 38-16 victory last year in Providence. In 2009, Columbia defeated the Bears, 28-14, in New York City. Among the most memorable games in the series came in 1995 when Brown rallied from a 27-3 third quarter deficit to score 56 unanswered points to win, 59-27.
Congratulations Brown Seniors: Brown's 28 seniors will be playing their final career game on Saturday against Columbia. Brown's Class of 2012 has posted a 26-13 record so far during their four-year careers, with an 19-8 Ivy mark, four consecutive winning Ivy seasons, and an Ivy League title in 2008. Brown's Class of 2012 includes: Shane Cooney, Derrick Duquette, Nicholas Faber, Mel Farr, Jonah Fay, Jack Geiger, Robert Gillett, Mark Hammer, Evan Johnson, Luke Landers, Nathan Lovett, Clayton McGrath, Sam McGrath, Luke Miller, Kenny Newcomer, Kyle Newhall-Caballero, Matthew O'Donnell, Patrick Pakan, Adam Persinger, Stephen Peyton, Kyle Rettig, Jimmy Saros, Daniel Smithwick, Matthew Sudfeld, Spiro Theodhosi, Nate Thomas, Alex Tounkara-Kone, and Brett Wyman.
Did You Know?: Brown leads the Ivy League and ranks sixth nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 16.25 points per game…CB AJ Cruz '13 returned a Dartmouth kick-off 83 yards for a touchdown, his second career touchdown. Cruz has eight career interceptions, including a 42-yard interception return for a touchdown against Penn as a freshman. His 31.3 kickoff return yards per game leads the Ivy League and ranks fourth nationally…DE Clayton McGrath '12 registered 3.5 tackles for a loss vs. Dartmouth and ranks fifth in the Ivy League with 1.4 tackles for loss per game…OLB Dan Smithwick '12 leads the Bears with 68 total tackles…The Bears rank second in the Ivy League in total defense, allowing 324.1 yards per game…Punter Nathan Lovett '12 ranks 21st nationally with 41.10 yards per punt…WR Alex Tounkara-Kone '12 has 105 career receptions and 1,381 career receiving yards, both 11th best in the Brown record book.