- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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Harry Arlanson of Tufts, one of the most successful small-college coaches in the East, rarely has a full squad on hand for practice.
"With late classes and lab periods," he says, "I'm lucky if I can get all the boys together even one day a week."
Like his fellow coaches at the larger schools, Dr. Eddie Anderson of Holy Cross can usually count on only one good team and a few capable substitutes. This lack of depth is often a cause of defeat; still, a New England coach can usually count on not being rudely strung up in effigy.
"Dr. Anderson," says the Very Rev. William A. Donaghy, president of Holy Cross, "is one of the finest gentlemen I have ever met. He is not merely a good football coach. By precept and example on the football field he extends the function of the classroom.
"With a coach like Dr. Anderson, loyal to the school and cooperative with our academic ideals, I am sure there is no danger of Holy Cross football degenerating into a matter of importing mindless muscle merchants who would be valuable to the school only eight or 10 hours a year."
Strange as it may seem to observers west of the Appalachians, where the Ivy League game has been compared unfavorably with squat tag in some quarters, Ivy League football and hard-nosed football are not mutually exclusive terms. Harvard's John Yovicsin, for example, is considered a teacher of the hard-nosed school, and Yovicsin is a man who feels that some of the most competitive football in the country is played—without benefit of spring practice—right in the Ivy League. Each Saturday Ivy opponents come jaw to jaw on relatively equal terms.
"This year," says Yovicsin, "the league is stronger from top to bottom than at any time since it became a formal competitive conference."
Look, too, say Ivy fans, at the diversity of offenses emanating from hallowed Ivy halls. Dartmouth has one of the game's cleverest strategists in Coach Bob Blackman, originator of the V formation. Yovicsin features a T with flankers. Lefty James is coming out with a spread at Cornell. Penn uses a multiple offense. Princeton sticks with the old reliable single wing. New Coach John McLaughry teaches the side-saddle T, if you'll pardon the expression, at Brown.
"Eastern football," says Coach Johnny Michelosen of Pitt, a school that plays a somewhat suicidal schedule, "is good football and on the upgrade, if you think it was ever down. The East compares very favorably with any other section of the country. Syracuse was in a bowl. The Boston teams are coming up. We were in bowl games two straight years and did pretty good. Army, Navy [which also has a new head coach, Wayne Hardin, succeeding his old boss Eddie Erdelatz] and Villanova are all plenty strong. Penn State is starting to play a more representative schedule.
"And football is leveling off. On any given Saturday any team can beat any other team. If you don't believe it, look at what Nebraska did to Pitt last year.