Noontime’s Top 10 New England College Football Rivalries

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By NoontimeSports.com 

There is nothing better than a rivalry, especially on the gridiron. And we have quite a few here in New England, but which one is the best?

Well, we think this list features the best rivalries – 10 to be exact – but if you feel we missed a game (or two), let us know by leaving a comment below. All ideas are welcome!

1. Harvard University vs. Yale University: Hands down, this is the best New England college football rivalry. And while some may think Amherst-Williams belongs in this spot, Harvard-Yale is just as important as The Biggest Little Game in America. The Bulldogs needed two extra sessions this past year to edge the Crimson, 50-43, to claim the 136th edition of The Game. Harvard captured the 2018 meeting, which was played at Fenway Park.

2. Amherst College vs. Williams College: As mentioned above, Harvard-Yale, Amherst-Williams are the two of the best rivalries in New England, but there is nothing better than being in the stands in Amherst or Williamstown in early November to watch this game. The Ephs won their last meeting against the Mammoths by a score of 31-9 and finished their 2019 campaign with their best record under head coach Mark Raymond.

3. Bentley University vs. Stonehill College: The 35th meeting between these two programs was an instant classic. Taking place last October, Falcons won the game on a last-second 32-yard field goal by Grant Buchanan. The win was the Falcons’ second-straight against the Skyhawks, as well as their first against their rival in Easton, Massachusetts since 2011.

4. Maine vs. New Hampshire: The Black Bears may have won the first-ever meeting between these two programs, but the Wildcats have been rather successful since that initial games, especially these past few years. New Hampshire beat Maine twice in the last three seasons, including last fall in their season finale. The winner of each matchup claims the Brice-Cowell Musket, which is named after the former head coaches of the two programs.

5. The Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Trophy (CBB): Since 1892, Bates CollegeBowdoin College, and Colby College have been playing football against each other. And believe it or not, but Bowdoin and Colby have competed against each other 131 times with the Mules winning their most recent meeting with the Polar Bears last November. The win provided Colby with its second-straight CBB title after Bates claimed the crown from 2014-2017. Bowdoin last won the trophy in 2010 when they beat Colby in the final game of the season by a score of 26-21.

6. Coast Guard Academy vs. Norwich University: “The Little Army-Navy Game” is always a must-see, must-watch affair in September, October, or November. The two teams, who entered their previous meeting with identical 2-0 records, first met in 1929. The winner claims “The Mug,” which was donated by The Day with the first award being presented at the conclusion of the third meeting in 1931. Coast Guard currently leads the all-time series, but the Cadets won the most recent contest last September, thanks to an impressive second-half comeback.

7. Dartmouth College vs. New Hampshire: This may not be the most well-known rivalry to current football fans (and players), but the Big Green and Wildcats have met quite a few times over the past few decades. In fact, the first-ever meeting between Dartmouth and New Hampshire occurred in 1901 with the Green and White claiming a 51-0 victory. The two teams last met in 2016 but will meet again in 2021.

8. MIT-WPI: Sure, WPI’s longstanding rivalry may be RPI, but from an in-state (or in-region) opponent, it has to be MIT, right? The Engineers of Cambridge won the first six meetings – both MIT and WPI initially met in 1888 – but since 2001, the Engineers of Worcester have won six of seven contests. The two teams began playing against each other every year since 2015. Last fall, MIT snapped WPI’s six-game winning streak by securing a hard-fought win in double-overtime. The victory was MIT’s first against WPI since 1900.

9. Endicott College vs. Western New England: This always seems to be a must-see, must-follow contest, no matter the records. But for the past few years, this has been the de-facto conference championship game. The Golden Bears have won two of the last three meetings while Endicott captured the 2018 meeting. The win over WNE in 2018 provided Endicott with its sixth victory at home against its rival while snapping the Golden Bears’ 25-game conference winning streak.

10. Southern Connecticut vs. University of New Haven: The Elm City Trophy has resided in New Haven these past few seasons, but the Owls did make things interesting last October. The Chargers have won 24 of the 31 meetings in this series and will attempt to continue its recent momentum against the Owls when they visit West Haven, Connecticut later this year.

Noontime Commentary: Early Thoughts On The Upcoming Fall Sports Season

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The upcoming fall sports season could look a bit different than past years. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan

Last Friday, we received some insight from NCAA president Mark Emmert about what fans and followers of college athletics should expect for the upcoming fall sports season. And it doesn’t sound like business as usual due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Speaking with host Andy Katz on the NCAA’s Twitter handle, Emmert announced that sporting events and games will not occur without students on campus. He also emphasized that some teams could compete immediately while others may not be able to, especially if campuses remain closed and classes are held virtually.

And just for those keeping track at home, I paraphrased “immediately” – he did not say that word!  

The thought of seeing some teams compete in late August or early September is something I believe could happen. But which schools will be able to roll out the footballs and soccer balls at the end of the summer is a mystery.

Could we see the University of Alabama or the University of Texas at Austin compete right away or will both institutions have to delay the start of their respective fall sports season?

What about schools in California, Washington, or even Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island? Will they be able to play some games in late September or early October?

Could we see schools reopen in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, but not in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island? And would those schools be able to play games?

Should we expect fans on campus every Saturday to cheer on the Syracuse University football team?

Will, there be supporters at future Penn State University field hockey or soccer games?

These questions – and of course, others – are just a few on my mind, but the other thought percolating in my head is about scheduling. Could we see current games eliminated and new contests scheduled? I think so.

As much as I would love to say all games that are currently scheduled will happen would be hard to justify. Sure, many would love to circle the date for some must-see, must-follow contests later this year, especially a few local rivalries such as Harvard University vs. Yale University in football.

Additionally, I do anticipate some conferences (and leagues) will have to play each other more than once – maybe twice or three times? – especially if only a handful of schools are open in late August and early September.

And how about this thought: could we see some Division II teams playing against Division III squads, especially in the northeast? It would be fascinating to see (and watch) Assumption College square-off against WPI, but I don’t think that would happen.

Luckily, it is only May and we do have some time before the 2020 college sports season begins. But I do expect some announcements to occur about the future of fall sports in the coming weeks.

It is great to hear – and learn – about various schools planning to reopen (or be open) this fall, but with so much uncertainty these days, it just seems unlikely that college sports will look the same as they did in previous years come September and October.

Here’s hoping – and yes, some positive thoughts and vibes – but no matter who plays, we look forward to providing our audience with some coverage remotely.

New England Football: Undrafted Free Agent Signings

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A slew of New England college football players signed unrestricted free agent contracts with various NFL teams. (PHOTO COURTESY: Visualunt.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

With the 2020 NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, it is time to turn our attention to the various New England college football players that have recently signed with teams as undrafted free agents.

Here is a current list of student-athletes that will be competing for roster spots with various teams for the upcoming season. We will be updating this list as more signings are announced.

Boston College

  • Jake Burt (TE): The Lynnfield, Massachusetts native, who was named to the John Mackey Award Watch List as a graduate student with the Eagles this past fall, signed with the New England Patriots on Sunday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Brown University

Dartmouth College

Harvard University

Holy Cross 

  • Jackson Dennis (OL): The Odessa, Florida native signed a free-agent contract with the Arizona Cardinals following the conclusion of the NFL Draft. Dennis started 12 games last fall for the Crusaders, who advanced to the NCAA FCS playoffs for the first time since 2009.

University of Maine

University of New Hampshire

  • Prince Smith Jr. (CB): The Pennsylvania native is headed back home to compete for a spot with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles announced Smith Jr. was one of 12 players that signed unrestricted free agent contracts last night after the NFL Draft concluded.

University of Rhode Island 

  • Kyle Murphy (OL): The Attleboro, Massachusetts native announced on Twitter that he is “officially a (New York) Giant.”
  • Aaron Parker (WR): Parker inked his name on a contract with the Dallas Cowboys after his cousin, Isaiah Coulter, was selected yesterday by the Houston Texans with the 171st pick.

Yale University

  • Dieter Eiselen (OL): The Choate Rosemary Hall (Conn.) alum, who is from Stellenbosch, South Africa, signed with the Chicago Bears shortly after the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Ivy League Cancels The 2020 Basketball Conference Tournaments

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Basketball Hoop. (PHOTO COURTESY: bobert1980 on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

It was announced earlier today that the Ivy League would be canceling this weekend’s men’s and women’s basketball conference tournaments, which was going to be held at Harvard University.

The league announced that both Princeton University (women’s basketball) and Yale University (men’s basketball) would represent the Ancient Eight in the upcoming March Madness Tournaments, which are scheduled to commence next week. Both teams concluded their respective campaigns last weekend as regular-season champions.

As noted in this morning’s release, the decision to cancel this year’s basketball tournaments is due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The league’s decision was “made in accordance with the guidance of public health and medical professionals.” 

“We understand and share the disappointment with student-athletes, coaches and fans who will not be able to participate in these tournaments, “Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris said in the release. “Regrettably, the information and recommendations presented to us from public health authorities and medical professionals have convinced us that this is the most prudent decision.”

Fans that purchased tickets to this year’s tournament will be refunded, but any ticketholders that have additional questions should contact the Harvard ticket office.

The league will permit its remaining winter teams to compete in upcoming contests “in accordance with institutional policies” while implementing a limit to the number of fans that can attend future games. The Ivy League also canceled out of season practices, along with any competitions theses teams may have scheduled.

Prior to this morning’s announcement, Harvard announced they would be shifting from in-person to virtual classrooms while asking students not to return to campus at the conclusion of the institution’s Spring Recess.  As noted in a letter to students, faculty, and staff, “Our goal is to have this transition complete by Monday, March 23, which is the first day of scheduled classes following Spring Recess.”

Daily Noontime: Monday, March 9th, 2020

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

It’s Monday – where did this past weekend go?

The good news about today is the weather: it is going to be gorgeous, so make sure to get outside and enjoy the sun.

Let’s kick-start a new week – well, a new work week, to be exact! – with a brand new Daily Noontime. Have a wonderful day, everyone, and remember to smile, too.

The Boston Celtics did not play their best basketball on Sunday as the Green and White were edged by the Oklahoma City Thunder, 105-104, at the TD GardenGordon Hayward led the Celtics with 24 points while Jayson Tatum added 19 points, five rebounds, and three assists. Marcus Smart recorded a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Boston will attempt to return to the win column tomorrow – that would be Tuesday, March 10th, to be exact – when they visit the Indiana Pacers for a 7 p.m. tip-off.

As of this morning, the Celtics remain locked in the third position in the Eastern Conference but need to find their groove down the stretch in order to catch the Toronto Raptors for the second spot in the upcoming NBA playoffs.

Hayward told reporters after his team’s loss to the Thunder that the Celtics were not going to blame the setback on Kemba Walker, who turned the ball over with 8.5 seconds remaining. Instead, Hayward told reporters that the Celtics “lost this game together.”

After a successful road trip down south, the Boston Bruins fell apart at home on Saturday, losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 5-3. Tuukka Rask denied 20 of 24 shots in the setback while Charlie McAvoy tallied one goal and one assist.

Boston will visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday with puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m.

The Boston Red Sox will play another spring training game this afternoon against the Atlanta Braves with the first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Boston edged the Minnesota Twins on Sunday by a score of 7-6 after splitting two games on Saturday with the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays.

And just in case you were wondering, we’re roughly two weeks away from the start of a brand new season, which seems crazy, right?

According to Jeff Borzello of ESPN, Harvard University‘s Seth Towns will compete for another team next season as a grad student – he is considering multiple programs, including KansasVirginia, and Syracuse. Towns has not appeared on the court this winter due to an injury – he also missed last season, too, but was named to the Lou Henson Award watch list, though.

The Holy Cross women’s basketball team will host Lafayette College this evening in the Patriot League quarterfinals. The winner will advance to Thursday’s semifinals. Holy Cross has won three-straight contests, including its final game of the 2019-20 regular season.

Yale University secured the top seed in this weekend’s Ivy League men’s basketball tournament while Princeton University is the number one seed in the women’s tournament.

The Ivy League tournaments will begin on Friday, March 13th and conclude Sunday, March 15th.