In the Ivy League, Football Season Is Finally Here

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It’s not really that the Ivies begin their season late — it’s that the rest of college football starts playing earlier and earlier.ImageDartmouth and other Ivy League schools begin their season after the rest of college football, opting not to change as others have stretched the beginning of the schedule into August.CreditCreditGary Lloyd McCulloughSept. 23, 2019POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — As high noon approached, the Cornell football team went through its familiar pregame paces under a bright sun and a brilliant blue sky on the banks of the Hudson. Running backs pranced with the ball clutched high and tight. Linebackers went through hit-and-wrap drills. Linemen burst from their stance. The visitors’ all-white uniforms were crisp, and their candy-apple red helmets were unblemished.“Like the first Saturday of Little League,” Jelani Taylor, a senior safety, said.“It’s Christmas morning,” George Holm III, a senior left tackle, said.The anticipation that accompanies the start of the college football season arrives later in the Ivy League than anywhere else. Its eight colleges played their first games on Saturday, with Cornell being the first to kick off in a 21-7 victory over Marist College and Princeton the last with a 49-7 evening trouncing of Butler.Although, to be more precise, it is not so much that the Ivies start late as it is the rest of college football begins earlier and earlier. Consider that when Notre Dame won the national championship in 1973, the Irish played their first game on Sept. 22, which, like Saturday, would have qualified as autumn.Now, though, the lure of television dollars stretches the college season longer than ever, in both directions — from Aug. 24, when Villanova and Colgate played in what has come to be called Week 0, until Jan. 13, when Alabama and Clemson (or perhaps someone else) will play in the College Football Playoff championship. That is nearly five months of Saturday programming (and some for Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, too).Set against this, the Ivy League schedule is not only quaint, it is a r

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