The big three football title is of absolutely no national significance. Nonetheless, the Big Three continue to care terribly about this seasonal accolade. Harvard, Yale and Princeton dispute over it as if it were grandfather's legacy, and the alumni migrate annually through arctic Novembers to observe the controversy.
The snowy slopes of the Yale Bowl contained 56,000 of these slightly frozen and highly prejudiced witnesses ("blue lips for Yale, red noses for Harvard," Columnist Red Smith noted) as Yale sought last Saturday to relieve Harvard of the responsibility of its second straight Big Three crown. Harvard had already beaten Princeton, and Princeton had beaten Yale, so the Elis were inspired by nothing more than the prospect of a three-way deadlock—and the infinite pleasure of beating Harvard for the 41st time in a rivalry that started 80 years ago.
This year's young Yale team—of the starters only Captain Phil Tarasovic and Bill Lovejoy, the tackles, were seniors—played as if a dozen bowl bids rested on the outcome. Using nothing but straight power, of which the conquerors of Army have plenty, the blue jerseys dominated the crimson ones by a score of 21-7 without causing their supporters the least bit of suspense.
As usually happens on this occasion, a hero emerged; he was Yale's sophomore fullback Curtis Coker, who carried the ball 105 yards in 21 carries through sleet and snow and frequently played like an entire defense team wrapped into one man. It was good, hard, simon-pure Ivy League football and left one wondering whether next year's Yale team might not be good enough to breathe the contaminated non-Ivy League air—a speculation that will never be resolved as the League members continue to tighten their boundaries.