/notables/1999/oberlin-streak-of-different-nature

At Oberlin, a streak of a different nature

More news about: Oberlin

By Mark Simon
D3sports.com

The Yeomen are a patient bunch.

They would have to be at Oberlin, where the football team bearing that nickname (whose dictionary definition is "diligent and dependable workers") has spent nearly the last three seasons in football purgatory.

A 26-game losing streak would make pessimists out of a lot of people, but not first-year coach Jeff Ramsey.

There are reasons for this of course, most of which pertain to Ramsey's alma mater, University of California at Davis.

"That program won 12 games in the 1960s,'' said Ramsey, who played and coached there in the early '80s under recent College Football Hall of Fame inductee Jim Sochor. "Then they won 20 consecutive (Northern California Athletic Conference) titles, an all-division record. There are always programs you can look to and say that this can be done (here). Winning that first game will be the biggest hurdle. Once that happens, the kids will believe."

Things look grim at this point, with his team 0-7 and having been outscored 241-14 in its last four lopsided defeats, but Ramsey is big on making a fresh start. After coaching as an assistant at Sonoma State, Marietta and Illinois, Ramsey left football to become a manager for a wholesale book distributor, whose offices were located near the college.

Three years later the bug was back and the opening was practically next door after then-coach Pete Peterson resigned. Ramsey took the job. At his first team meeting in the spring, only 18 players showed up. By the time the season started, he had nearly twice as many. Initially, his quarterback moved to safety and his top linebacker switched to guard so that the team could fill out its lineup.

"I knew,'' said Ramsey about how he examined the football program, "that it had nowhere to go but up.''

Some opponents may chuckle when Ramsey's team takes the field, but the coach finds some of his players accomplishments fascinating under the circumstances. One starting defensive lineman comes from England and grew up on rugby. He's still learning a new sport. Another lineman, Kwesi Skinner, is legally blind in his right eye, but still has a tremendous passion for the sport.

"He knows the risks he's taking and he wants to play,'' Ramsey said. "A guy like that, you love to have him."

We won't get into the statistics and we won't delve into the 42-6 opening day loss to a Swarthmore program that prior to that game had the longest losing streak in the nation. Ramsey admits that his team isn't any good.

But he's here to promise that things will get better. One freshman, wide receiver Cody McCoy, was all-state small-school first team in Ohio. Another, linebacker Mike McClendon was a large-school honorable mention. Ramsey promises that any player he recruits will be a starter at the high school level. The facility, with three weight rooms and an indoor track, and the solid academic reputation of the college are appealing to most that come to the campus.

"I think with any program that there is the possibility for success,'' Ramsey said. "What determines the success is how hard the coaches work. If we wait for kids to come to us, it's not going to get done. People can blame anybody but that's not going to get it done. Our kids have a tough time believing- believing that they can make plays and that they can win. They've been beat up for so long, we're just trying to take it one down and one series at a time. My job is to make them better."

Aug. 31: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Moravian at King's
Live stats Tickets
7:00 PM
Methodist at Campbell
7:00 PM
Alfred State at Coast Guard
Live stats
7:00 PM
Allegheny at Thiel
Live stats
7:00 PM
Stevenson at Frostburg State
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Wesley at Delaware Valley
7:00 PM
Mayville St. at Buena Vista
7:30 PM
Manchester at Trine
Video Live stats
8:00 PM
McMurry at Okla. Panhandle
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
8:00 PM
Greenville at Millikin
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Salisbury at Albright
7:00 PM
Mount Ida at Mass-Dartmouth
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Curry
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Washington and Lee
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
FDU-Florham at TCNJ
7:00 PM
MIT at Becker
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Westfield State at Nichols
Video Live stats
7:30 PM
Anna Maria at WPI
Video Live stats
7:30 PM
Gettysburg at Bridgewater
Video Live stats
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Grove City at Juniata
Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Endicott
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Worcester State at Salve Regina
Live stats
12:00 PM
Maine Maritime at SUNY-Maritime
Live stats
12:00 PM
Norwich at Morrisville State
Live stats
12:00 PM
Bethany at Ursinus
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Brockport at Hobart
12:00 PM
Augustana at Cortland
12:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Buffalo State
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Washington U.
Video Live stats Live stats
12:30 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Mount Union
Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wilkes at Muhlenberg
1:00 PM
Kalamazoo at Oberlin
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Catholic at McDaniel
1:00 PM
Heidelberg at Olivet
Live stats
1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Lebanon Valley
1:00 PM
Alma at St. Vincent
1:00 PM
Castleton at Plymouth State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Lycoming at Susquehanna
1:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at John Carroll
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Alfred at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Misericordia at Merchant Marine
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Albion at Wabash
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Dickinson at Randolph-Macon
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Bluffton at Wooster
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Union at Husson
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Springfield at Western New England
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at Westminster (Pa.)
1:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Ferrum at Emory and Henry
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Averett at Hampden-Sydney
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Waynesburg at Muskingum
Live stats
1:00 PM
William Paterson at RPI
1:00 PM
Franklin at Thomas More
Live stats
1:00 PM
Greensboro at Apprentice
1:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Chicago
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Kenyon at Sewanee
1:30 PM
Centre at Hanover
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Capital
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Defiance
Live stats
1:30 PM
Earlham at Wilmington
Live stats
2:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at LaGrange
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Norbert at UW-Stevens Point
2:00 PM
Carthage at Aurora
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Guilford at Huntingdon
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Simpson
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Nebraska Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Rockford at MacMurray
2:00 PM
Finlandia at Concordia (Wis.)
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Bethel
2:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Macalester at Carleton
2:00 PM
Grinnell at St. Olaf
2:00 PM
Hamline at Crown
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at Illinois Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Whitworth at Central
2:00 PM
Coe at UW-River Falls
2:00 PM
Loras at Elmhurst
2:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Ripon
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Presentation at Lawrence
Video
2:00 PM
George Fox at UW-Platteville
Live stats
2:00 PM
Lake Forest at Beloit
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
Austin at Bacone
4:00 PM
Puget Sound at La Verne
5:00 PM
Western Connecticut at Hartwick
6:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Adrian
Live stats Audio
6:00 PM
North Park at Anderson
7:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Southern Virginia
Live stats
7:00 PM
Brevard at Davidson
7:00 PM
Gallaudet at Shenandoah
Live stats
7:00 PM
Otterbein at Ohio Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Marietta at Geneva
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
7:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Utica
7:00 PM
Southwestern at Denison
7:00 PM
Martin Luther at Minnesota-Morris
7:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
7:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Illinois College
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Trinity Int'l at Wisconsin Lutheran
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas-Permian Basin
7:00 PM
Luther at UW-La Crosse
7:00 PM
Wayland Baptist at Louisiana College
7:00 PM
Knox at Eureka
Video Live stats
8:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Augsburg
8:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Cornell
8:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at North Central (Ill.)
Video Live stats Audio
8:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Benedictine
8:00 PM
Lyon at Hendrix
8:00 PM
Howard Payne at Southwestern Assemblies
10:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Redlands
10:00 PM
Rhodes at Willamette
Live stats
Maintenance in progress.