The Ivy League championship trophy may have a new home at the end of the season. That is, if recent history is any indicator.
The defending Ivy League champion, Harvard, lost 27-24 Saturday to Princeton, rendering any chance of a repeat title slim.
Since 1956 -- the first year an Ivy League title was awarded -- only two years have seen teams with two conference losses win a share of the championship. The last time it happened was 1982 when Penn, Harvard and Dartmouth split the title with a 5-2 conference record.
With each team having played only three conference games, only four teams have less than two losses. Penn is the lone undefeated team after handing Yale its first conference loss on Saturday with a 38-21 victory at Franklin Field. However, both Princeton and Brown have only one loss and, with Penn still on both their schedules, each controls its own destiny for at least a share of the Ivy league title.
Brown will host Penn on Saturday in Providence, R.I., in a matchup that, for Brown, will be all but a must-win if the Bears want to keep their championship hopes alive.
Alone at the bottom
For the first time since the end of last season, the Quakers find themselves in the Top 25 of the Sports Networks' Division I-AA poll -- but just barely.
Their four-game win streak earned them the 25th spot in the rankings, making them the first ranked Ivy League team since Harvard was dropped after an Oct. 8 loss to Cornell. Harvard, who began the season ranked 19th -- with one first place vote, no less -- did not receive a single vote this week for the first time all season.
Brown, who beat Cornell 38-24 on Saturday, was the only other Ivy League team to receive any votes in this week's poll.
Tigers stayin' alive
Princeton's win at Harvard Stadium on Saturday not only kept the team in the race for the Ivy title, but it was also the Tigers' first win against the Crimson since 1995.
Princeton led for most of the game, until Harvard quarterback Liam O'Hagan found Ryan Tyler for a 52-yard touchdown score with 7:21 remaining in the game. Harvard took a 24-21 lead.
But on the ensuing kickoff, Tigers cornerback Jay McCareins put Princeton back on top to stay with a 93-yard touchdown return.
McCareins' efforts did not go unnoticed, as The Sports Network named him the National Player of the Week for special teams. It was the second time this season McCareins was named Player of the Week. After he set a school record with three interceptions -- including one returned for a touchdown -- in a win over San Diego, McCareins was named National Player of the Week for defense.
The last time Princeton beat Harvard the Tigers went on to capture their last Ivy title.
When Penn starting quarterback Pat McDermott got knocked out of Saturday's game against Yale with a bruised shoulder, the Quakers turned to Bryan Walker to run the offense. After firing his first pass out the back of the endzone, Walker settled down and led Penn's offense on a 38-point run.
By the end of the game, Walker had amassed 143 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions while completing 10 of his 20 pass attempts.
For his efforts the sophomore quarterback was named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week. Walker becomes the third Quaker named Ivy Player of the Week this season. Linebacker Kory Gedin and defensive back Doug Middleton both received Defensive Player of the Week honors earlier this year.Comments powered by Disqus
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