Only a decade ago, Penn football captured another Ivy League title, its 15th overall. It was a historic day for the program.
However, winning the championship caused a lot of blood, sweat, and tears for the Red and Blue. The team put in countless hours of work in order to have a moment of relief and glory as it claimed another title. Penn went 9-1 in the 2010 season and compiled a perfect record of 7-0 in conference play.
A 5-0 record at Franklin Field and an eight-game winning streak helped the Quakers close out the season on a high. The only defeat they experienced was against local rival and Football Championship Subdivision No. 1 Villanova.
The Wildcats extended their 99-year winning streak over Penn by scoring 13 points in the final 4:29 of play, emerging victorious by a 22-10 score.
“One of the problems in this game is you can’t make a mistake,” coach Al Bagnoli said. “Your margin of error is basically nil.”
After this game, the Quakers were 1-1, but they learned valuable lessons from this loss. The Red and Blue went on to embark on an eight-game winning streak, ending the season with a 9-1 record.
“They kind of get a sense that … from this day forward, we’re going to have to play well consistently for six weeks,” Bagnoli said.
In the Quakers' final game at Cornell, they secured the Ivy League title with a 31-7 victory at Schoellkopf Field in Ithaca, N.Y. Penn ran for 282 yards, whereas Cornell only managed 197 yards of total offense. The Red and Blue posted an average of 5.2 yards per carry, and the team had a total of 20 first downs compared to Cornell's 11.
“Your sense of urgency changes,” Bagnoli said. “There is such a narrow window that you have in our league — you’ve just got to be very, very careful that you take care of business, and you prepare the best you can every week.”
Bagnoli was able to add yet another title to his collection. He captured his eighth Ivy League title, all of which were for Penn. His nine titles are the most for any coach in the Ancient Eight. Bagnoli remains an Ivy League coach to this day, as he began coaching for rival Columbia in 2015.
The final game against Cornell marked a momentous day in Penn history. At the time, the Quakers held the longest conference winning streak in the nation. This was the two teams' 117th meeting, but more importantly, this victory marked the 15th consecutive win for Penn against conference opponents. Their winning streak was the third-longest in Ivy League history.
Overall, the 2010 season was one to remember for the Red and Blue and served as an example of how far embracing camaraderie could take the team. Bagnoli captured his penultimate title as the coach of Penn in a year that included one of the most impressive streaks in Ivy League history.
All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.