Few expected Penn women's basketball to beat, or even hang with, No. 3 Notre Dame. But that didn't stop the Quakers from playing their hearts out in a 66-54 loss. And in that effort, they showcased why they are once again the favorites to win the Ivy title.
The last time Penn men’s basketball started a season with a 7-4 record from its first 11 games, the team went 14-0 in the Ivy League and made it to the NCAA Tournament. That was 15 years ago.
The Quakers’ epic 101-96 victory was by every stretch of the imagination an instant classic. It was the most Penn had scored in over a decade, and its first time in quadruple overtime since 1920.
Penn football may very well win more games in 2018. One thing, however, is guaranteed: the Red and Blue will not have a more entertaining season than they did this year.
Though Yale, which now sits atop the Ivy rankings with a 5-1 conference record, may have something to say about this, there is no doubt that the Quakers are one of the hottest teams in the conference, having won three straight, completely turning around a season that was labeled by many as a failure just three weeks ago.
No matter what, though, you’ll want to hold onto your seats — 2017-18 should be the most entertaining year in the Ivy League in recent memory. And this time, we’re adding real quality on top of it.
After Saturday’s wild 38-35 Homecoming win over rival Princeton, combined with other results from the ever-tumultuous Ivy League, Penn football has launched itself back into the mix for the conference title.
The first step to solving any problem is acknowledging that there is one.
But I do think we can always try to do more in our everyday lives to just be kind to one another. It doesn’t cost any time or energy to smile at the person walking into Van Pelt as you’re walking out. No one will ever be worse off if you tell your friends you love them just a little more often. Ask a friend how they’re doing. You may not know it, but that person might breathe a whole lot easier because of you.
For some championship-or-bust fans, it doesn’t even matter how well Penn does in its final four games — this season will be a disappointment.
Priore has shied away from calling Penn's situation a quarterback controversy. He insisted instead that it was merely a quarterback competition. Now there is no doubt.
Beyond the raw emotional reaction of losing on a walk-off touchdown on national television, Penn’s performance left something to be desired. Coach Ray Priore rightly credited Dartmouth for a well-played game, but the loss highlighted weaknesses in the Quakers' squad that had not been made evident in the non-conference slate.
Last week, my colleague argued that we still didn't know much about this team. But after the game against Lehigh, we do know a few things: they can spread the ball around, they can score, and they can force key turnovers.
In reality, the game should not be used as a barometer — the Red and Blue were facing off against a winless Division II team. Drawing conclusions from the matchup would be like judging your guitar skills based on a couple rounds of Rock Band (on easy mode).
It would be silly to say that the Red and Blue aren’t championship contenders, but there is an extreme danger with using these past two seasons as a benchmark for the upcoming one.
The arc of the program is bending towards progress, and it’s not hard to see.
Anyone who has spent time around our team over the past two years has heard that word. But to us, it is more than a word. It is what we believe in. It is what drives us. It is what takes more than 100 players and over 20 staff members from so many different backgrounds and bands us together for a four-month journey each fall.
We’ve established that the Quakers can be dangerous when labeled an underdog. So following that logic, the poll did them a favor by making them one again in 2017.
Athletes are creatures of habit. Whether it’s Dwight Howard singing “Single Ladies” on the free throw line, or Bryce Harper showering seven times a day, or senior sprint football linebacker Quinn Karam wearing the same upper body garment (I don’t think it qualifies as a shirt anymore) under his pads for every game for seven years, most athletes tightly clutch these insane superstitions or routines and swear they are essential for peak performance.
One of the most ubiquitous of these routines is the pregame playlist.
After spending more than a year researching Farewell Addresses for my thesis, I would have figured I’d have some idea how to say goodbye.