Penn football has been projected to win the Ivy League this coming fall. As you may remember, Penn claimed the 2012 Ivy League title. Collecting 11 of 17 first-place votes in the poll, Penn topped Harvard, the university projected to finish second in the league. Harvard grabbed five first-place votes. And this marked the fifth year in a row that both the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University claimed the top two slots in the preseason Ivy League Media Poll, as reported by “The Daily Pennsylvanian” in an article entitled “Penn football picked to defend Ivy League football crown” by Mike Tony.
As quoted in the article, “‘I think it’s normal for a defending champion, out of courtesy, to be picked number one,’ Penn coach Al Bagnoli said during Tuesday’s Ivy Football teleconference. ‘We could realistically have multiple teams with real opportunities to win the championship, so I don’t put a tremendous amount of credence [in the media poll], to be honest with you. I like it better when we’re picked second or third more than when we’re picked first.'” By being picked first, Bagnoli might argue that Penn has a target on their backs. But the fact is that by claiming so many recent titles, they’ve got a target on their backs anyway.
Penn returns 20 starters from their title team last year and this includes 8 All-Ivy selections from last season. They’ve got a fifth-year senior quarterback who is coming off a season-ending injury and Harvard happened to lose a lot of All-Ivy players, especially on the offensive line. So we at Ivy Coach project that Penn will claim the 2013 title as well. But that doesn’t mean we’re rooting for them.