August 25, 2017

(STATS) - The coaches keep saying Ivy League football is deeper than it's ever been, but years later, it's still Harvard and Penn in the title mix.

The last 10 Ivy League titles and 17 of the last 20 have included one or both of these powers.

Penn has earned a share of the last two titles - with Harvard and Dartmouth in 2015 and Princeton last year - but the Quakers are the only team in the league that doesn't return its primary quarterback. It's a huge factor and perhaps why they were picked third in the Ivy's preseason media poll.

Regardless, the most important game on the league schedule is still Harvard-Penn, set for Nov. 11 at Harvard. Sorry, Harvard-Yale.

"The big message for our team is we team great pride in the program. But we're not entitled to anything," Harvard coach Tim Murphy said.

Following is a team-by-team breakdown of the 2017 Ivy League race and STATS' predicted order of finish:

1. Penn

2. Harvard

3. Princeton

4. Yale

5. Brown

6. Dartmouth

7. Cornell

8. Columbia

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TEAM CAPSULES=

1. PENN QUAKERS=

LOCATION: Philadelphia

STADIUM: Franklin Field

COACH: Ray Priore (14-6, two seasons)

2016 RECORDS: 7-3, 6-1 Ivy (Tie/1st)

STARTERS RETURNING: 16 (6 offense/10 defense)

THREE KEY LOSSES: Alek Torgersen, QB; Nick Demes, OL; Dan Poulos, OL

ONE TO WATCH ON OFFENSE: Justin Watson, WR, Sr. (89 receptions, 1,115 yards, 8 TD)

ONE TO WATCH ON DEFENSE: Louis Vecchio, DL, Sr. (35 TT, 10.5 TFL, 5.5 Sacks, 1 INT, 3 PBU, 1 FR, 2 FF)

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: Nick Robinson, QB, So. (Georgia transfer); Tyler Herrick, QB, So.; Ryan Glover, QB, Fr.; Tre Solomon, RB, Sr.; Christian Pearson, WR, Jr.; Nicholas Bokun, TE, Sr.; Nathan Kirchmier, OL, Sr.; Tommy Dennis, OL, Jr.; Jeff Gibbs, OL, So.; Tayler Hendrickson, DL, Sr.; Colton Moskal, LB, Sr. ; Nick Miller, LB, Jr.; Connor Jangro, LB, So.; Brandon Mills, LB, Sr.; Mason Williams, CB, Jr.; Jyron Walker, CB, Jr.; Sam Philippi, S, Jr.

OUTLOOK: The good news is the two-time defending co-champ returns 11 players who earned All-Ivy honors - the most in the league. The bad news is the Quakers are replacing three-year starting QB Torgersen. Whoever wins the starting job will be helped by the offense's big-time weapons, WR Watson, the Ivy's leading receiver, and RB Solomon, the Ivy's leading rusher with 907 yards. The nucleus of the defense is back and standouts Moskal, the team's leading tackler, and Vecchio are seniors who both have two years of eligibility remaining because of missed seasons. There's even extra motivation because the Quakers were picked third in the Ivy preseason media poll.

SCHEDULE:

Sept. 16, Ohio Dominican

Sept. 23, at Lehigh

Sept. 30, Dartmouth*

Oct. 7, at Central Connecticut State

Oct. 14, at Columbia*

Oct. 21, Yale*

Oct. 28, at Brown*

Nov. 4, Princeton*

Nov. 11, at Harvard*

Nov. 18, Cornell*

* - Ivy League game

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2. HARVARD CRIMSON=

LOCATION: Cambridge, Massachusetts

STADIUM: Harvard Stadium

COACH: Tim Murphy (163-66, 23 seasons; 195-111-1 overall)

2016 RECORDS: 7-3, 5-2 Ivy (3rd)

STARTERS RETURNING: 12 (6 offense/6 defense)

THREE KEY LOSSES: Anthony Firkser, H-back; Max Rich, OL; James Duberg, DE

ONE TO WATCH ON OFFENSE: Justice Shelton-Mosley, WR/RS, Jr. (48 receptions, 568 yards, 1 TD)

ONE TO WATCH ON DEFENSE: Luke Hutton, LB, Sr. (56 TT, 2 TFL, 1 Sack, 4 PBU, 1 FR)

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: Joe Viviano, QB, Sr.; Tom Stewart, QB, Jr.; Semar Smith, RB, Sr.; Charlie Booker III, RB, Jr.; Adam Scott, WR, Jr.; Jason Brown, ATH,

Fr.; Jack Stansell, H-back, Sr.; Jake Barann, TE, Sr.; Eric Wilson, OL, Fr.; D.J. Bailey, DE, Jr.; Tristan Tahmaseb, DT, Sr.; Jordan Hill, LB, So.; Anthony

Carmargo, LB, Jr.; Raishaun McGhee, CB, Sr.; Wesley Ogsbury, CB, Jr.; Tanner Lee, S, Sr.; Tobe Ezeokoli, S, Sr.; Tim Haehl, DB, Sr.

OUTLOOK: Murphy stands only five wins from 200 in his career, which is a given considering the Crimson have won at least seven games in each of the last 16 seasons, an Ivy League record. Last season, the offense wasn't as explosive as in many past years, so QB Viviano hopes to unlock more firepower with two WRs who can stretch the field, Shelton-Mosley and Scott. It hurts the offense that potential All-America left tackle Larry Allen III is not in school, although expected to return next year. On defense, DE Bailey, LB Hutton and S Lee provide a standout in each unit. The Crimson get to host both of last year's league champs, Princeton and Penn.

SCHEDULE:

Sept. 16, at Rhode Island

Sept. 23, Brown*

Sept. 30, at Georgetown (at RFK Stadium, Washington)

Oct. 7, at Cornell*

Oct. 14, Lafayette

Oct. 21, Princeton*

Oct. 28, Dartmouth*

Nov. 4, at Columbia*

Nov. 11, Penn*

Nov. 18, at Yale*

* - Ivy League game

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3. PRINCETON TIGERS=

LOCATION: Princeton, New Jersey

STADIUM: Princeton Stadium

COACH: Bob Surace (33-37, seven seasons; 51-40 overall)

2016 RECORDS: 8-2, 6-1 Ivy (Tie/1st)

STARTERS RETURNING: 9 (6 offense/3 defense)

THREE KEY LOSSES: Joe Rhattigan, RB; Luke Catarius, LB; Dorian Williams, S

ONE TO WATCH ON OFFENSE: John Lovett, QB/RB, Sr. (51 of 77, 582 yards, 10 TD, 2 INT; 98 carries, 411 yards, 20 TD; 26 receptions, 235 yards, 1 TD)

ONE TO WATCH ON DEFENSE: Kurt Holuba, DL, Sr. (34 TT, 10 TFL, 8 TFK, 1 INT, 2 PBU, 2 QBH)

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: Chad Kanoff, QB, Sr.; Charlie Volker, RB, Jr.; Jesper Horsted, WR, Jr.; Mitchell Sweigart, OL, Sr.; George Attea, LG, Jr.; Erik Ramirez, RG, Sr.; Reily Radosevich, RT, So.; Tyler Desire, DL, Sr.; Joey DeMarco, DL, Jr.; Mark Fossati, LB, Sr.; Tom Johnson, LB, Jr.; Mark Wagner, LB, Jr.; Chance Melancon, CB, Sr.; T.J. Floyd, DB, So.

OUTLOOK: Despite the return of All-Ivy DT Holuba, the runner-up for the Ivy League's 2016 defensive player of the year award, the Tigers' league-leading defense was ravaged by graduation, with the top five tacklers and many more from the two-deep gone. But a number of young linebackers and defensive backs saw action a year ago. The high-scoring offense will start the season without 2016 Ivy offensive player of the year Lovett because of offseason surgery. His return is pivotal. It's not all bad news, though, as QB Kanoff, leading rusher Volker and a veteran line (nine of 10 from last year's two-deep) will keep the offense dangerous. The Tigers, who open the season against Pioneer Football League champion San Diego, have to travel to both Harvard and Penn.

SCHEDULE:

Sept. 16, San Diego

Sept. 23, at Lafayette

Sept. 30, at Columbia*

Oct. 7, Georgetown

Oct. 14, at Brown*

Oct. 21, at Harvard*

Oct. 28, Cornell*

Nov. 4, at Penn*

Nov. 11, Yale*

Nov. 18, at Dartmouth*

* - Ivy League game

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4. YALE BULLDOGS=

LOCATION: New Haven, Connecticut

STADIUM: Yale Bowl

COACH: Tony Reno (24-26, five seasons)

2016 RECORDS: 3-7, 3-4 Ivy (Tie/4th)

STARTERS RETURNING: 16 (7 offense/9 defense)

THREE KEY LOSSES: Dale Harris, RB/KR/DB; Darius Manora, LB; Marty Moesta, DE

ONE TO WATCH ON OFFENSE: Alan Lamar, RB/KR, So. (131 carries, 557 yards, 5 TD)

ONE TO WATCH ON DEFENSE: Spencer Rymiszewski, CB, Sr. (49 TT, 2 Sacks, 4 INT, 8 PBU in 2015)

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: Kurt Rawlings, QB, So.; Deshawn Salter, RB, Sr.; Reed Klupnik, WR, So.; Christopher Williams-Lopez, WR, Sr.; J.P. Shohfi, WR, So.; Karl Marback, OL, Sr.; Jon Bezney, OL, Sr.; Copache Tyler, DT, Sr.; Kyle Mullen, DE, Jr.; Matthew Oplinger, LB, Sr.; A.J Ryan, ILB, Fr.; Quintin Herbert, LB, Jr; Jason Alessi, DB/RS, Sr.; Hayden Carlson, DB, Sr.; John Herubin, DB, Sr.; Foyesade Oluokun, DB, Sr.; Tyler Jost, OT, Fr.; Alex Galland, PK/P, Jr.

OUTLOOK: It wouldn't be surprising if Yale is the Ivy League's most improved team. There is a lot of experience on both sides of the ball, and the defense adds in 2015 first-team All-Ivy standouts Rymiszewski and Tyler, who both missed last season. Their return will help the defense improve against the pass. Without gaining many league accolades, DB Carlson has posted 187 tackles over the last two seasons. The offense boasts experienced youth as last year's leading passer (Rawlings), rusher (Lamar) and receiver (Klubnik) are sophomores. The Bulldogs aren't keeping it easy out of conference, facing Lehigh, Fordham and Holy Cross from the Patriot League.

SCHEDULE:

Sept. 16, at Lehigh

Sept. 23, Cornell*

Sept. 30, at Fordham

Oct. 7, at Dartmouth*

Oct. 14, Holy Cross

Oct. 21 at Penn*

Oct. 28, Columbia*

Nov. 4, Brown*

Nov. 11, at Princeton*

Nov. 18, Harvard*

* - Ivy League game

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5. BROWN BEARS=

LOCATION: Providence, Rhode Island

STADIUM: Brown Stadium

COACH: Phil Estes (112-77, 19 seasons)

2016 RECORDS: 4-6, 3-4 Ivy (Tie/4th)

STARTERS RETURNING: 11 (4 offense/7 defense)

THREE KEY LOSSES: Alex Jette, WR; Troy Doles, WR; Will Twyman, ILB

ONE TO WATCH ON OFFENSE: David Moodie, RB, Jr. (29 carries, 157 yards, 1 TD in five games)

ONE TO WATCH ON DEFENSE: Richard "Dewy" Jarvis, DE, Sr. (65 TT, 18.5 TFL, 7.5 Sacks, 5 PBU, 5 QBH, 1 FR, 3 FF)

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: T.J. Linta, QB, Sr.; Nicholas Duncan, QB, Jr.; Livingston Harriott, WR, So.; Demitri Jackson, WR, So.; Jaelon Blandburg, WR, So.; Anton Vasey, TE, Jr.; Clay Eubank, OG, Sr.; Toby Okwara, OT, Jr.; Christian Montano, C, Sr.; Daryl Banfield, DT, Jr.; Grant Varner, DT, Jr.; Thomas Kutschke, DT, Sr.; Michael Hoecht, DT, So.; Isaiah Thompkins, OLB, Jr.; Jay Williams, ILB, Sr.; Connor Coughlin, FS, Sr.; Sebastian Dovi, CB, Jr.; Terrell Smith, CB, Sr.; Josh Greene, CB, Jr.

OUTLOOK: The Bears have finished 3-4 in Ivy games for four straight seasons, but they played a lot of younger players in the last two years, so it may pay off with a junior- and senior-led lineup this season. The offense needs RB Moodie to stay healthy, and, even more important, QB Linta to be a more accurate passer. The defensive front will be formidable, led by All-Ivy DE Jarvis, who racked up 18.5 tackles for loss. The New England rivalries are always big, including the Harvard league opener, and the Dartmouth game will be played at Fenway Park.

SCHEDULE:

Sept. 16, Bryant

Sept. 23, at Harvard*

Sept. 30, Rhode Island

Oct. 7, at Stetson

Oct. 14, Princeton*

Oct. 21, at Cornell*

Oct. 28, Penn*

Nov. 4, at Yale*

Nov. 10, Dartmouth* (at Fenway Park, Boston)

Nov. 18, at Columbia*

* - Ivy League game

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6. DARTMOUTH BIG GREEN=

LOCATION: Hanover, New Hampshire

STADIUM: Memorial Field

COACH: Buddy Teevens (79-89-2, 17 seasons; 113-166-2 overall)

2016 RECORDS: 4-6, 1-6 Ivy (8th)

STARTERS RETURNING: 14 (9 offense/5 defense)

THREE KEY LOSSES: Dave Morrison, RT; Folarin Orimolade, LB; Charlie Miller, SS

ONE TO WATCH ON OFFENSE: Hunter Hagdorn, WR/KR, So. (56 receptions, 706 yards, 1 TD)

ONE TO WATCH ON DEFENSE: Nick Tomkins, DL, Sr. (37 TT, 5 TFL, 3 Sacks, 4 PBU, 1 FF)

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: Jack Heneghan, QB, Sr.; Jimmy Fitzgerald, QB, So. (Illinois transfer); Miles Smith, RB, Jr.; Ryder Stone, RB, Sr.; Emory Thompson, WR, Sr.; Drew Hunnicutt, WR, Jr.; Stephen Johnston, TE, Sr.; Matt Kaskey, LT, Jr.; Jack Anderson, OL, Sr.; Jackson Perry, DL, Jr.; Jack Traynor, LB, Jr.; Eric Meile, LB, Sr.; Isiah Swann, CB, So.; Danny McManus, CB, Sr.; Colin Boit, FS, Sr.; David Smith, PK, Sr.

OUTLOOK: Dartmouth doesn't appear as good as its 2015 Ivy co-championship squad, but isn't as bad as last year's last-place squad. The Big Green have to win more of the close games. Many key skills positions players are back, led by QB Heneghan, who passed for 2,725 yards and 11 touchdowns, but also 14 interceptions. Hagdorn hopes to build on his Ivy rookie of the season campaign under new offensive coordinator Kevin Daft. The defense lost All-America LB Orimolade and five other starters. Swann, like Hagdorn, was one of the league's top freshmen a year ago.

SCHEDULE:

Sept. 16, at Stetson

Sept. 23, Holy Cross

Sept. 30, at Penn*

Oct. 7, Yale*

Oct. 14, at Sacred Heart

Oct. 21, Columbia*

Oct. 28, at Harvard*

Nov. 4, Cornell*

Nov. 11, Brown* (at Fenway Park, Boston)

Nov. 18, Princeton*

* - Ivy League game

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7. CORNELL BIG RED=

LOCATION: Ithaca, New York

STADIUM: Schoellkopf Field

COACH: David Archer (9-31, four seasons)

2016 RECORDS: 4-6, 2-5 Ivy (Tie/6th)

STARTERS RETURNING: 13 (4 offense/9 defense)

THREE KEY LOSSES: Matt Sullivan, TE; Jackson Weber, LB; Chris Fraser, P

ONE TO WATCH ON OFFENSE: Chris Walker, RB, Jr. (121 carries, 655 yards, 3 TD)

ONE TO WATCH ON DEFENSE: Nick Gesualdi, S, Sr. (81 TT, 2.5 TFL, 1.5 Sacks, 6 INT, 5 PBU, 1 FF)

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: Dalton Banks, QB, Jr.; Collin Shaw, WR, Sr.; James Hubbard, WR/PR, Sr.; Henry Stillwell, OL, Jr.; Seth Hope, DE, Sr.; Mason Banbury, DL, Jr.; Geno DeMarco, DL, Sr.; Miles Norris, MLB, Sr.; Kurt Frimel, ILB, Sr.; Reis Seggebruch, ILB, Jr.; Daniel Crochet, ILB, Sr.; D.J. Woullard, CB, Jr.; Jelani King, CB, Sr.; Justin Solomon, S, Sr.; Zach Mays, PK, Jr.

OUTLOOK: After winning only five games in his first three seasons, Archer saw much-needed progress last year with four victories. This year, the Big Red are seeking their first winning record in the league since 2005. They return only four offensive starters, but it includes last year's two breakout sophomores, QB Banks (2,514 yards, 18 touchdowns) and RB Walker, who made the All-Ivy first team. The defense wore down in league play, but it has an Ivy defensive player of the year candidate in S Gesualdi, while LB Norris returns after missing all of last season because of injury. Being picked last in the Ivy preseason poll probably didn't make the Big Red happy.

SCHEDULE:

Sept. 16, at Delaware

Sept. 23, at Yale*

Sept. 30, Colgate

Oct. 7, Harvard*

Oct. 14, Bucknell

Oct. 21, Brown*

Oct. 28, at Princeton*

Nov. 4, at Dartmouth*

Nov. 11, Columbia*

Nov. 18, at Penn*

* - Ivy League game

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8. COLUMBIA LIONS=

LOCATION: New York

STADIUM: Wien Stadium

COACH: Al Bagnoli (5-15, two seasons; 244-109 overall)

2016 RECORDS: 3-7, 2-5 Ivy (Tie/6th)

STARTERS RETURNING: 12 (6 offense/6 defense)

THREE KEY LOSSES: Kendall Pace, OL; Keith Brady, LB; Gianmarco Rea, LB

ONE TO WATCH ON OFFENSE: Josh Wainwright, WR/RS, So. (42 receptions, 515 yards, 5 TD)

ONE TO WATCH ON DEFENSE: Lord Hyeamang, DL, Sr. (38 TT, 7 TFL, 1 Sack, 2 QBH, 1 FF)

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: Anders Hill, QB, Sr.; Tanner Thomas, RB, So.; Chris Schroer, RB, Sr.; Ronald Smith, WR, So.; Charlie Flores, OL, Jr.; Tyler Schonewolf, OL, Jr.; Bewley Wales, OL, Sr.; Daniel DeLorenzi, DL, So.; Mike Hinton, DL, Jr.; Dominic Perkovic, DL, Sr.; Jalen Williams, LB, So.; Cameron Roane, DB, Sr.; Landon Baty, DB, Sr.; Oren Milstein, PK, So.

OUTLOOK: How Bagnoli and his staff are elevating the Lions' recruiting was evident last year in freshmen Wainwright and Smith, who combined for 857 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, and Milstein, who was 12 of 13 on field goals. With better competition at many positions, Columbia's struggling program seeks the next step in Bagnoli's third season. The offensive and defensive lines are experienced. Hill also settled the quarterback position last year. On defense, the four top tacklers from last year's team graduated, so new leaders have to emerge this season. Also showing growth, the football program has a new indoor practice facility.

SCHEDULE:

Sept. 16, Wagner

Sept. 23, Georgetown

Sept. 30, at Princeton*

Oct. 7, at Marist

Oct. 14, Penn*

Oct. 21, at Dartmouth*

Oct. 28, at Yale*

Nov. 4, Harvard*

Nov. 11, at Cornell*

Nov. 18, Brown*

* - Ivy League game

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