PHILADELPHIA - For the first time since 2005, the University of Pennsylvania football team was selected as the preseason favorite to win the Ivy League title.
The Ivy League Football Preseason Media Poll has 17 total voters consisting of two media members from each school and one national media representative. Twelve members of the poll picked Penn as the favorite to claim its third straight Ivy League championship.
The Quakers, who own the longest active conference win streak in the nation (15 games) via back-to-back undefeated Ivy League titles, have now been selected in the top four of the preseason poll for 19 consecutive seasons. The last time the Quakers were not predicted to finish in the top half of the Ivy League was in 1992, one month prior to the program's first game under the direction of head coach Al Bagnoli.
Harvard was slated to finish second by a narrow margin. Penn finished with 129 poll points, which was just 11 more than the Crimson, who had been selected as preseason favorites in each of the last three seasons. The two teams ran away with the voting as Yale was a distant third with 95 points. Brown (90 points) was picked to finish fourth, followed by Dartmouth (73) and Columbia (45). Princeton and Cornell tied for seventh with 31 points apiece.
Penn returns 32 letterwinners for 2011, including nine starters and eight All-Ivy honorees. Three starters will return from the league's top offense, four starters are back from the league's top-ranked defense, and punter Scott Lopano returns for the special teams unit that lost the school's all-time leading scorer, Andrew Samson.
The Red and Blue will begin the 2011 campaign at Franklin Field on
Sept. 17 against Lafayette at 6 p.m. The game will be televised locally on the RCN network. The players report for preseason camp on Aug. 22.
2011 IVY LEAGUE FOOTBALL PRESEASON MEDIA POLL