PHILADELPHIA - A look ahead shows some key changes to the University of Pennsylvania football team's non-conference and Ivy League schedules in 2012 which were officially announced on Wednesday. The Quakers host perennial power William and Mary in the upcoming season and for the first time since 1975-76, they return to Dartmouth for a second straight year.
The Ivy opponents visiting Franklin Field in 2012 are Columbia, Brown and Harvard while the Red and Blue travel to Yale, Princeton and Cornell in addition to the trip to Hanover. On the non-conference slate in September is a road game at Lafayette and the annual Schuylkill Showdown with Villanova at Franklin Field.
Homecoming is set for Oct. 27 against Brown, while Family Weekend coincides with William and Mary's visit to the oldest collegiate football stadium in the nation on Oct. 6.
On Sept. 15, Penn will open the 2012 campaign in Easton, Pa. The Leopards and Quakers have a budding rivalry. This will be the seventh straight season in which the two teams have met and four of the previous five have come down to the final play of the game.
A week later is the annual tilt against Philadelphia-rival Villanova. This is the 17th all-time meeting between the schools, including each of the last nine years. Villanova has won 11 straight encounters dating back to 1911.
The Ivy schedule has a slight change this year. For the first time in 36 years, Penn travels to Hanover, N.H., in consecutive seasons. Last year, in the first night game ever played at Memorial Field, the Quakers topped the Big Green in front of a national television audience when they capped an 89-yard touchdown drive in the final minute.
The newest addition to the schedule, William and Mary, concludes Penn's non-conference season. The Tribe reached the FCS Semifinals and finished at No. 3 in the nation in 2010. This will mark the sixth meeting all-time between the schools and the first since 1995. The Quakers lost to the 18th-ranked Tribe in Williamsburg, Va., 48-34, that year and trail the all-time series, 4-1. Penn fell in William and Mary's last visit to Franklin Field, 21-19, in 1992 - Al Bagnoli's first season and fourth game at the helm of the Red and Blue.
The Ivy League schedule resumes at Franklin Field against Columbia. Then, Penn plays Yale (Oct. 20), Brown (Oct. 27), Princeton (Nov. 3) and Harvard (Nov. 10) in four consecutive weeks. The Ivy title is usually decided during that month-long grind. Either Penn, or one of those teams, has won every single Ivy League championship since 1997.
In the season finale on Nov. 17, the Quakers take on Cornell for the 94th consecutive year. In the fifth-most played rivalry in Division I, Penn holds a 68-45-5 advantage through the first 118 meetings.
Penn is in search of its third Ivy title in four years. The Quakers finished 5-5 last season after winning back-to-back undefeated Ivy League titles in 2009 and 2010.
Game times as well as radio and television dates will be announced at a later date. Dates, opponents and locations are subject to change.