Philadelphia - The University of Pennsylvania football team is ranked No. 25 according to the Sports Network's official preseason poll, which was announced earlier today. The Quakers return 38 letterwinners from a 2003 squad that went 10-0 en route to their second-consecutive Ivy League championship.
Penn finished last season ranked No. 12 according to both the Sports Network and ESPN/USA Today. The Red and Blue lead three Ivy League schools in the poll as Harvard and Yale finished in the Top-40 with the Crimson earning 40 points and Yale garnering 22. The Atlantic-10 leads all I-AA leagues by placing five teams in the Top-25.
The only Top-25 school on the Quakers' 2004 schedule is No. 9 Villanova. The Wildcats come into Franklin Field on Sept. 25 for Penn's home opener. The two teams have not played one another since the 2002 season.
The Sports Network poll, as voted on by a national panel of media and sports information directors, was released earlier today and named defending national champion Delaware as the preseason No. 1.
Penn finished the 2003 season as the only undefeated team in I-A or I-AA with a 10-0 overall record and a 7-0 Ivy League mark. The Red and Blue ended the campaign ranked 12th in I-AA after becoming the first team in 10 years to capture back-to-back Ancient Eight crowns as well as just the second team in League history to post back-to-back perfect Ivy seasons. The Quakers will begin defense of their 13th Ivy League banner on the West Coast at the University of San Diego on Sept. 18.
Written by Mat Kanan, associate director of athletic communications