Penn, Harvard on collision course

The Penn football team hasn’t always won pretty this year, but they’ve won nonetheless.

And, as a result, the Quakers’ dominance over the Ivy League continues.

With a 17-7 win over Yale on Oct. 23, Penn extended its Ivy League winning streak to 18 games, and upped its season record to 5-1. The 18-game win streak breaks the previous Ivy League record of 17 straight wins—also set by Penn, from 1992-1995.

But even after his team knocked off the Elis, in the Yale Bowl, rack-ing up nearly 500 yards of total of-fense, Penn coach Al Bagnoli told the Daily Pennsylvanian he wasn’t sure his players understand how impressive their accomplishments really are. “To go 18 in a row with-out anybody beating you, I don’t know if the kids can appreciate it, or will appreciate it, until some time down the road,” Bagnoli said.

Then again, maybe the team is too focused on the task at hand—namely, finishing out its schedule, including a Nov. 13 match-up against a tough Harvard squad —to enjoy the winning streak. As of this printing, Harvard was undefeated and rolling through its Ivy League schedule.

The game between the Quakers and Crimson, to be played here at Franklin Field, figures to be the de facto Ivy League champion-ship game.

If for no other reason, Penn may hold the edge because, well, they’ve gotten awful used to winning.

“ We come into every game with the same mindset—we want to play a strong game and we want the outcome to be a win,” Penn wide receiver Gabe Marabella said after the team’s 14-3 win over Columbia on Oct. 16. “We’ve been there before when it’s a close game at the end of the game and we have to pull it out in the end ... and I think it helps us.”

Hoops team eyes Ivy title

While Bagnoli and his team work their way toward another Ivy championship on the gridiron, coach Fran Dunphy is preparing his troops for another title quest of their own. Yes, believe it or not, Penn basketball season is almost upon us.

The Quakers managed a 10-4 Ivy League record in 2003, but saw longtime hoops rival Princeton walk away with the league title. The two powers figure to battle for the championship again this season.

Penn and Princeton have domi-nated the conference since the early 1990s, as either the Tigers or Quakers have won at least a share of the title each year since 1993. Only Yale, which shared the title with Penn and Princeton in 2002, has also been able to grab a piece of the title in that time.

This season, two-time All-Ivy guard Tim Begley will lead the way for the Quakers. The team opens its schedule on Nov. 16.
And what of Princeton? Well, coach John Thompson III left the Tigers after last season to take over at Georgetown, and was replaced by Joe Scott, a 1987 Princeton grad who had spent the four previous seasons trying to make perennial also-ran Air Force into a contender. He did a good job, too—last season, Air Force finished 22-7 and quali-fied for the NCAA Tournament for the first time 42 years.

Originally published on November 4, 2004