Looking to accomplish the unprecedented, the University of Pennsylvania football team was picked as the preseason favorite to win the Ivy League title on Tuesday at the annual Ivy League Football Media Day teleconference.
Penn has won three of the last four Ancient Eight titles. All outright. No school has ever won four outright titles in a five-year span.
The Ivy League Football Preseason Media Poll has 17 total voters consisting of two media members from each school and one national media representative. Eleven members of the poll picked Penn to repeat as Ivy champions.
The Quakers have now been selected among top four of the preseason poll for 21 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.
Penn earned the top spot in the preseason media poll for the second time in the last three years and garnered 129 points. That was just eight points ahead of Harvard, who received five first-place votes. Brown earned the other first-place vote and finished a distant third in the voting with 88 points. Dartmouth rounded out the top four with 76 points and was followed by Princeton (73 points), Cornell (57), Yale (46) and Columbia (22).
For the fifth straight year, Penn and Harvard claimed the top two spots. In each of the last six seasons, either Penn or Harvard has claimed at least a share of the Ivy title.
The Red and Blue will be looking to buck a trend, however. The team slated to finish second in the Ivy preseason poll has gone on to win the league title in each of the last four seasons, including the the Quakers in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
Picked to finish as the runner-up last season, the Quakers (6-4, 6-1 Ivy) won their last four games - all in dramatic fashion - to earn the program's 13th outright title. Penn returns 40 letterwinners and 20 starters from that championship team, including eight All-Ivy players (four offense, three defense and one specialist).
The Quakers report to preseason camp on Monday, Aug. 19 and will officially open their 137th season under the lights at historic Franklin Field when they host Lafayette for a 6 p.m. kickoff on Sept. 21. That matchup will serve as the only night game at the nation's oldest collegiate football stadium this year will also mark the first game on Franklin Field's new SprinTurf.
Season tickets are available here or by calling the ticket office at 215-898-6151. Individual game tickets go on sale August 15.