Michael Wenye Li / Sun Senior Photographer

Cornell is 0-1 in Ivy play after a road loss to Yale.

October 3, 2019

Ivy League Power Rankings: Princeton, Dartmouth and Yale Form Top Triad

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Kicking off its season three weeks later than most of the college world, the Ivy League saw all its teams take part in their first two games for the 2019 season. Cornell football left Marist with a 21-7 victory, its first season-opening win since 2016. On Saturday, the Red fought hard against Yale, but its self-inflicted errors proved costly in a close decision. Yale, along with the rest of the league, looked a bit shaky at times, but in the end, all eight Ivy teams have come away with at least one victory thus far. Here is how the Ivy League currently stacks up.

1). Princeton (2-0)
The reigning Ivy League champion kicked off the season on a strong note, trouncing Butler on its home turf, 49-7. In Lewisburg the next week, Bucknell got off to a strong start scoring first and tying the Tigers at 14 apiece midway through the second quarter. From there, Princeton ran away with the game, outscoring the Bison, 42-9, over the final 33 minutes of game time. Despite losing their dynamic receiving duo in Stephen Carlson and Jesper Horstead along with quarterback John Lovett to graduation, the Tigers have not missed a beat on offense as they lead the Ivy League in scoring with an average of 52.5 points per game.

Next up: vs. Columbia, Saturday, 1 p.m.

2). Dartmouth (2-0)
Trailing Princeton by a very narrow margin is the Green. After dispatching Jacksonville on the road, Dartmouth welcomed a struggling Colgate team into Hanover. The result? Yet another drubbing in Dartmouth’s favor. The Green stymied the Red Raiders all day long to the tune of a field goal and put up 38 points of its own in a resounding victory. After going 10-2 a season ago, Colgate has faced a plethora of injuries on both sides of the ball, and Dartmouth aptly capitalized in the blowout. Just like last year, the Green and the Tigers figure to be the two top contenders for the Ivy crown.

Next up: at Penn, Friday, 7 p.m.

3). Yale (2-0, 1-0 Ivy League)
With arguably the best Ivy quarterback in Kurt Rawlings, Yale entered the season as the pick to top the Ancient Eight. But through the Bulldogs’ first two contests, they have not impressed. To start, Yale let a weak Holy Cross side hang around in the opener before doing the same at home against Cornell. While the Red’s defense was certainly imposing, the Bulldogs didn’t click on offense until the fourth quarter. While the Yale defense did pick off junior quarterback Richie Kenney four times, it was also gashed by senior Harold Coles on the ground and sophomore Delonte Harrell through the air. Though there are concerns with this team, at the end of the day, Yale is 2-0, and it rounds out a very clear trio that has established itself as the top tier this season in the Ivy League.

Next up: vs. Fordham, Saturday, 1 p.m.

4). Penn (1-1)
While its fellow Ivy mates faced cupcake opponents as their first draw, Penn found itself pitted against annual FCS juggernaut Delaware. Unfortunately for the Quakers, they found themselves on the wrong end of a narrow one-point decision. This past week, Penn faced Lafayette, a much weaker foe. Still, the Quakers never pulled away as they needed a 31-yard touchdown run from senior running back Karekin Brooks deep in the fourth quarter to seal the deal. Penn has either played up to or down to the level of its opponent thus far, so it will be interesting to see what happens when the Quakers host Dartmouth for a Friday night tilt.

Next up: vs. Dartmouth, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

5). Harvard (1-1, 1-0)
The Crimson was gifted with a perfect bounceback game after a shocking loss to San Diego in the season opener. Brown — the Ivy League’s bottom-feeder — came to Cambridge to match up with Harvard. After allowing a surprising touchdown within the first 35 seconds, the Crimson buckled down and pounded the Brown defense for 42 points en route to a blowout victory. While the eight-point loss to San Diego — a team that the Crimson handily beat last year — is concerning, Harvard can finish in the top half of the league standings, especially if junior quarterback Jake Smith (299 yards and four touchdowns against the Bears) continues to perform well.

Next up: vs. Howard, Saturday, 1 p.m.

6). Columbia (1-1)
Tabbed as the sixth-place finisher in the Ivy preseason poll, the Lions have played down to that billing. After notching a 17-point victory against a weak Saint Francis team, Columbia came up flat in its home opener against Georgetown. The Hoyas have traditionally been an easy victory for Ivy teams, but that was not the case on Saturday. While the Lions did a nice job of slowing down the Georgetown attack, they could not find any rhythm on offense after scoring an early first-quarter touchdown. In the end, Columbia dropped the contest, 24-10. The sluggish offense will likely be a concern all year. Averaging just 280 yards per game, Columbia ranks dead last in offensive yardage and trails the next-lowest team by 100 yards. That team? Cornell.

Next up: at Princeton, Saturday, 1 p.m.

7). Cornell (1-1, 0-1)
Speaking of the Red, it opened 2019 with a victory at Marist, but it did not do so in the most convincing fashion. Though the defense did a nice job in limiting the Red Foxes to two rushing yards, the offense did little to inspire confidence. That same storyline carried over the following week. Against Yale, Cornell’s defense put up yet another solid showing, limiting Yale’s dynamic duo of Rawlings and senior running back Zane Dudek. But with the offense missing senior quarterback Mike Catanese due to injury, the Red was forced to turn to Kenney, whose four picks — combined with other team mistakes — caused the game to slip through Cornell’s fingers.

Next up: vs. Georgetown, Saturday, 3 p.m.

8). Brown (1-1, 0-1)
With a narrow five-point win against Bryant, the Bears already matched their win total from last season. Picking up another victory from here on out will be a difficult task, especially with Brown’s recent showing against Harvard. Following a spectacular showing that featured 183 passing yards, 227 yards on the ground and five total touchdowns, junior quarterback — and Boston College transfer — E.J. Perry came back down to Earth in Cambridge, throwing for 162 scoreless yards. Of much greater concern is Brown’s flimsy defense, which has yielded an astonishing average of 509 yards per game through two games. With a defense bleeding that many yards, new head coach James Perry — E.J.’s father — will face an uphill battle in adding games to the win column.

Next up: vs. Rhode Island, Saturday, 12:30 p.m.