After three weeks of play, the hierarchy in Ivy League football has mostly remained unchanged. But with every team needing to play six more conference games, there are plenty of opportunities for teams to either catapult up the rankings or fall from their current positions. Either way, here is how the Ancient Eight stacks up after the third week.
1). Princeton (3-0, 1-0)
Despite the Tigers’ underwhelming showing against Columbia at home, they still retain the top spot in the Ivy League. Princeton’s defense held the Lions’ woeful offense to 10 points, but the Tigers never found the offensive rhythm that they displayed in their first two contests. In fact, Princeton entered the half trailing Columbia, 10-7. The Tigers scored twice in the latter two frames, which was enough as they shut out the Lions for the rest of the game. Still, if Princeton wants to replicate its perfect record from a year prior, it cannot afford a showing like this against a top-tier team.
2). Dartmouth (3-0, 1-0)
Through the first couple weeks of the season, the Green has shut down all of its opponents. In fact, at 8.00 points per game, Dartmouth boasts the top scoring defense in the nation. After stymying weaker foes, the Green’s defensive unit proved it was more than capable of stopping teams in its own conference with a statement 28-13 victory over Penn. Interestingly, Dartmouth only ranks sixth in the Ivy League in terms of total offensive yardage, as it has ridden its dominant defense to comfortable victories. The Green looks like a firm contender for the Ivy Crown with its recent performances, and if Dartmouth continues at this rate, it may just eclipse the Tigers at the top.
3). Yale (3-0, 1-0)
Following narrow victories over Holy Cross and Cornell, the Bulldogs proved why they were the preseason favorite in the Ivy League with a massive victory over Fordham. The game was essentially decided at halftime with Yale putting up 45 points through the first two quarters. Star quarterback Kurt Rawlings turned in an impressive performance, passing for 301 yards and two touchdowns while scoring another pair with his legs. A blowout victory like this is exactly what Yale needed to raise its confidence — especially with an enormous tilt at Dartmouth on the horizon.
4). Harvard (2-1, 1-0)
It seems that the Crimson has shaken off its early loss to San Diego. Following a blowout victory over Brown, Harvard replicated that result with a 45-point beatdown of Howard. The Crimson finished with 62 points — the most that an Ivy League team has tallied so far this season. After Princeton’s lackluster performance against Columbia, Harvard now boasts the highest-scoring offense in the Ivy League, as well as the third-best attack in the FCS. A faceoff with Cornell looms — a game that the Crimson has now dropped two years in a row following more than a decade of dominance in the matchup.
5). Penn (1-2, 0-1)
A home victory over Dartmouth could have propelled the Quakers up the Ivy standings, but Penn failed to execute. After its impressive showing against Delaware in the first week, the Quakers could not play up to the level of the Green. Penn’s offense struggled immensely against Dartmouth’s stout defensive unit as it only mustered 13 points, with eight of them coming in garbage time. Karekin Brooks — the leading rusher in the Ivy League — added 91 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns as one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal showing.
6). Columbia (1-2, 0-1)
The Lions’ offense was exposed in its loss to Georgetown, and it once again struggled against Princeton. Still, one has to credit the Columbia defense for holding an explosive Princeton offense to just 21 points. Sporting a halftime lead, the Lions certainly had many opportunities to come away victorious in this contest. As it stands now, Columbia only allows 293.7 yards per game — the third-best mark in the Ivy League. But the Lions’ offense averages only 17 points per game, including a pitiful rushing mark of 75.7 yards per game. Until it generates more yards and points on offense, Columbia will be hard-pressed to manufacture more wins.
7). Cornell (1-2, 0-1)
Like the Lions, Cornell has struggled on offense but has kept itself in games through strong defensive efforts. The same was true for the Red’s Homecoming game against Georgetown. Against an offense averaging 39 points per game, Cornell held the Hoyas to only 14 points, but it was also stymied by a similarly imposing defensive unit. Once again, the offense squandered opportunities in the red zone as senior quarterback Mike Catanese threw an early interception, and junior kicker Garrett Patla failed to convert a 44-yard field goal. While Georgetown has displayed great improvement and is no longer a cupcake for Ivies, this was a contest that the Red should have won.
8). Brown (1-2, 0-1)
Brown’s defense has essentially handed out yards to its opponents, and that did not change in a narrow 31-28 loss to Rhode Island. The Bears trailed for much of the contest before taking a 28-24 lead with a little over eight minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for the Bears, they gave up the game-winning score a few minutes later. Boston College transfer E.J. Perry impressed in the loss, quarterbacking the team to 512 total yards of offense, the second-highest total in program history. One has to credit the Bears for their showing against the Rams considering the fact they dropped a 48-0 decision in Kingston, Rhode Island, last year. But in the end, Brown will remain a doormat in the Ivy League if it continues to allow nearly 500 yards of offense every game.