Week 6 of Ivy League football is here along with the weekly Elo projections, which predict a Cornell victory in a battle of the Ivy League’s worst two teams.
For a refresher on the model and its specifics, see last week’s article. Week 5 of the competition saw two blowouts. Princeton expectedly defeated Brown, 65-22, and Columbia Penn, 44-6, in what was expected to be one of the season’s closest games — Columbia proved that it’s being underrated by the model. The model itself had a good week and correctly predicted both matchups, improving 8-0 on the season.
The Elo rankings remain about the same this week. Princeton (1657) maintains its dominance as the highest-ranked team. Brown (1298) continues to slide, slipping under a rating of 1300 for the first time this season and trailing the next worse team, Cornell (1387), by almost 100 points. Columbia (1490) and Penn (1447) flipped spots in rankings after their matchup last week, which saw a 35 point Elo rating swing. Week 6 has four conference games with the possibility of a movement in the standings. [Current Elo ratings in parentheses following school names]
Columbia at Dartmouth — 6 p.m. Friday
Columbia (1490) is coming off of a dominant win against Penn and is hoping its momentum will carry it to a win in New Hampshire. However, Dartmouth (1647) is sitting at 5-0 and has defeated its two conference opponents by a combined 45 points. The Green sits near the top of the rankings and there is no reason to expect Dartmouth to falter against Columbia.
Penn at Yale — noon Saturday
This game looks like it is going to be the closest game of the week. Yale (1502) and Penn (1447) have had average seasons. Yale has played slightly better than Penn, but the teams’ ratings remain quite close. Penn will look to come back with a strong showing this week after losing terribly in New York. It will not be an easy game for the Quakers in New Haven: Yale is currently 3-0 at home and beat the only Ivy League team that has played there thus far. If Yale wins this game in a blowout it could be a predictor of what is to come for Penn’s season.
Harvard at Princeton — 1 p.m. Saturday
Harvard (1576) faces off against Princeton (1657) in a game that is likely to be one of the most important of the season. If Harvard wants to win the Ivy League title, it needs to come out of this weekend with a victory. Princeton continues to roll over its competition — at 5-0 on the season — and is hoping to continue its success. Harvard is currently 4-1 and, like Princeton, has won both of its conference games so far. Princeton has almost a 70 percent probability to win this game, but the Crimson will be playing for its season this weekend.
Brown at Cornell — 1:30 p.m. Saturday
The last game of this weekend is a contest between Cornell (1387) and Brown (1298). Neither team has been playing well this year and the two schools currently have identical 1-4 records including losses in both of their conference games. This is the best chance either team has to secure a conference win this season. Cornell is definitely favored in the game and has the advantage of playing in Ithaca instead of Providence. The Red will hope to pick up a victory this weekend and avoid sliding further down in the rankings.