Football Season Preview
Photo courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications
PRINCETON, N.J. - The 57th season of Ivy League football kicks off this weekend with eight Ivy teams opening against non-conference opponents.
Ivy League teams have racked up a 31-25 (.554) record over the first weekend of play in the past seven seasons. League teams have combined to start with a .500 record or better in five of those seasons (7-1 in 2005, 5-3 in 2006 and 2010 and 4-4 in 2008 and 2011). Teams from the Ancient Eight have fared better at home over that span with a 19-10 (.655) mark, including home wins by Cornell, Dartmouth and Yale to open last season. Only three Ivy teams (Columbia, Dartmouth and Harvard) kick off this season at home.
LAST TO START
For the seventh time in the past nine seasons, the Ivy League will claim the distinction of having one of its teams among the last in NCAA Division I (Football Bowl Subdivision or Football Championship Subdivision) team to kick off the 2012 season.
Actually, the last two games this year involve Ivy schools as Penn kicks off on the road against Lafayette at 6 p.m. and Dartmouth hosts Butler at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15. Last year, Cornell claimed the honor with its 6:07 p.m. kickoff against Bucknell on Saturday, Sept. 17. The Big Red's start time just beat Penn's 6:06 p.m. kickoff against Lafayette. Cornell was the final team to open the 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2011 seasons while Penn was the final team to kickoff the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
Historically Ivy League teams are among the last to begin play with their eight season openers usually falling on the third Saturday in September.
INSIDE IVY LEAGUE FOOTBALL RETURNS FOR SECOND SEASON
"Inside Ivy League Football," hosted by Dan Loney and Brian Seltzer, returns for its second season in 2012.
"Inside Ivy League Football" is a weekly online radio show that takes an in-depth look at all the on-field gridiron action and all the news and notes surrounding football in the Ancient Eight. The 10-episode show airs Wednesdays at 7 p.m. on BlogTalkRadio.com (blogtalkradio.com/insideivyleaguefootball) and is available on-demand via BlogTalkRadio and IvyLeagueSports.com.
Fans and alumni can also follow this show on Facebook (Inside Ivy League Football) and Twitter (@insideivyfb). Make sure to use the hashtag #IvyFootball on Twitter to keep up the conversations and coverage of Ivy League football this season.
The Season 2 premiere episode on Wednesday, Sept. 12 will feature interviews with Harvard head coach Tim Murphy, Cornell junior quarterback Jeff Mathews and veteran television broadcaster and former Yale football great Jack Ford.
THE IVY LEAGUE INKS WITH THE NBC SPORTS NETWORK
Ivy League football returns to the national spotlight this fall with seven games televised on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and one game on the CBS Sports Network. The League's seven games on NBCSN are part of NBC Sports' combined coverage to televise 32 college football games during the 2012 season.
On May 7, 2012, the Ivy League and the NBC Sports Group announced a two-year renewal of their national television rights agreement. Beginning with the 2012 football season and continuing through the 2014 lacrosse season, NBCSN will televise a six-to-10 football games, six-to-10 men's basketball games, and up to four men's lacrosse games annually. NBCSN also acquired the rights to sublicense additional football and men's basketball games to a national sports network.
Per the agreement, NBCSN will televise "The Game" between Harvard and Yale in both 2012 and 2013.
For the League's seven games on the NBC Sports Network, Randy Moss (play-by-play), Ross Tucker (analyst) and Carolyn Manno (sidelines) will serve as the broadcast team for the Harvard-Brown, Penn-Dartmouth, Brown-Princeton, Harvard-Penn and Yale-Harvard games. Moss and Tucker will be in the booth with Kelly Johnson roaming the sidelines for the Penn-Yale game. Johnson will be also on the sidelines with Todd Harris and Blaine Fowler on the call for the Yale-Cornell game.
The 2012 Ivy League Offensive Player, Defensive Player, Special Teams Player and Rookie of the Week awards begin Monday, Sept. 17.
Saturday, September 15
Marist at Columbia, 12:30 pm
San Diego at Harvard, 12:30 pm
Princeton at Lehigh, 12:30 pm [SE2]
Brown at Holy Cross, 1 pm
Cornell at Fordham, 1 pm
Yale at Georgetown, 1 pm
Penn at Lafayette, 6 pm [LSN]
Butler at Dartmouth, 7 pm
KEY: LSN – Lafayette Sports Network (RCN-4, Lehigh Valley, Pa.; RCN-8 [Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, Washington, Chicago], WBPH-TV [Allentown, Pa] DirecTV 788, DISH 457, ESPN3, MASN [tape delay]); SE2 – Service Electric 2 Sports