Yale has waited 37 years to win an outright Ivy League championship. It can wait one more week to see if that happens, but Saturday it was able to claim at least a share of the title.
The Bulldogs got it done again, this time on the road against rival Princeton 35-31 as Yale now sets up to finish the year 9-1 overall with one conference loss — which would give the program its first outright Ivy League title in nearly four decades and it would be only the seventh outright Bulldogs' title in school history. The program has shared titles eight other times, including 11 years ago in 2006 (see full chart of Ivy League title history below the story).
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It wasn't easy. Princeton QB Chad Kanoff was on fire in the game, throwing for more than 450 yards and 4 scores. The Tigers were ahead 24-7 late in the second quarter before Yale came roaring back on a 28-7 run to close the game.
Youngsters continue to propel this Bulldogs team, as sophomore quarterback Kurt Rawlings threw for 304 yards on 26 of 34 passing, throwing 2 touchdowns. And freshman Zane Dudek rushed for 180 yards and 3 more scores. The Bulldogs will now have to knock off Harvard in "The Game" next week to secure the title outright, but they do control their own destiny. Hoping for a trip up are Columbia (7-2, 4-2) and Dartmouth (7-2, 4-2). If those two programs had lost this weekend, Yale could have captured it now, but they both won.
Lost in the shuffle the past few weeks has been the continued solid play of Columbia. The Lions' 7th win on Saturday put the program in rarified air when it comes to past Columbia teams. the 1996 team went 8-2 with future NFL pro bowler Marcellus Wiley roaming the sidelines, and prior to that the last time Columbia had won 7 games in a season was 1947 when the Lions went to 7-2 when Harry Truman was President of the United States.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Aside from the three frontrunners in the Ivy League, one of the big surprises this weekend is that perennial power Harvard is now out of the title picture thanks to its loss to Penn on Saturday. The Crimson have one thing left — to spoil rival Yale's chance of bringing home the title outright next week.
By this time next weekend, we'll have all of the answers.
YEAR BY YEAR IVY LEAGUE CHAMPIONS
|YEAR||IVY CHAMP||IVY REC.|
|2017||Yale clinches share||???|
|2016||Penn & Princeton||6–1|
|2013||Harvard & Princeton||6–1|
|2008||Brown & Harvard||6–1|
|2006||Princeton & Yale||6–1|
|1999||Brown & Yale||6–1|
|1992||Dartmouth & Princeton||6–1|
|1990||Cornell & Dartmouth||6–1|
|1989||Princeton & Yale||6–1|
|1988||Cornell & Penn||6–1|
|1983||Harvard & Penn||5–1–1|
|1981||Yale & Dartmouth||6–1|
|1976||Brown & Yale||6–1|
|1974||Yale & Harvard||6–1|
|1971||Cornell & Dartmouth||6–1|
|1968||Harvard & Yale||6–0–1|
|1963||Dartmouth & Princeton||5–2|
|1961||Columbia & Harvard||6–1|