Losing is not an option for the Bulldogs in the season’s final two games if they wish to take home a second Ivy League Championship in three years.
Beginning with an unexpected loss at Cornell (4-4, 2-3 Ivy) to begin its conference schedule, Yale has been in an uphill battle to stay in contention for the conference title. A loss at home against Penn (5-3, 4-1) three weeks ago in a defensive struggle didn’t help matters for the Elis. But the Bulldogs have won league contests on consecutive weeks to get into the thick of the race as the season winds down.
Now with two contests remaining against two ancient rivals, the Bulldogs need some help to claim at least a share of the Ivy title.
Out of the three first-place teams, Harvard (7-1, 4-1) is the only squad remaining on Yale’s schedule. Therefore, both Penn and Brown need to slip up in one of their final two games against other teams. To culminate the campaign, Penn hosts Harvard on Saturday and travels to Cornell for the finale.
Brown, on the contrary, has the conference’s cellar dwellers remaining on the slate. The Bears head to Dartmouth (0-8, 0-5) on Saturday and finish the season at home against Columbia (1-7, 1-4).
If Yale does manage to take care of business and sweep its two rivalry games to finish the season and the three first-place teams fall at least once, an unprecedented scenario will come to fruition.
Since there are no tiebreakers in Ivy League football, co-championships haven’t been a rarity in conference history. The title has been split 16 different times, most recently in 2006 when Yale shared the Ivy title with Princeton.
Splits among more than two teams haven’t been very common, however. The Ivy League has crowned three champions for one season on three occasions, most recently in 1982. But there has never been a four-way split of the Ancient Eight crown. That could change after this season if the Bulldogs have anything to say about it.