Ivy League Archives: How Good was this year's Crimson?

Published by Peter G. Cornick on March 06, 2012 at 10:12PM

Harvard senior Chris Lorditch embraces head coach Tim Murphy shortly after soaking him with Powerade. Harvard defeated Penn 37-20 and claimed its 14th Ivy League Championship on Nov. 12.

By clinching the Ivy League Basketball title this past weekend, Harvard became the fifth school in the Ancient Eight to claim both the basketball and football crowns in the same year. The Back Page took a look in the archives to see how the Crimson’s efforts on the hardwood and gridiron stack up with other school’s accomplishments.

The four schools before Harvard to claim both titles were Yale, Dartmouth, Princeton, and Penn.

The Quakers and Tigers lead the pack in dual championships, with the two schools garnering five seasons each with top honors in both football and basketball.

Though Penn won the basketball Ancient Eight title in six straight seasons (’70-’75), the football team was never able to complete the tandem championships. Two years later, a five-year basketball streak was again let down by a football drought. And in both cases, the year the basketball team’s streak ended, football finally managed to take the helm of the Ancient Eight.

The Bulldogs have not accomplished the feat since the first Ivy League season in 1956.

Columbia has only won a single title in each sport since the inception of the Ivy League, and both of those came before 1970. Brown now joins the Lions as the only other school that can boast a solitary title in basketball.

Cornell has only combined for seven titles between basketball and football, but has dominated other men’s sports. The Big Red has won (out of 56 seasons) 32 wrestling championships, 26 lacrosse championships, and currently ranks behind the Crimson and Princeton with the third-most total Ivy League titles.

The last time Dartmouth won both titles was also its last basketball championship, as it has been more than a half-century since the Big Green could call itself the best of the Ancient Eight.