Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The Ivy League maintains its stance on not sending its regular season champion to compete in the FCS postseason, although there appears to be enough league talent to suggest that champion may have some success nationally.
Penn, led by fifth-year senior quarterback Billy Ragone, comes in as the favorite for yet another season. In the past decade, the league has been dominated by Penn and Harvard. The two programs will still be the teams to beat in 2013, but, as several coaches put it, every Saturday will be like a bowl game. Anyone can lose on a given weekend, especially considering the talented players the Ivy League boasts.
Take Brown, for example. Picked to finish outside the top two spots again, but the Bears could easily take the Ivy League by storm this year behind experienced signal caller Patrick Donnelly and a host of offensive explosion.
That explosion is personified in senior John Spooney, who ran track in 2012 and posted the fastest 100-meter sprint time in the Ivy League last season. Spooney will be vying for at least a timeshare of carries with experienced back Jordan Reisner.
Princeton, tied for third last season, had the worst overall record of the deadlocked teams (5-5 overall), yet emerges as a serious contender in 2013 with the return of key players such as Caraun Reid (on the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List) and quarterback Connor Michelsen.
Cornell returns top quarterback Jeff Mathews, who starts the season on the Walter Payton Award Watch List.
Even Columbia with Stanford transfer Brett Nottingham making a case to be the starting quarterback will look to make a push out of the Ivy basement.
On paper, there certainly appears to be enough depth to keep Penn and Harvard on their toes. And with large targets on their backs, you can be sure the rest of the Ivy League competition has games with the Quakers and Crimson circled on their calendars.
Following is a team-by-team breakdown of the 2013 Ivy League race.
The Sports Network's predicted order of finish: