CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Harvard football team is ranked in all three major preseason polls. The last of the preseason prognostications came out Wednesday evening with the team being ranked 23rd by The Sports Network. Previously the Crimson was ranked 22nd in the FCS Coaches Preseason Poll and 23rd by Phil Steele's Football Preview Magazine. Harvard finished the 2008 campaign ranked as high as 14th as the Crimson won its second straight Ivy League championship.
Since 2000, Harvard owns a .775 winning percentage (69-20) - second-highest in the Football Championship Subdivision and sixth highest in all of Division I. Over the past five seasons, Harvard is 41-9. Harvard is 36-6 at Harvard Stadium dating back to 2001 while winning 16 of its last 17 games there.
The Crimson has registered at least seven wins in each of the last eight years, making Harvard the only team in the history of Ivy League football to post such a string of successful seasons. Two years ago, Harvard became the first Ivy team to post a string of seven such seasons together. The current stretch is the Crimson's best eight-year run since a 28-year streak of seven-plus win seasons came to an end in 1911. The program has won 64 games over the past eight seasons for the best stretch since a stretch from 1908-1915 when the program also won 64 games.
Harvard opens its season Sept. 19 at Holy Cross against a Crusaders' team that will already have two games under its belt. Harvard's home opener comes the following Friday night, Sept. 25, against Brown.
-Photo by Dave Silverman