The Harvard football team was recently voted the 2009 Ivy championship favorite at the Ivy League Media Day, receiving 10 out of a possible 17 first-place votes in the Ancient Eight’s annual preseason media poll.
Expectations are high for the Crimson, who have also been ranked 23rd by the 2009 Phil Steele’s College Football Preview Magazine. In addition to the top-25 ranking, eight Crimson players received preseason honors from the magazine.
Defensive back Matthew Hanson ’13 — the 2008 Ivy Rookie of the Year — has been named a second-team All-American and to the All-Ivy League first team. Joining Hanson on the first team is tight end Matt Luft ’10, offensive linemen Brent Osborne ’11, Alex Spisak ’12, and James Williams ’10, and defensive back Collin Zych ’11. Junior running back Gino Gordon, kicker Patrick Long ’10, and punter Thomas Hull ’10 were named to the second team.
The Crimson, who have had at least one All-American in each of the past 10 years, return 15 starters from last year’s 9-1 Ivy championship season and own the nation’s best winning percentage this decade.
Harvard will open up the 2009 season in Worcester, Mass., on Sept. 19 at Holy Cross.