Penn football releases 2012 schedule

The Penn football team released its 2012 schedule today, with some key changes from recent years.

The Quakers will play powerhouse William & Mary on Oct. 6 for the first time since 1995. In 2010, the Tribe finished the season at No. 3 nationally and made it to the FCS semifinals. The teams have met five times, with Penn trailing in the series, 4-1.

The Red and Blue will travel to Dartmouth, the first time going to Hanover, N.H., in back to back seasons since 1975-76.

Coming to Franklin Field in 2012 are Villanova, William & Mary, Columbia, Brown and 2011 Ivy League champion Harvard.

Penn will travel to Lafayette, Dartmouth, Yale, Princeton and Cornell.

Family Weekend will coincide with the William & Mary game on Oct. 6, while Homecoming will be the weekend of the Brown game on Oct. 27.

Canadians from Carleton coming for hoops exhibition

canadaIf the 84 games on the 2011-12 Penn men's basketball schedule weren't enough for you, we're excited to tell you about one more! Well, more like half of one more.

Penn announced today it would play Canadian team Cartleton in a Nov. 5 open exhibition at the Palestra at 4:30 p.m., following the Penn-Princeton football game.

From Penn Athletics' release:

Based in Canada, Carleton is a member of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference and last year won the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championship for the seventh time in nine years. During the months of August and September, Carleton went 5-4 in the Cross-Border Battle, including wins over Saint Louis, Niagara and UC-Santa Barbara as well as a two-point loss to La Salle.

And if you remember Penn's overtime loss to La Salle last year, the transitive property of sports tells us that this could be an exiting little scrimmage. Almost as exciting as the last one at the Palestra.

Unlike that one, which had ticket prices of 35 and 50 dollars, this one will be free.

Duke, Pitt, UCLA highlight Penn basketball non-conference schedule

Penn men's basketball finally released its non-conference schedule this afternoon — and while all but two of the games have previously been confirmed by the Quakers' opponents, here's a look at what has shaped up to be a doozy of a slate:

Nov. 11 @ UMBC
Nov. 14 vs. Temple
Nov. 17 @ Rider (Hoop Group Classic)
Nov. 19 vs. Robert Morris (Hoop Group Classic)
Nov. 22 vs. Wagner
Nov. 25 vs. Pitt (Hoop Group Classic)
Nov. 26 vs. James Madison (Hoop Group Classic)
Nov. 29 vs. Manhattan

Dec. 3 @ Villanova
Dec. 7 vs. Delaware
Dec. 10 @ UCLA (Honda Center)
Dec. 23 vs. Marist
Dec. 29 @ Davidson
Jan. 1 @ Duke
Jan. 4 @ Lafayette
Jan. 10 vs. La Salle
Jan. 21 vs. St. Joe's

Not on the docket this year is City Six rival Drexel. The last time Penn didn't play the Dragons was the season after current coach Jerome Allen graduated — 1995-96. That's too bad, since a wonderful little rivalry has sprung up in recent years.

Penn hoops to open season against Temple?

While Penn is yet to announce any of its 2011-12 men's basketball schedule, a few early dates have leaked in from the Quakers' competitors, and now it appears a season opener at home is has been set.

Temple released its non-conference schedule, leading off with a Nov. 14 tilt with Penn at the Palestra, the earliest these two teams have every played according to Temple's website. After traveling to the Liacouras center last year, Penn hosts the Owls and former Quakers head man Fran Dunphy this season.

This is a great move by those involved with the scheduling (I seem to remember the coach of one team playing for the coach of the other...). A Big 5 matchup against a Top-25 team from a year ago spells for a great night at the Palestra, which should draw a crowd. Temple won the last matchup, 73-56, on Jan. 19, and has won every year since Dunphy's first season across the Schuylkill in 2006-07. The only issue with the date is it falls on a Monday -- not the biggest draw for students.

The other schedule tidbits which have trickled in so far are a Thanksgiving tournament hosted at the Palestra by the Philly Hoop Group (featuring former Penn player Andy Toole as head coach at Robert Morris), and a reading-days trip to sunny southern California to play UCLA.

M Hoops headed to Pitt?

One more likely addition to the M. Hoops non-conference schedule — though the details are still hazy.

A DP Sports reporter mentioned that in a recent interview with Zack Rosen, the junior guard mentioned a game against Pitt this year, which had been an internet rumor about for some time now.

Add that to Kentucky and we're looking at two big matchups for the Quakers this year. I have no confirmation but my guess is that this game is in the 'Burgh.

My Old Kentucky Home

Last year Penn men's basketball suffered one of its the program's worst defeat ever at Duke.

This year, the Quakers are headed to perennial powerhouse Kentucky. But it's okay, right? All their players left for the NBA draft...

According to the UK Athletics schedule, Penn heads down to Lexington to take on the Wildcats Jan. 3 on ESPNU.

Sorry, but no John Wall this year.

For the rest of the known non conference games, see this previous post.

One more for the Hoops schedule

Adding to my previous posts on upcoming opponents for men's hoops this year, the Quakers will also host Maryland Baltimore County, who, as you may remember, ended up being Penn's first win after the disastrous 10-game skid that opened the 2009-10 season. So with that in mind, the non-conf. currently schedule looks like:

Wednesday, Nov. 17: at Manhattan College

Notes: Penn hasn't played Manhattan since '03 at the Holiday Festival in Madison Square Garden. Though not much can be taken from that match (it was two coaches and two college generations ago) Penn eeked out a 49-47 win. For what it's worth, the Quakers also went 10-4 in the League that year, and trounced Harvard 104-69 (FREE cheesesteaks!) But then again, Jeremy Lin was a sophomore in HIGH SCHOOL.

Saturday, Nov. 20: UMBC

Notes: This ended up being a very important game for Penn last year after it stopped the bleeding. Maybe that's why it was moved up significantly in the schedule this year (just kidding) (kinda).

Saturday, Dec. 4: Army at the IZOD Center (Meadowlands)

Notes: Penn-Army will be the precursor to a game that will be a rematch of last year's NCAA Championship: Duke v. Butler. That should make this a big ticket for the program.  After last year's trip to Duke (Penn lost 114-55), Quakers' fans will be happy to see that Penn and Duke aren't on the same ticket anymore.

Wednesday, Dec. 22: at Delaware

Notes: After finishing finals...Penn will head down I-95 to take on the Blue Hens.  The Quakers' record-breaking slump at the beginning of the season almost didn't happen, as Penn lost to Delaware in double OT 94-97 last year in the third game of the season. And the worst part? The 3065 fans who came were just 6 points shy of a free cheesesteak from Abner's.

Wednesday, Jan. 12: La Salle (Location TBD)

Notes: The first day of the spring semester!

Wednesday, Jan. 19: at Temple

Notes: Temple has penciled the Quakers in after another Big 5 rival, Villanova, but before heading to NCAA champs Duke. Those who remember the Temple game last year know that Penn showed a valiant 2nd half effort but, as was the story all season, an early (and deep) hole was too much for the Quakers to overcome.

Non-Conf. Hoops schedule shaping up

Remember the beginning of the Men's hoops season last year? Maybe you're trying to forget. But as teams around the nation release their 2o10-2011 schedules, information is trickling in about who Penn will play before the Ivy season kicks off, when and where it will go down. I'll try to continue to update this post as I find information.  Should you see Penn show up on another team's schedule, please comment and I'll add it to the list.

Wednesday, Nov. 17: at Manhattan College

Notes: Penn hasn't played Manhattan since '03 at the Holiday Festival in Madison Square Garden. Though not much can be taken from that match (it was two coaches and two college generations ago) Penn eeked out a 49-47 win. For what it's worth, the Quakers also went 10-4 in the League that year, and trounced Harvard 104-69 (FREE cheesesteaks!) But then again, Jeremy Lin was a sophomore in HIGH SCHOOL.

Saturday, Dec. 4: Army at the IZOD Center (Meadowlands)

Notes: Penn-Army will be the precursor to a game that will be a rematch of last year's NCAA Championship: Duke v. Butler. That should make this a big ticket for the program.  After last year's trip to Duke (Penn lost 114-55), Quakers' fans will be happy to see that Penn and Duke aren't on the same ticket anymore.

Wednesday, Dec. 22: at Delaware

Notes: After finishing finals...Penn will head down I-95 to take on the Blue Hens.  The Quakers' record-breaking slump at the beginning of the season almost didn't happen, as Penn lost to Delaware in double OT 94-97 last year in the third game of the season. And the worst part? The 3065 fans who came were just 6 points shy of a free cheesesteak from Abner's.

Wednesday, Jan. 12: La Salle (Location TBD)

Notes: The first day of the spring semester!

Wednesday, Jan. 19: at Temple

Notes: Temple has penciled the Quakers in after another Big 5 rival, Villanova, but before heading to NCAA champs Duke. Those who remember the Temple game last year know that Penn showed a valiant 2nd half effort but, as was the story all season, an early (and deep) hole was too much for the Quakers to overcome.

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The Quakers will not be playing Penn State this year. Though the two schools have met in each of the last two seasons, Penn is not on the Nitanny Lions' schedule for 2010.  No word as to whether we'll face past opponents Monmouth, UAlbany, Navy, or others yet.

Random Ivy notes for 8/28

1) Cornell officially released it's M. Hoops schedule, and the Big Red certainly do have their work cut out for them. They play at least four "BCS" schools: at Alabama  in the season opener, versus Seton Hall in the home opener, then at two of the most well-known stadiums in the country in Syracuse's Carrier Dome and Kansas' Allen Field House (the potential fifth team is St. John's in the Holiday Festival). They also play three City Six teams beside Penn: at Drexel, versus Saint Joseph's and at La Salle. However, their schedule isn't all tough games, as they play Division III schools Clarkson University and Penn State Erie, Behrend College (yes that's one school) as well as Bryant University and University of South Dakota, both of which joined D-I last year.

Over at Cornell Basketball Blog, some Big Red fans are scared the team will start 0-4 (@ Bama, @ UMass, vs Seton Hall @ 'Cuse) while others believe "we are good enough to win all four of those games."

This now makes Penn one of just three Ivy schools not to have released their schedule yet ( Harvard, Yale, Brown and Princeton previously released theirs). I guess Glen Miller's still trying to find the one more team.

2) Over on SB Nation they've listed the top five metropolitan areas that care more about their college hoops teams than their NBA franchise. And unsurprisingly Philadelphia is ranked, coming in second to Tobacco Road/Research Triangle/North Carolina Piedmont area. Yet I don't know how fair it is to rank them since the "local" NBA team, the Charlotte Bobcats, play over two hours away. Actually of the top five (NC, Philly, Cincinnati, Louisville and Washington-Baltimore) only two areas have local NBA teams.

Regardless, the site calls the Big 5 "the most unique tradition in college basketball" (the editor in me cringes at "most unique"). And sorry St. Joe's fans, but the Holy War "is sort of an inferior vs. superior match-up. St. Joseph's is a smaller school who would love to shake the mid-major label, while 'Nova is in the Big East...and frankly a notch higher on the academic hierarchy." (Via VU Hoops, which I'm sure loves that last part.)

3) Lastly, turns out the Quaker mascot is one of the creepiest in Division I. Though to be fair, he was tortured.

Basketball notes

After my football recap, here’s my roundup of Penn Hoops news:

1) Over the last few weeks, it looks like Penn’s schedule is finally firming up. In fact, it appears that all but one game has been set. Unfortunately for the Quakers, getting that last game might be a little troublesome. According to the team’s twitter account, they can’t find anyone to play at the Palestra on December first. So if any ADs from Mid-Atlantic Mid-Majors read this blog, I'm sure Glen Miller would be happy to hear from you about that date. (On an aside, here's an article about some of the challenges of creating a Division I basketball schedule.)

2) Mid Major Madness is ranking every team in Division I, and Penn came in at 262 out of 344. The description of the team talks about the high hopes of last year, but says the Quakers went 10-18 since they weren't "able to handle the pressure" and "due to their poor performance at home in conference play" (can't argue with that). As for this upcoming year, they make the bold prediction that Harrison Gaines' transfer will affect the team's chances to rebound.

Previously, Dartmouth at No. 329, Brown at No. 307, and Columbia at No. 291 were ranked. That means Penn is behind Cornell, Princeton, Harvard and Yale (my guess for who they'll rank as the top four Ivy teams).

3) Sports Illustrated notes that several elite basketball recruits are considering Harvard due to its expanded financial aid package and Tommy Amaker's recruiting techniques. But that might come back to haunt Amaker. The former Michigan coach, according to the Cornell Basketball Blog, has recruited many players by promising playing time. As you can imagine, this is quite an attractive pitch. Yet it might just be false promises since the Crimson now have a surplus of players (possibly as high as 14--all juniors or younger--in 2010).

So far Amaker's stay in the Ivy League hasn't been great, as Harvard came in tied for sixth in the league last year (with Penn) and in a three-way tie for last in 2008. We'll see going forward whether or not Amaker finally breaches the top half of the league (I guess Mid Major Madness thinks that'll happen this year).

4) Looking at the Big 5 wire, Villanova senior Reggie Redding will be suspended for the fall semester after police found marijuana in his car. While that might not affect the Wildcats’ chance of returning to the Final Four, it does mean he won’t be able to suit up against Penn in December. Then again, he only scored two points on 1-for-6 shooting in last year's Big 5 game.

5) In other City news, the three enshrinees in this year's Big 5 Hall of Fame class are some of the biggest coaching names in the history of the unofficial conference: Chaney, Massimino, and “Speedy." Or for full disclosure: Temple's John Chaney, Villanova's Rollie Massimino, and La Salle's William “Speedy” Morris. The three have a combined 58 years coaching in the Big 5, as well as over a combined 15 Big 5 titles.