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Murphy: Harvard's pick as Ivy football favorite undeserved

Posted by Michael Vega, Globe Staff  August 10, 2010 11:22 AM

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Harvard was predicted to win the 2010 Ivy League football title in a preseason media poll released today during the league's Media Day teleconference.

But Harvard coach Tim Murphy wasn't necessarily in accord with the media on the accolade.

``We appreciate the respect people have for our program and I think we've been picked 1 or 2 in nine out of the last 10 years, but the truth of this particular situation is that we don't deserve it,'' said Murphy, who, in his 17th season with the Crimson, will be returning 11 starters from last year's team that compiled a 7-3 overall record and a 6-1 Ivy League mark.

``We don't deserve it because a year ago, even though we had a solid year and had some great kids on our team, we weren't quite tough enough and physical enough and good enough to beat the very best teams on our schedule,'' said Murphy, mindful of the losses Harvard suffered at Holy Cross (27-20), vs. Lafayette (35-18) and Penn (17-7), in the Crimson's lone league setback. ``In conjunction with that, you have a Penn team that returns 90 percent of its starting lineup from a very dominant football team.''

So was Murphy shocked to see his team top the Ivy League's preseason media poll?

``I was surprised,'' he admitted. ``I was quite surprised if for no other reason that I thought Penn was a no-brainer with everybody that they have returning. You know, year in and year out, they're the No. 1 or No. 2 defense in the league for the 17 years I've been here. Plus, they've got every single kid, first and second-team, returning on offense. So that's a pretty good combination.''

Harvard was picked to win it all after garnering 10 out of a possible 17 first-place votes. Penn, meanwhile, was picked second after receiving six first-place votes, and Brown was picked third. Yale, which was picked fourth, was the only other team to receive a first-place vote.

(First-place votes in parentheses)

Rank School Points
1. Harvard (10) 128
2. Penn (6) 124
3. Brown 95
4. Yale (1) 83
5. Columbia 61
6. Princeton 55
7. Dartmouth 39
8. Cornell 27

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