Which Teams Are Harvard’s Biggest Rivals?

There’s Nothing Quite Like A Good Rivalry

Nothing gets my football passions engaged like a good gridiron battle featuring Harvard University and one of its Ivy League rivals. I join the entire Boston area in support of my team by wearing the old crimson whenever Princeton or Yale come to town.


As the oldest university in the U.S., it is only fitting that Harvard Crimson should be one of the oldest football programs. The school established itself as a football powerhouse soon after starting its program in 1873, and it still ranks as the eighth winningest team among those playing Division I ball in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

The Ivy League’s Historic Rivalries

Among the opponents I look forward to meeting on the field of play is Yale, the school “up the river” that, with Harvard, represents one of the longest running rivalries in any sport. In fact, the rivalry between the two is the second oldest one that still is continuing, dating back to when the teams first met in 1875. The rivalry between Yale and Princeton, another Ivy League competitor, is older by only two years.

Even after all these years, the competition between Harvard and Yale remains heated and close, with Yale leading the series only by a narrow 65-59-8, but with Harvard dominating since 2007. The annual gridiron battle between the two schools, known simply as “The Game,” takes place at the end of each football season in November.

With the creation of the Ivy League in 1954, Harvard has been pitted against other elite schools, which may not always be the most elite on the football field. Instead, many make their mark on the basketball court.

Whether it is basketball or football, and regardless how well the teams are playing this year, any Ivy League match-up with Harvard will get all of the Boston and Cambridge area into a crimson frenzy. Following behind the Harvard-Yale rivalry are ones that continue with Princeton, Dartmouth, Cornell, Brown, Columbia, and the University of Pennsylvania.

What’s your favorite football rivalry? Post in the comments below or send me a message!

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