The Ivy leagues do have football teams. In total, there are 26 Ivy League football teams. Ivy league schools are not usually the most successful football teams in the country, but they do play in Division I football.
Ivy League schools play their football games in their own division, usually against other Ivy League schools.
As a result, the top teams in the division can have winning records, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are elite division one teams.
Ivy-league football teams haven’t won a bowl game since 1934. They can play against lower level teams in division one but won’t be ranked or play in big bowl games.
The disadvantage of Ivy League football programs is that the players are occupied with their studies. Many football players neglect their studies in favor of football instead of focusing on their education.
In Ivy League schools, school is going to be a priority for most football players. A student cannot skate by on easy degrees and only focus on football.
A school with this level of academic standards also picks players from a smaller pool. Larger schools have a much higher acceptance rate and can recruit players with a much wider range of grades.
As a result, many athletically talented players attend schools without high academic standards.
Ivy League Players in the NFL
There have been a number of players from these schools who have made it to the NFL despite not having the most competitive football teams.
Despite never becoming a long-term franchise quarterback, Fitzpatrick put up solid numbers for many years in the NFL.
Harvard University was the college football team of Ryan Fitzpatrick.
As a journeyman quarterback in the NFL, he often carried subpar teams to decent records.
He is widely remembered for his several years as the starting quarterback of the Buffalo Bills. His infectious personality and commitment to winning made him a fan favorite.
Tretter played four years on the football team of Cornell University and played in both the NFL and Ivy League football conferences.
After two years as a tight end, Tretter switched to offensive tackle. He excelled at his newly acquired position and quickly caught the interest of NFL scouts.
Tretter started his career in Green Bay after being drafted in the fourth round. After a few years, he moved to Cleveland and started all sixteen games for five consecutive seasons.
Tretter is also well known for his role in the NFLPA. He was elected president of the NFLPA in 2020 and re-elected in 2022.
Find out why Hawaii doesn’t have an NFL team to learn more about Ivy league schools and football.