This past weekend in Providence, R.I., Brown fell at home to Harvard, 38-21.
But if history repeats itself, Brown can look past its loss to the Crimson and battle for a second-straight Ivy League title.
Last year, the Bears opened their season by defeating Georgetown and losing to Harvard before winning eight straight games to capture their first-ever outright Ivy League Championship.
And this season has certainly had a familiar feel to it so far. The Bears' 2006 campaign started with a 34-21 opening-day win over Georgetown before the Bears saw their nine-game winning streak snapped by the Crimson.
If Brown is going to repeat its title run, however, it will have to do it without Nick Hartigan - the 2005 Ivy League Player of the Year and finalist for the Walter Payton Award, given to Division I-AA's top player.
Last year, Hartigan ran his way into the record books, setting Ivy League career marks for touchdowns (54), rushing touchdowns (52) and points (324) - not to mention setting 22 running records for Brown, including the all-time rushing record with 4,492 yards.
While Hartigan earned national recognition, Brown quietly boasted another top point-scorer.
All-Ivy kicker Steve Morgan returns to the lineup, one season after leading the nation in field goals, averaging 1.8 per game. Morgan was also ranked seventh overall in scoring per game (9.8) and first in points for Ivy League kickers (98).
Morgan has yet to hit a field goal in 2006, having missed the uprights on his lone attempt.
So far, the defending champion's offense has been driven by All-Ivy quarterback Joe DiGiacomo. Last season, in his first as Brown's exclusive signal caller, the senior tossed for 1,800 yards and 16 touchdowns.
In last weekend's contest, he completed 17 of 34 passes for 238 yards, and dove into the end zone for Brown's first score of the afternoon.
DiGiacomo will be spreading the ball to a trio of classmates. All-Ivy wide receiver Lonnie Hill, coming off a 563-yard, five-touchdown season, will once again be a primary target downfield. In the backfield, tri-captain and tailback Brandon Markey will combine with Akin Oyalowo to fill the void left by Hartigan.
The two backs have already combined for four touchdowns on the season, including two by Oyalowo versus the Crimson.
Brown's defense is led by All-American linebacker Zak DeOssie, a finalist last year for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the nation's top defensive player.
The Bears will once again be led by coach Phil Estes, the only coach in school history to win a football title. Estes was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award, given to the nation's top coach, last year.
Even with all of the Bears' returners, that one big loss does still stand out. The absence of Hartigan does represent a significant obstacle to a repeat.
But as Penn coach Al Bagnoli said before the season started, "You're the defending champion until someone knocks you off."
And while 0-1 in the Ivy League, Brown is still quite some way from being knocked off.