Williams Not Interested in Prognostications
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A new era in Yale Football begins with a middle of the pack prediction from the Ancient Eight media. Tom Williams, the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Yale Football, whose first team as a head coach was picked fourth in the 2009 Ivy League Football Preseason Media Poll released today, wasn't interested at all in the prognostications.
"I haven't looked at the poll and don't plan on checking it out," said Williams, the first-year Bulldog mentor addressing questions on an Ivy League Media Day teleconference. "The only thing we care about is where we rank at the end of the season."
During the teleconference, each of the eight league head coaches was asked to provide a brief outlook on the season that begins next month. The Yale head coach was very optimistic about the 2009 campaign.
"We are excited about where we are headed. We have a fairly young team with a lot of guys who have opportunities to play and show what they can do," said the former Jacksonville Jaguars' assistant coach. "Our guys have made a commitment to competing and getting better, and that gives you an opportunity for success."
There aren't many seasoned quarterbacks returning to the fold in the Ivy League. In fact, Yale junior Brook Hart (State College, Pa.) is the most accomplished of the league's returning passers despite just five starts in 2008. However, Hart has plenty of competition in New Haven with sophomore Bryan Farris (Derry, N.H.), senior Rich Scudellari (Saratoga, Calif.) and Nebraska transfer Patrick Witt (Wylie, Texas).
"Competition will be fierce in fall camp. Whoever emerges from that will be a great leader for this team," said Williams.
Yale (6-4, 4-3 Ivy in 2008), which begins practice on Aug. 21, rounded out the top half of the poll with 82 points. The Bulldogs host Union for a Sept. 5 scrimmage at Yale Bowl before opening the season Sept. 19 at Georgetown.
The Elis were picked to win the league the last two years. Yale and Harvard were tied for first in the 2008 Ivy Media Poll, but the Bulldogs finished fourth while the Crimson tied Brown for the league title. The last time the Blue was picked in the middle of the pack (5th, 2006), Mike McLeod ran all over the Ivy League and Yale tied for the championship with Princeton.
Harvard (9-1, 6-1) received 10 of the 17 first-place votes and tallied 129 points. The Crimson, with two straight league titles, could become the first Ivy squad since Dartmouth (1990-92) to win three straight championships.
Penn (6-4, 5-2), selected second with four first-place
votes and 117 points, is among the top four for the 17th
Brown (7-3, 6-1) grabbed the remaining first-place votes to finish third with 106 points. It marked the third time in five years the voting media picked the Bears to finish third.
The rest of the poll included Princeton in fifth with 67 points, Columbia and Cornell tied for sixth with 44 and Dartmouth in eighth with 23.
2009 Ivy League Football Preseason Media Poll
1. Harvard (10) 129
2. Penn (4) 117
3. Brown (3) 106
4. Yale 82
5. Princeton 67
6. Columbia 44
8. Dartmouth 23
Story filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director