Media poll predicts sixth-place finish for Big Green
By Elisabeth Lubiak, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Friday, August 10, 2012
After a second-place finish last season, the Dartmouth football team is predicted to end this year sixth in the Ivy League, according to the 2012 football preseason media poll conducted on Tuesday.
Harvard University, the defending Ivy League champion, is predicted to once again take first place in the league this year. The Crimson received 13 first-place votes and a total of 132 points in the poll, which surveyed a panel of 17 media representatives.
Both the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University received two of the remaining four first-place votes. The Quakers ranked second with 111 points, and the Big Red came in third with 100 points. Brown University came in fourth, followed by Yale University, Dartmouth, Columbia University and Princeton University, respectively.
Although Dartmouth’s ranking falls significantly below its 2011 season standing, Big Green head football coach Buddy Teevens said he is not concerned over the rankings and said that only the end-of-season results matter.
“I pay no attention to preseason polls,” Teevens said. “The people who put them together have no clue where the programs are. Bottom line, it’s not a big deal one way or the other. The only one that matters is the end of the year.”
The Big Green graduated nine of its 10 players who earned All-Ivy honors last season, a potential cause of the low preseason ranking. This includes star running back Nick Schwieger ’12, who earned All-American honors and signed a free agent contract with the St. Louis Rams. However, much of the team’s current talent has gone largely unrecognized by outside spectators, according to co-captain and offensive lineman Patrick Lahey ’12.
“A lot of [the current players] actually have a lot of playing experience, but they just didn’t start,” Lahey said. “This is definitely their year to prove a point and make a name for themselves.”
Teevens added that the incoming freshman class will play a crucial role in building the Big Green football program over the next few years.
“This is probably our strongest recruiting class since I have been here,” Teevens said. “They will add depth to our roster immediately, and they will have an extremely competitive preseason.”
The College’s athletic facility improvements over the past few years, including the addition of lights to Memorial Field, have had a “tremendous impact” on football recruitment, according to Teevens.
Big Green football players said that the preseason polls have not influenced their team’s confidence for the upcoming season.
Football co-captain and safety Garrett Waggoner ’13 said that Big Green fans should not fret over the results of the poll.
“In all honesty, I’m not worried about preseason polls or what people think,” Waggoner said. “I just see it as motivation, and I don’t think anyone is going to worry too much. I think we have a lot of talent for this coming year.”
Lahey said he does not endorse the media poll and looks forward to proving the rankings wrong. The poll gathered feedback from two representatives from each school and one national media representative.
“Of course I don’t agree, but I can see where all the coaches are coming from,” Lahey said. “Right now, our team is a bunch of no-names, but we’re looking forward to climbing to the top.”
Dartmouth’s sixth place ranking will certainly not keep the team from pursuing lofty goals this season, according to Waggoner.
“The eventual goal is to win the Ivy League Championship,” Waggoner said. “We have a very tough schedule this year. Anyone can beat anybody on any given Saturday.”
Teevens said that he hopes his squad will improve in all aspects of the game this year.
“The big thing is to compete aggressively and physically for the duration of the season,” Teevens said. “We’re looking for regular improvement across the board.”
The Big Green will open its season at home on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. in a game against Butler University. This will be the second night football game ever played at Memorial Field.