Wednesday, August 6, 2014
LATROBE, Pa. (pacathletics.org) - For the fifth time since joining the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) the Thomas More College football program has been tabbed as the league favorite, according to the 2014 PAC Preseason Football Poll, as voted on by the conference's head coaches, sports information directors, and media panel.
The preseason poll was announced this afternoon at PAC Football Media Day, hosted by Saint Vincent College at the Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion in Latrobe, Pa.
Thomas More garnered 29 first-place votes and a total of 367 points to headline this year's preseason poll. Washington & Jefferson College was second with two first-place votes and 330 points, followed by Waynesburg University in third place with one first-place vote and 293 points.
Case Western Reserve University was picked to finish fourth with one first-place vote and 246 points, followed by Bethany College in fifth with one first-place vote and 202 points.
Geneva College was picked to finish sixth (200), followed by Carnegie Mellon University in seventh (157), Grove City College in eighth (154), Thiel College in ninth (149), Westminster College in 10th (96), and Saint Vincent in 11th (46).
Thomas More and seventh-year head coach Jim Hilvert earned a share of the conference title in 2013, finishing the season 9-1 overall and 7-1 in PAC action. Heading into the 2014 season the Saints have either claimed outright or shared a PAC football title five times since joining the league in 2005.
2014 PAC Football Preseason Poll
School (first-place votes) Points 2013 Record (PAC)
1. Thomas More College (29) 367 9-1 (7-1)
2. Washington & Jefferson College (2) 330 8-3 (7-1)
3. Waynesburg University (1) 293 7-4 (5-3)
4. Case Western Reserve University (1) 246 5-4
5. Bethany College (1) 202 4-6 (4-4)
6. Geneva College 200 5-5 (4-4)
7. Carnegie Mellon University 157 3-7
8. Grove City College 154 5-5 (3-5)
9. Thiel College 149 3-7 (3-5)
10. Westminster College 96 4-6 (3-5)
11. Saint Vincent College 46 0-10 (0-8)
"Being selected number one in the PAC's preseason poll is a credit to both our past and present players. We still have to go out every Saturday and play with a chip on our shoulder. When adversity presents itself during the season, we need to be able to overcome it. We have to come together as a team and have championship intensity every single day to achieve all of our 2014 goals," said Hilvert.
The Saints were also picked as PAC preseason football favorites heading into the 2009-2012 seasons.
Also announced at this afternoon's Media Day was the PAC's 60th anniversary football team. The PAC, formally organized in 1955 by Case Institute of Technology, Western Reserve University, John Carroll University, and Wayne State University, is celebrating its 60th anniversary throughout the 2014-15 academic year. The 60th anniversary celebratory team was created to honor outstanding PAC student-athletes that have competed as members of both present, and past, PAC-affiliated institutions.
The league football schedule gets underway on Saturday, Sept. 6, with the PAC Kickoff 2014 matchup and 29th Annual Academic Bowl between Carnegie Mellon and Case Western Reserve at DiSanto Field in Cleveland (7 p.m.). The Spartans and Tartans have met annually since 1970, but the matchup wasn't designated as the Academic Bowl until 1986. Carnegie Mellon and Case Western Reserve are in their first seasons as affiliate members of the PAC in football, but are no strangers to the PAC. Case Western Reserve is a charter member of the PAC and competed for league championships until the 1983-84 academic year, while Carnegie Mellon held its PAC membership between 1972 and 1990.