Friday, August 6, 2010

Thomas More PAC favorite

The Thomas More College football team has been selected to repeat as champions in the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC), according to the preseason poll released at the 2010 PAC Football Media Day at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe today. Voters in the polls included PAC head coaches, sports information directors, and members of the media present at media day.

The defending PAC champion Saints of head coach Jim Hilvert earned 22 of 30 first-place votes to lead the preseason poll, followed by Washington & Jefferson, Waynesburg, Grove City, Westminster, Thiel, Bethany and Saint Vincent. Thomas More posted a perfect 10-0 regular season record en route to its second consecutive PAC football title in 2009 and posted an NCAA Division III playoff win over DePauw before falling to Johns Hopkins in the second round. 2009 PAC runner-up W&J also earned an at-large "Pool C" berth to the 2009 NCAA D-III playoffs.

"It's a credit to our past and present players to be picked number one. We will embrace it and use it for motivation," said Hilvert,now entering his fourth season as head coach at Thomas More. "The PAC is very tough this year and we will have to play hard every week and stay healthy to be successful this season."

NCAA Division III provisional member Geneva was predicted to go 5-3 in 2010 against PAC teams, according to poll voters. Geneva, which captured the 2009 NCCAA Victory Bowl title, is not eligible for the PAC until the school is granted active membershipin Division III by the NCAA at the conclusion of their provisional membership period, tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2011.

Following is the voting breakdown among coaches, SIDs and media:

2009 Poll
Team Points Record
1. Thomas More (22) 220 11-1
2. Washington & Jefferson (5) 191 9-2
3. Waynesburg 154 5-5
4. Grove City 132 5-5
5. Westminster 114 4-6
6. Thiel (3) 92 3-7
7. Bethany 87 3-7 (1-5)
8. Saint Vincent 35 0-10 (0-8)

Cal, West Chester the favorites

For the fifth straight season, the California Vulcans have been chosen as the preseason favorite to win the PSAC West while West Chester has been tabbed by the league’s head coaches to win the PSAC East for the third time in the last four years. The Golden Rams were also the preseason favorite in the East in both 2007 and 2008. The Vulcans and Golden Rams top the divisions in the 2010 PSAC football coaches’ preseason poll that is being announced today as a part of PSAC football media day.

California will be looking to advance to the PSAC Championship game for the third straight season after the annual “State Game” was reinstated for the 2008 season. The Vulcans will also be looking for their fourth straight NCAA Super Region One championship, as the Vulcans have advanced to the NCAA semifinals in each of the last three straight years. West Chester will be looking to rebound from a 7-4 season last year in which the Golden Rams had their string of five straight NCAA playoff appearances snapped, a streak that had ranked second among all Division II schools.

In what appears to be a shared belief that the Eastern Division will be a close race this year, the Golden Rams got the top spot in the preseason poll despite not receiving a single first place vote, edging out second place Bloomsburg, which receiving only one first place vote, by just one point. C.W. Post, which won five of its last six games last season to finish 6-5 in its second year as an associate member of the PSAC in football, received three first place votes to finish in third place, just five points behind West Chester. Defending East and PSAC Champion Shippensburg also received three first place votes to finish just four points behind C.W. Post and in fourth place, while fellow NCAA playoff participant East Stroudsburg got the nod for fifth place, receiving the remaining first place vote. In total, just 13 points in the poll separated first place from fifth place. Kutztown, Millersville and Cheyney rounded out the poll.

Things were not as close at the top in the Western Division as California garnered all but one first place vote to easily take the top spot. Despite having its first losing season in over 25 years last season, IUP still got the nod for second place, reflecting a belief by the league’s head coaches that IUP’s 5-6 mark last year was largely more a result of a rash of injuries than anything else. Clarion, which posted one of the best improvements in the nation in Division II last year, followed IUP in third place while Erie County residents Edinboro, also an NCAA playoff team last year, and Gannon tied for fourth place while Slippery Rock came in sixth. The Fighting Scots received the other first place vote. The West poll was bunched up in the middle as opposed to the top as in the East, as third place through sixth place were separated by just three points. Mercyhurst came in seventh, just seven points behind Slippery Rock, while Lock Haven rounded out the poll in eighth.

The results of the coaches’ poll are listed below. First place votes are in parenthesis.

Eastern Division
1. West Chester
2. Bloomsburg (1)
3. C.W. Post (3)
4. Shippensburg (3)
5. East Stroudsburg (1)
6. Kutztown
7. Millersville
8. Cheyney

Western Division
1. California (7)
2. IUP
3. Clarion
T4. Edinboro (1)
T4. Gannon
6. Slippery Rock
7. Mercyhurst
8. Lock Haven

Monday, August 2, 2010

Preseason No. 1 is ...

The University of Georgia has won a national title — top party school.

The Princeton Review announced Monday that Georgia is ranked the country's No. 1 party school on its now famous annual list. The Athens campus has been on the list 10 times since the ranking was created in 1992, but this is the first time the university has taken the top spot. Perhaps what pushed Georgia to the top spot was even its athletic director was charged with DUI last month.

University spokesman Tom Jackson said the list is not one the school with an enrollment of about 30,000 wants to lead.

Georgia beat out Penn State, West Virginia and Florida — which were the top party schools over the last three years. DePauw was the only small college to make the list.

The rankings are based on voluntary e-mail surveys of 122,000 students at more than 370 colleges across the country.

The nation's top party schools, according to Princeton Review's 2010 survey of 122,000 students.

1. University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.
2. Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
3. Penn State University, University Park, Pa.
4. West Virginia University, Morgantown, W.Va.
5. University of Mississippi, Oxford, Miss.
6. University of Texas, Austin, Texas
7. University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
8. University of California-Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Calif.
9. University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
10. DePauw University, Greencastle, Ind.