(STATS) – The Ivy League is playing an integral role in college football’s 150th anniversary season this year, and a great title race would add to its spotlight.
The league’s preseason media poll predicted just that Thursday with Yale installed as the favorite as five of the eight teams received first-place votes.
The Bulldogs, who won the Ivy title two years ago, collected 119 points in the poll. Dartmouth (111) was second and defending champion Princeton (107) third.
Princeton played Rutgers in the first collegiate game Nov. 6, 1869. Three days after the actual anniversary, the Tigers and Dartmouth will square off at Yankee Stadium on Nov. 9.
Yale (5-5, 3-4) is trying to bounce back from an injury-plagued season. Coach Tony Reno’s team has a league-high 21 returning starters.
Princeton (10-0, 7-0) is coming off its first unbeaten season since 1964, handing Dartmouth (9-1, 6-1) its only loss 14-9.
The top three teams combined for 15 of the 17 first-place votes, but fourth-pick Harvard and sixth-pick Columbia also received one each.
IVY LEAGUE PRESEASON MEDIA POLL
1. Yale (9 first-place votes), 119 points
2. Dartmouth (2), 111
3. Princeton (4), 107
4. Harvard (1), 93
5. Penn, 67
6. Columbia (1), 61
7. Cornell, 29
8. Brown, 24