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Aug. 5 - LATROBE, Pa. – For the third consecutive season, the Bethany College football team was picked to place sixth in the preseason poll released Wednesday during the 2009 PAC Football Media Day, held at Saint Vincent College. Voters in the poll were league head coaches, sports information directors and members of the media who attended the event.

The Bison, who were 3-7 overall and 1-5 in the PAC a year ago, gathered 67 total points to finish ahead of Thiel (43 with one first place vote). Bethany was sixth in all three factions of the voting, scoring 25 points with the coaches and totaling 21 points in both the SIDs and media ballots.

Defending PAC champion Thomas More was tabbed to repeat, earning 200 overall points and 18 first place votes to narrowly edge out Washington & Jefferson (191 points, nine first place votes), who also earned a spot in the NCAA playoffs last year. Following the Presidents were Grove City (115), Waynesburg (86), Westminster (82), Bethany and Thiel.

NCAA provisional members Geneva and Saint Vincent were projected to finish with 4-4 and 1-7 marks against league competition in ’09, according to poll voters. Geneva and Saint Vincent are not eligible for the PAC football championship until the institutions are granted active membership in Division III by the NCAA at the conclusion of their provisional membership period, tentatively scheduled for 2010 for Saint Vincent and 2011 for Geneva.

Bethany, which brings back 16 starters from last year’s squad, opens the new campaign Sept. 5 at home against Otterbein (Ohio) College, who also reached the NCAA playoffs last year. The Bison’s PAC opener is Sept. 19 against Grove City at 7 p.m. in the first home night game in Bethany history.

2009 PAC Preseason Football Poll
  1. Thomas More (18)                     200 points
  2. Washington & Jefferson (9)    191 points
  3. Grove City                                     115 points
  4. Waynesburg                                  86 points
  5. Westminster                                  82 points
  6. Bethany                                           67 points
  7. Thiel (1)                                           43 points