For the first time since 2014, a team other than Cornell football occupies the bottom spot in the Ivy League’s annual preseason media poll.
Regardless, the underdog mentality will be out in full force once again on East Hill as the Red has been selected to finish seventh out of eight teams in the 2018 poll, the Ivy League announced Monday.
Brown has taken the torch as preseason last-place pick this season, while the defending champs Yale have been selected to repeat with 129 votes. The Bulldogs are followed by Princeton in second, Harvard in third, Columbia and Penn in a tie for fourth and Dartmouth at sixth with 28 votes between the Green and Cornell.
Cornell is coming off an up-and-down 2017 campaign that saw an 0-3 start before upset wins over preseason favorites Harvard and Princeton — and also against Brown — to finish 3-4 in the Ancient Eight (3-7 overall), good enough for fifth place. The Red was in contention for an Ivy title as late as November for the first time since 2000, but a three-game losing streak to close out the year deflated those chances.
The Red will be encouraged it can defy its predetermined fate once again by the fact that the team returns top rusher Harold Coles and receiver Owen Peters along with leading tackler Reis Seggebruch and sack leaders Cyrus Nolan and Jordan Landsman, among several other All-Ivy selections.
What’s more, promising young receiver Eric Gallman and former first-team All-Ivy running back Chris Walker will return for the Red after suffering season-ending injuries along the way last year. Cornell has also added 29 newcomers — 28 freshmen and one sophomore transfer — to the roster for 2018.
On top of hoping to capture at least a share of its first Ivy crown since 1990, Cornell is looking for its first winning season under the recently-extended head coach David Archer ’05 as well as the first since 2005.
Cornell’s 2018 campaign kicks off visiting nationally-ranked No. 15 Delaware on Sept. 15 at 3:30 p.m. before opening Ivy play in week two against Yale on Homecoming weekend.