W&J Picked To Claim 2013 PAC Football Title
LATROBE, Pa. -- Washington & Jefferson College received 16 of a possible 32 first-place votes and was selected first in the 2013 Presidents' Athletic Conference preseason poll at the league's annual football media day Wednesday hosted by Saint Vincent College.
The Presidents, who finished as 2012 co-champs with Waynesburg (W&J awarded NCAA automatic bid with head-to-head victory), totaled 271 points in the poll to edge Thomas More (248) and Waynesburg (233). Thomas More was voted on top by 10 pollsters, while Waynesburg garnered six first-place votes. The Presidents and Yellow Jackets both posted 7-1 conference records in 2012, while the Saints won their final six league games to finish at 6-2.
"We are honored to be chosen as the preseason favorite," said Head Coach Mike Sirianni. "We expect to win and we're a confident team. With that being said, our league is so deep from top to bottom. We are well aware of how difficult it will be to repeat."
Grove City was fourth in the preseason poll with 159 points followed by Bethany (138), Geneva (138), Westminster (107), Thiel (106) and Saint Vincent.
Sirianni enters his 11th season with a 93-21 record (.816, NCAA Division III win percentage leader among coaches with at least 10 years of experience). The Presidents were also represented at the media event by senior wide receiver Alex Baroffio (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park), a preseason All-America selection by Lindy's College Football Magazine.
"Being voted as the preseason favorite only tells us that we have to go out on the field and prove it," added Baroffio, who enters his final collegiate season with 178 career receptions. "We're ready and excited to get this job done as a team."
Washington & Jefferson opens the season on Sept. 7 in Ohio at North Coast Athletic Conference member Wooster (7:00 pm).