|MIKE McLEOD Yale's leading rusher|
(in predicted order of finish)
Coach: Jack Siedlecki (11th year, 55-44).
2006 finish: 8-2, 6-1 (tied for first).
Players to watch: RB Mike McLeod (1,364 rushing yards, 19 TDs), G Jeff Monaco (first-team All-Ivy, preseason All-American), DL Brandt Hollander (4 sacks, first-team All-Ivy), LB Bobby Abare (76 tackles, 4 INTs).
Key New Englanders: Bobby Abare, Acton; DB Larry Abare, Acton; QB Ryan Fodor, Madison, Conn.; DL Bryan Kana, Bedford, N.H.; P Tom Mante, Westford; McLeod, New Britain, Conn.; QB Matt Polhemus, North Chatham.
Outlook: The reigning league champs are poised to repeat with four first-team All-Ivy performers returning. McLeod, a junior, could end up as the best RB in school history.
Coach: Roger Hughes (eighth year, 35-34).
2006 finish: 9-1, 6-1 (tied for first).
Players to watch: WR Brendan Circle (835 receiving yards, 7 TDs), DL Pete Buchignani (27 tackles, 2 sacks), DB Kevin Kelleher (39 tackles, 4 INTs).
Key New Englanders: None.
Outlook: The Tigers are coming off their first Ivy title in more than a decade, but there are many holes, starting at QB. Senior Bill Foran hopes to replace league player of the year Jeff Terrell, and the team's fortunes will fall in line from there.
Coach: Jim Knowles (fourth year, 15-15).
2006 finish: 5-5, 3-4 (tied for fourth)
Players to watch: RB Luke Siwula (885 rushing yards, 4 TDs); LB Ryan Blessing (70 tackles, 5 sacks); S Tim Bax (57 tackles, 2 INTs).
Key New Englanders: OL Matt Kearney, Hingham; S Sam Patterson, Sunderland; S Dempsey Quinn, Pittsfield; S Chi Chi Madu, Fairfield, Conn.
Outlook: Behind Siwula, the Big Red boasted the Ivy's No. 2 rushing offense and ranked 24th in Division 1-AA last year. But the passing game needs a serious upgrade.
Coach: Al Bagnoli (16th year, 103-44).
2006 finish: 5-5, 3-4 (tied for fourth).
Players to watch: QB Robert Irvin (2,128 yards, 10 TDs), RB Joe Sandberg (1,042 rushing yards, 13 TDs), WR Braden Lepisto (625 receiving yards), LB Joe Anastasio (102 tackles), CB Tyson Maugle (52 tackles, 3 INTs), DL Naheem Harris (3 sacks, first-team All-Ivy).
Key New Englanders: OL Chris Kovalcik, Westwood; DE Ryan Wirth, Barrington, R.I.
Outlook: The Quakers lost seven All-Ivy performers, but return most of their skill position starters. It should be enough to keep them competitive.
Coach: Phil Estes (10th year, 54-35).
2006 finish: 3-7, 2-5 (tied for sixth).
Players to watch: WR Paul Raymond (654 receiving yards, 4 TDs); LB Eric Brewer (82 tackles); DE Kai Brown (3 sacks); K/P Steve Morgan (three-time All-Ivy, 39 career field goals).
Key New Englanders: WR Buddy Farnham, Andover; DL Joseph McPhee, South Weymouth; LB Frank Nuzzo, Everett; RB Dereck Knight, Pawtucket, R.I.
Outlook: The starting QB and RB jobs are up for grabs, and the offensive line lost three starters. But the Bears' biggest challenge will be to hold on to the ball -- they were last in the Ivy and 115th in the country last year with a turnover margin of minus-14.
Coach: Norries Wilson (second year, 5-5).
2006 finish: 5-5, 2-5 (tied for sixth).
Players to watch: QB Craig Hormann (2,008 yards, 7 TDs), S Andy Shalbrack (55 tackles, 5 INTs), LB Drew Quinn (82 tackles).
Key New Englanders: DE Conor Joyce, Foxborough; OL Bryan Kipp, Norfolk; WR Austin Knowlin, Newington, Conn.; S Kirk Weller, Hingham.
Outlook: In Wilson's first season, the Lions broke through for two conference wins after losing 17 straight. Now the challenge is jump-starting an offense that averaged just 269.7 yards per game.
Coach: Buddy Teevens (third year, 4-16).
2006 finish: 2-8, 2-5 (tied for sixth).
Players to watch: LB Justin Cottrell (95 tackles, 3 sacks); LB Andrew Dete (54 tackles); S Ian Wilson (89 tackles, second team All-Ivy); S John Pircon (72 tackles).
Key New Englanders: DT Josh Doherty, Halifax; DE Cullen Gilchrist, Dartmouth; RB Steve Hunt, Brockton; QB Alex Jenny, Wayland; QB Tom Bennewitz, Weston, Conn.
Outlook: The good news is the Big Green return 25 starters. The bad news is those starters finished last in the league in rush defense (172.5 yards per game), scoring defense (25.4 points per game), and scoring offense (14.7).
Compiled by Daniel Malloy