If you assign five points for each returning member of the all-conference first team, three for second-team returnees and one for honorable-mention picks, how do the Ivy League football teams stack up heading into the 2015 season?
First, a few caveats.
1) The 5-3-1 valuation is entirely subjective. It could just as easily be 10-5-3 or 3-2-1. Or 1-1-1.
2) A quarterback who is returning is awarded the same points as a defensive back, punter or tight end. Not to devalue those other positions, but quarterback should probably be scored a little higher and a record-setting quarterback higher yet. That's not the case below.
3) Because we don't know all of the fifth-year seniors who are returning around the Ivy League it would be unfair in this ranking to include those from Dartmouth, so they are left out.
4) Almost as subjective as the 5-3-1 formula is the voting for the All-Ivy League teams that this whole thing is based on.
All of which means that this is indeed one monumental step into silly season. And so, without further ado . . .
All-Ivy League Returning
1. (T) Dartmouth 31 points*
1. (T) Harvard 31 points
3. Princeton 22 points
4. Yale 15 points
5. Cornell 10 points
6. Columbia 7 points
7. Brown 3 points
8. Penn 1 point
* Dartmouth's total rises to 46 points with the inclusion of fifth-year senior defensive back Troy Donahue and fifth-year receiver Ryan McManus, and adding in the five points for McManus being selected as the first-team return specialist.
Now, feel free to quibble all you want with the formula and it's significance, but it does paint a very broad picture that suggests Dartmouth and Harvard have proven "star power" returning and the teams toward the bottom do not.