BELTON, Texas The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team will open the 2018 season ranked #2 in the country in the D3football.com Preseason Top 25 Poll released on Thursday (July 12th). UMHB was also ranked #2 in the nation in the final D3football.com Poll of the 2017 season.
The received on first-place vote and totaled 587 points in balloting of coaches, Sports Information Directors and media members from across the country to nab the #2 spot. Defending national champion Mount Union grabbed the top spot with 24 first-place votes and 623 total points. St. Thomas (MN) totaled 549 total points for third place, Wisconsin-Oshkosh took 548 total points for fourth place and Linfield (OR) College rounds out the top five with 488 total points. UMHB is joined in the top 25 by American Southwest Conference rival Hardin-Simmons University. The Cowboys are picked 10th with 353 total points. East Texas Baptist received votes worth 27 points to give the ASC three programs receiving mention in the poll.
“It is a nice reward for our players and coaches to be highly ranked going into the season,” Cru Acting Head Coach Larry Harmon said. “We will have to replace some very good football players from last season, but we are excited about the team we have coming back and are anxious to get back to work. We always have high expectations for our program, regardless of where we might rank in the polls.”
The Cru finished the 2017 season at 14-1 and fell to Mount Union 12-0 in the Stagg Bowl. The Cru was making its second straight appearance in the national title game and won the ASC with a 9-0 league mark. UMHB expects to return five offensive and five defensive starters from that team, along with 42 total letter winners this season. The Cru will open the 2018 season with a non-conference game at Albright (PA) College on September 8th.