Belton, TX – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team is ranked in the top ten in the country in preseason polls released by three different media outlets. The Cru is ranked fourth nationally in one of those polls, fifth in another and UMHB is tenth nationally in the other.
The Cru is ranked fourth in the country in the D3football.com Preseason Poll with 536 total points. Defending national champion Wisconsin-Whitewater is picked to successfully defend its title, claiming 17 first-place votes and 616 total points with Mount Union picked second with eight first-place votes and 608 total points. Wesley (DE) College is the pick to finish third with 567 total points in the balloting. In addition to 3rd-ranked Wesley, the Cru's other two non-conference opponents are also ranked. Kean (NJ) University is picked 14th and Trinity University is picked 16th in the poll. UMHB's American Southwest Conference rival Louisiana College is also receiving votes in the poll.
The Cru is picked fifth in the USA Today Magazine Preseason Top 10 Poll. USA Today also has Wisconsin-Whitewater at #1, followed by #2 Mount Union with Wesley College coming in at #3. The magazine only lists a Top 10 and no other ASC programs or the Cru's other two non-conference opponents are in the top ten.
The Cru is ranked tenth in the nation in the Lindy's Magazine Top 25 Preseason Poll. Mount Union was picked #1 with Wesley at #2 and Wisconsin-Whitewater picked third. UMHB is the only ASC team listed by Lindy's and Trinity University is ranked #24 nationally by that publication.
UMHB expects to return 46 letter winners, seven offensive starters and four defensive starters from a team that finished 12-1 last season. The Cru won at least a share of the ASC title for the ninth time in the last ten seasons and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III National Championships. UMHB will open the 2012 season with a 6:00 PM home game against Kean University on September 8th. The Cru will report to campus on Saturday and will open the 2012 fall camp with morning practice on Monday, August 13th.