Belton, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team is ranked fourth in the country in the D3football.com preseason Top 25 Poll, released today. The ranking is the highest of the preseason so far for UMHB and the Cru has been ranked in the top ten in the nation in three preseason polls.
UMHB totaled 531 points in the poll, but was the only member of the top four to not receive a first-place vote. Defending national champion Wisconsin-Whitewater was the pick to repeat with 18 first-place votes and 614 total points. Mount Union, last season’s national runner-up is ranked second with 603 total points and six first-place votes. Linfield College received the other first-place vote and comes in third, just four points ahead of the Cru with 535 total points. Wesley College rounds out the top five with 516 total points in the poll.
Three of UMHB’s 2015 opponents are mentioned in the D3football.com Top 25 Poll. Texas Lutheran University is ranked 21st in the country with 104 points and American Southwest Conference foes Hardin-Simmons University and Louisiana College totaled 30 and two points respectively in the others receiving votes category.
The Cru is coming off an 11-1 season and UMHB advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III National Championships before falling to Linfield 31-28. The Cru has won or shared ten straight ASC Championships and 12 of the last 13. UMHB expects to return six offensive starters, seven defensive starters and 51 letter winners from that team this season.
The 2015 edition of the Cru will report to campus on August 12th. UMHB will kick off the 2015 season with a road game at Ohio Wesleyan University on September 5th. The Cru will return home for the home opener against Millsaps College the following Saturday.