LANCASTER, PA - Johns Hopkins grabbed 17 first-place votes and earned 161 points to claim the top spot in the 2013 Centennial Conference Preseason Poll of head coaches and sports information directors. The poll was announced at the league's annual media day on the campus of Franklin & Marshall College Wednesday morning.
The Blue Jays top the preseason poll for the fifth consecutive year and the eighth time since 2004. Hopkins went on to win the Centennial title in six of the previous seven years in which it topped the preseason poll.
With 17 first-place votes the Blue Jays were one first-place vote shy of being a unanimous selection of eligible voters. Coaches and SIDs are not permitted to vote for their own team.
Franklin & Marshall, which earned the three remaining first-place votes and totaled 139 points, is ranked second in the poll, while Ursinus (122 points), Muhlenberg (120) and Gettysburg (98) round out the top five. The Bullets are followed closely by Susquehanna (86) with Juniata (57), Dickinson (54), Moravian (39) and McDaniel (24) filling out the remainder of the poll.
Johns Hopkins has won four straight Centennial titles and eight championships since claiming the program's first in 2002. The Blue Jays posted a 10-2 record, including an 8-1 mark in league play, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Playoffs a year ago.
Jim Margraff, the 2010 and 2011 Centennial Conference Coach of the Year, welcomes back 17 starters from last season's team, which spent the entire season ranked in the top 25 in the nation. Seven starters, including Preseason All-Americans Armand Jenifer (T) and Ben Cranston (C) are back on offense, while eight, including First Team Academic All-American John Arena (SS) return on defense. Senior Richie Carbonereturns to handle both the punting and place-kicking chores.
The nod at the top of the Centennial Poll is the latest preseason ranking for the Blue Jays, who earned top 20 national rankings in preseason polls from the Sporting News (9th), Lindy's (10th) and D3football.com (17th).
Johns Hopkins will open the 2013 season on Saturday, September 7 when the Blue Jays travel to Ashland, Virginia to take on Randolph-Macon. The Yellow Jackets were recently picked second in the ODAC Preseason Poll.
2013 Centennial Conference Preseason Poll
Rk. School - Points (1st-Place Votes)
1. Johns Hopkins - 161 (17)
2. Franklin & Marshall - 139 (3)
3. Ursinus - 122
4. Muhlenberg - 120
5. Gettysburg - 98
6. Susquehanna - 86
7. Juniata - 57
8. Dickinson - 54
9. Moravian - 39
10. McDaniel - 24
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