Albion College has captured 36 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association football championships, more than any school in the conference, but the squad was picked to finish sixth in a poll of the coaches released Monday afternoon by Sheila Blackman, the conference's director of media relations.
Hope College, the MIAA runner-up last fall, was anointed as the favorite to finish the season as conference champion. The Flying Dutchmen were listed to finish first by three coaches.
Defending conference champion Olivet College received two first place votes, while Adrian College and Trine University also received first place votes.
Albion Head Coach Craig Rundle says he is looking forward to fielding an improved squad this fall.
"We are going to be improved and experienced," Rundle said. "We had a lot of young kids get experience last year. We are looking forward to bouncing back and performing like we are capable."
Albion starts the season Sept. 2 with a non-conference game at Wabash (Ind.) College. The Britons play a pair of non-conference games at home against the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (Sept 9 at 6 p.m.) and Concordia (Wis.) University (Sept. 16 at 1 p.m.) before jumping into MIAA play with a Sept. 30 date at Adrian College.
Albion has home games against MIAA rivals Trine University (Oct. 7), Alma College (Oct. 21) and Kalamazoo College (Nov. 11).
The complete MIAA preseason football poll, with first place votes in parenthesis, is as follows: Hope (3) 9 points, Olivet (2) 14 points, Adrian (1) 16 points, Trine (1) 17 points, Alma 24 points, Albion 33 points, Kalamazoo 34 points.
Get the latest information on the team by following @AlbionFootball on Twitter. General athletics news can be found @gobrits on Twitter and Albion College Athletics on Facebook