The Flying Dutchmen, already winners of four MIAA football championships this decade, are the pre-season favorite again in 2008. In one of the more bizarre ballots in the 38-year history of the pre-season poll of coaches and media, coach Dean Kreps' Dutchmen topped the poll despite receiving only two of the 15 first place votes that were cast. And none of the league's other head coaches put Hope at the top of their ballot!
Making presentations at the annual MIAA Press Day at Alma College on Thursday, one head coach after another talked of parity. The voting testified to that as teams ran the gamut in the ranking. In the final tally, Hope ended with a cumulative 27 points, followed by Adrian with 33, Olivet 34, Alma 56, Trine (formerly Tri-State) 64, Albion 67 and Kalamazoo 100. Adrian topped the schools with seven first place votes while Olivet treceived six compared to Hope's two.
"You don't win games through the polls; it's done of the field," said coach Kreps who has guided the Flying Dutchmen to six league championships in his 13 years at the helm. A year ago Hope and Olivet were co-champions. The Flying Dutchmen was 6-4 overall.
The Flying Dutchmen, with a pre-season roster of nearly 160 players, begin practice on Tuesday, Aug. 12. The season-opening home Community Day game against Illinois Wesleyan will be Saturday, Sept. 6.