The Hope College football team has been picked third in the 2014 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Preseason Coaches Poll.
Coach Dean Kreps' Flying Dutchmen received one first-place vote for a total of 18 points. They trailed preseason favorite and 2013 MIAA champion Albion College and Adrian College.
Albion collected five first-place votes and seven points for the top spot, while Adrian had 16 points for second places. Coaches could not vote for their own teams. Olivet, which finished fourth in the poll with 19 points, had the other first-place vote.
Hope kicks off the 2014 season on Saturday, September 6, when it plays a nonleague game at Monmouth (Illinois), Kreps alma mater. This is Kreps 20th season as head coach at Hope.
The Flying Dutchmen's home opener is Saturday, September 13, against Augustana (Illinois) in the MIAA/CCIW Challenge. The game also is the 49th annual Community Day, a celebration of the long-standing relationship between Holland residents and the faculty, students and staff of Hope.
The Flying Dutchmen's first MIAA game is Saturday, October 4, at Albion.
Hope is coming off a 7-3 season in which the Flying Dutchmen tied for second in MIAA play with a 4-2 league record.
Hope returns 37 letterwinners, including eight starters on offense and seven on defense.
Four All-MIAA players are back for the Flying Dutchmen, including three first-team honorees: senior offensive lineman Joe Droppers of Kalamazoo, Michigan (Portage Northern HS), senior linebacker Cody Lindemulder of Mulliken, Michigan (Lakewood-Lake Odessa HS) and junior punter Dean DeVries of Grandville, Michigan (Grandville HS). Senior offensive lineman Cal Livingway of Dearborn, Michigan (Dearborn HS) was a second-team selection last season.
MIAA PRESEASON POLL
Team (1stplace) Total
1. Albion (5) 7 points
2. Adrian 16 points
3. Hope (1) 18 points
4. Olivet (1) 19 points
5. Trine 24
6. Kalamazoo 29
7. Alma 34