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Muhlenberg College

Thursday, December 20, 2007

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This is the last Mule Sports Daily for 2007. Happy Holidays! See you back here on January 3.

football ranked 8th in final poll

# School (1st votes) Rec. Pts Prev.
 1Wis.-Whitewater (25)
14-1
625
2
 2Mount Union
14-1
594
1
 3Mary Hardin-Baylor
12-2
579
4
 4Bethel
12-2
534
9
 5Wesley
11-2
507
6
 6Central
12-1
503
3
 7St. John Fisher
11-2
475
5
 8 MUHLENBERG
11-1
402
13
 9St. John's
10-2
380
8
10Wabash
11-2
377
12
11North Central
9-3
332
20
12Wis.-Eau Claire
9-3
324
17
13Capital
8-3
316
14
14Salisbury
9-2
273
10
15New Jersey
9-3
218
21
16Trinity (Texas)
9-2
188
11
17Washington & Jefferson
10-1
184
7
18Franklin
9-2
181
16
19North Carolina Wesleyan
9-3
173
--
20Wartburg
8-2
143
15
21Ithaca
8-3
140
--
22Case Western Reserve
11-1
111
25
23Curry
12-1
104
--
24Whitworth
8-2
91
18
25Redlands
8-2
85
19
Others receiving votes: RPI 48, St. Norbert 45, Montclair State 40, St. Olaf 28, UW-Oshkosh 26, Wheaton (Ill.) 15, Mississippi College 13, Millsaps 11, Ohio Northern 11, Linfield 11, Hobart 10, Hampden-Sydney 9, Widener 7, Dickinson 5, Mt. St. Joseph 3, Concordia-Moorhead 3, Pacific Lutheran 1

The Muhlenberg football team climbed to eighth place in the final D3football.com poll of the 2007 season.

celebration
Celebrations, like this one between Dan Aitkens and Brandon Doyle, were common for the Mules in 2007.
The ranking is, by far, the best for the Mules in an end-of-season poll. They were 17th in the final American Football Coaches Association poll of 2002. The D3football.com poll began the following year, and Muhlenberg received votes in the final poll in both 2003 and 2004. Only one other Centennial Conference team in the five-year history of the poll finished in the top 25 — Johns Hopkins at No. 25 in 2003.

The Mules went undefeated in the regular season and entered the NCAA playoffs ranked 13th. They defeated then-No. 10 Salisbury, 31-21, in the first round, before losing at Wesley, 38-21, in the round of 16. Wesley, which finished fifth in the poll, lost in the next round to No. 3 Mary Hardin-Baylor, whose only two losses were to Division III national champion Wis.-Whitewater.

In the final poll (at right), Muhlenberg was ranked ahead of one team that advanced further in the playoffs, Wabash.

The rankings confirm that Muhlenberg was one of the biggest surprises in Division III football in 2007. The other nine teams in the final top 10 were all ranked in the preseason top 25, with seven of them in the top 10. The Mules, coming off a 5-5 campaign, did not receive any preseason recognition in the poll.

During the regular season, the Mules were consistently ranked higher in the AFCA poll, but not so at the end. Muhlenberg finished 10th in the final AFCA rankings, the second-best final ranking for a CC school since the AFCA national poll was inaugurated in 1999. Western Maryland was ninth in the final 1999 poll.

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