From Case Western Reserve University Athletics
The Case Western Reserve University football team was ranked 23rd in the D3football.com Top 25 Preseason poll.
This is the second-straight season that the Spartans have been ranked in the preseason by D3football.com, after checking in at 22nd in last year's preseason poll. Case Western Reserve also received votes in the organization's 2016 preseason rankings.
The ranking comes on the heels of one of the most successful campaigns in the program's history in 2017. The Spartans finished the campaign with an 11-1 overall record, notching a perfect regular season for the fifth time in program history, while winning both the Presidents' Athletic Conference and University Athletic Association Championships. Case Western Reserve received a berth to the NCAA Division III playoffs for the first time since 2009, and advanced to the second round of the tournament for just the second time in program history.
The Spartans are slated to return 72 total letterwinners in 2018, including four starters on each of the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Top returning players include senior and All-PAC First Team defensive end Cameron Brown, All-PAC Second Team selections in senior wide receiver Justin Phan and senior defensive tackle Ian Henderson, All-PAC Honorable Mention junior safety Patrick Crossey and All-UAA First Team senior offensive tackle Steven Bachie. An additional 24 freshman are expected to bolster an already deep roster.
Case Western Reserve is scheduled to open its season with a UAA matchup on Saturday, September 1st at home against the University of Rochester at 7:00 p.m. The Spartans will then begin their nine-game PAC schedule on September 15th, which includes a matchup on the road against the Presidents of Washington and Jefferson on October 6th, who checked in at 15th in the poll (the only other PAC team that received votes in the preseason rankings).
The D3football.com Top 25 is voted on by a panel of 25 coaches, Sports Information Directors and media members from across the country, and is published weekly. Points are awarded on a 25-24-23-22-etc. basis. This is the 16th season of the D3football.com Top 25.