It was announced on Monday that the University of Redlands football program landed at No. 18 on the D3football.com Preseason Top-25 Poll. The Bulldogs received 162 total votes after finishing the 2011 season with an 8-2 overall record to go along with a season-ending ranking of No. 20.
The U of R joins Cal Lutheran University as the only other Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) school represented on the preseason list.
Redlands comes off one of its finer seasons in the program's history when it earned an at-large berth to the 2011 NCAA Division III Football Championships for its sixth postseason appearance.
After pulling off the shocking 35-29 upset victory over the No. 4 Cardinals of North Central College (IL) in last year's home opener, the Bulldogs went on to win seven of their next eight games, including a dramatic victory over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on a "Hail Mary" play.
Redlands returns numerous playmakers, including Second-Team All-SCIAC senior quarterback Chad Hurst (Dixon, CA). Fellow Second-Team All-SCIAC senior Brad Crisanty (Granite Bay, CA) also returns as the Bulldogs' top running back for the potent Redlands' offense. On the defensive side of the ball, First-Team All-SCIAC senior linebacker Jordan Garcia (Carlsbad, CA) looks to be a force once again this season after leading the team with 87 tackles, including 54 solo hits.
The Bulldogs open their 2012 campaign by traveling to Naperville, IL, on September 8 to take on the North Central College Cardinals in a rematch of last year's season opener. The squad returns home for Rah Rah Redlands on September 15 against Pacific Lutheran University (WA).