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Southern Athletic Association

Trinity Picked to Repeat in SAA Football Preseason Poll

8/24/2022 1:54:16 PM

ATLANTA, Ga. (August 24, 2022) –  Ranked No. 9 nationally by heading into the year, Trinity was a near unanimous pick at the top of the Southern Athletic Association football preseason poll. The Tigers garnered 63 total points and seven first place votes to finish ahead of 25th-ranked Birmingham-Southern with 48 points. Berry and Centre tied for third with 45 points while Hendrix (27) rounded out the top-five.

2022 SAA Football Preseason Poll
1. Trinity - 63 pts. (7)
2. Birmingham-Southern - 48 pt.
T3. Berry - 45 pts.
T3. Centre - 45 pts.
5. Hendrix - 27 pts.
6. Rhodes - 25 pts.
7. Millsaps - 18 pts.
8. Sewanee - 17 pts. (1)

The poll was conducted among the SAA’s eight football head coaches.

Trinity was picked first in last season’s preseason poll and ran the table in the SAA as part of an undefeated regular season. The Tigers matched-up with eventual national champion Mary Hardin-Baylor in the first round of the NCAA Playoff, giving the Cru one of its toughest tests in a 13-3 defeat. Trinity returns the reigning SAA Offensive Player of the Year in quarterback Tucker Horn and last year’s Defensive Player of the Year in linebacker Caleb Harmel.  Five Tigers landed on Preseason All-America teams.

Birmingham-Southern was picked fourth in last season’s preseason poll before posting one of the best seasons in school history. The Panthers ended the year SAA runner-up, going 10-2 overall and 6-1 in conference action. BSC earned an at-large bid into the NCAA playoffs and beat Huntingdon 24-14 in the first round before running into Mary Hardin-Baylor in the second round. A school record 21 Panthers were named to All-SAA teams in 2021.

Berry was fourth in the final SAA standings last season, going 6-4 overall and 4-3 in the SAA. The Vikings return 2021 SAA Newcomer of the Year in running back Brandon Cade who rushed for 73 yards a game with eight touchdowns. Josh Rogers also returns and is coming off a nine touchdown, 69.2 yards per game season on the ground.

Centre posted an 8-2 (5-2 SAA) record last season with its only two losses coming to NCAA playoff teams Trinity and BSC. The Colonels will look to be led by dual-threat quarterback Trentin Dupper again this season, who threw for 2141 yards and 22 touchdowns while racking up 822 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground in 2021.

Millsaps hosts Belhaven on September 1 to begin the SAA football season. The league’s seven other teams get into the action on Saturday, September 3. Centre at Hanover, Berry at Maryville, Rhodes at Augustana, and BSC at McMurry stand as tough, season-opening road tests while Sewanee hosts College of St. Scholastica, Hendrix welcomes Austin and Trinity faces off against Sul Ross State in San Antonio.

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