Aug. 1, 2012
2012 Centennial Conference Football Guide
LANCASTER, PA – The Johns Hopkins football team picked up 14 of 20 first-place votes and totaled 153 points to grab the top spot in the 2012 Centennial Conference Preseason Poll, which was voted on by the league’s 10 head coaches and sports information directors and announced today at the league’s annual media day. The Blue Jays, who have won three straight league titles, earned the top spot in the preseason poll for the fourth consecutive year and the seventh time in the last nine years.
Johns Hopkins was followed by Ursinus, which picked up four first-place votes and 137 points, while Muhlenberg (126 points, 1 first-place vote), Gettysburg (96) and Susquehanna (92) rounded out the top five. Franklin & Marshall (85) was sixth, while Dickinson picked up the remaining first-place vote and totaled 71 points to place seventh. McDaniel (68), Moravian (53) and Juniata (19) placed eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively.
Under the guidance of head coach Jim Margraff, Johns Hopkins is coming off one of the most successful seasons in school history. The Blue Jays posted a 10-1 record, claimed a third straight Centennial Conference title, were ranked in the top 25 of the AFCA Division III Poll throughout the season and hosted an NCAA Playoff game for the first time in school history in 2011. The 2011 season capped a four-year run that saw the Blue Jays post a record of 36-10 with the three Centennial titles, two trips to the NCAA Playoffs and one ECAC title.
The Blue Jays claim the top spot in the poll despite suffering heavy losses to graduation. Still, Hopkins returns one of the top wide receiver tandems in the nation, a preseason All-America along the offensive line, a running back that averaged 6.5 yards per carry and its top two tacklers from last season.
While the Blue Jays were throwing the ball for a school-record 312.3 yards per game last season, they also counted heavily on one of the top running backs in the league in Jonathan Rigaud, who returns for his final season after rushing for 905 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. He had the luxury of running behind a talented offensive line that returns its top performer in junior tackle Armand Jenifer, who earned First Team All-Centennial honors last season and has been named a Second Team Preseason All-American by d3football.com and Lindy’s 2012 College Football Preview.
Defensively, Margraff and defensive coordinator Frank Colaprete will lean heavily on the senior tandem of linebackers Taylor Maciow and Adam Schweyer. Maciow paced the team with 88 tackles and added 6.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and five pass breakups last season, while Schweyer added 64 tackles, including 3.5 for losses and 3.0 sacks. Schweyer is also considered one of the top special teams players in school history as he has nearly 50 career tackles on special teams plays.
Johns Hopkins will be looking to match the school record for consecutive conference titles (4) as JHU claimed four consecutive CC Championships from 2002 through 2005. The Blue Jays will carry a 14-game regular season winning streak and a 13-game Centennial Conference winning streak into the 2012 season, which opens on September 1. Hopkins will host Randolph-Macon at noon that day to mark the first time JHU has opened a season at home since 2008.
Margraff himself enters the 2012 season on the cusp of a milestone as he current sports a career record of 147-79-3 (.648) since taking over in 1990. Already the winningest coach in school history, with three more wins he will become just the second college football coach in Maryland state history to win 150 games.
2012 Centennial Conference Preseason Poll
Rk. School – Points (1st-Place Votes)
1. Johns Hopkins – 153 (14)
2. Ursinus – 137 (4)
3. Muhlenberg – 126 (1)
4. Gettysburg – 96
5. Susquehanna – 92
6. Franklin & Marshall – 85
7. Dickinson – 71 (1)
8. McDaniel – 68
9. Moravian – 53
10. Juniata – 19
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