The University of the Cumberlands (UC) football team has moved in on campus and is beginning camp on Tuesday. The Patriots are ready to try and climb even higher than last year that saw them go 10-2 with a 1st round victory over MidAmerica Nazarene in the NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS). The Patriots know a lot goes into making that happen and now they must reach the expectations of the NAIA as they were ranked 8th in the NAIA Preseason Top-25 poll.
This should really come as no surprise to Patriots fans as UC will be returning a plethora of talent on both sides of the football. The biggest concern for the Patriots this year however is how they will replace 4 year starter at quarterback and school record holder in Jay Bright. As with any football team in the country, replacing a quarterback is never easy. However, with the talent of players like Terrance Cobb (Knoxville, GA) and Willie Gibson (Abbeville, GA) as your skill players, that will make for an easier adjustment.
Being ranked in the preseason polls is nothing new for UC Head Coach John Bland and his Patriots. UC has been voted in the NAIA Preseason Top 25 poll every year for the past 6 seasons. Coach Bland likes being thought of by coaches outside of the MSC but he knows the end is all that matters as he stated, "It is always good to be voted so highly by coaches across the country. We know though that it is being ranked very highly in the final rankings that matter."
UC wasn't the only Mid-South Conference (MSC) team to be ranked in the Preseason poll. Georgetown College, Belhaven University, and Cumberland University were ranked in the Top 25 poll while Kentucky Christian received votes. Georgetown College was the highest ranked MSC team as they were ranked 6th in the country. A newcomer to the polls in recent years was Belhaven University as they were voted 21st in the country to start the season. Cumberland University rounded out the poll with a 25th place ranking.
As the athletes begin preseason camp, the players and coaching staff are ready to have what they hope is the best season in Cumberlands football history. UC will be having their annual Media Day for the public for a chance to meet the Patriot football team on Sunday, August 18th at 6:00 pm at James H. Taylor, II Stadium. If you are unable to make that event, UC will be kicking off the season on August 31st against Union in the "Battle of the Brass Lantern" game. Kickoff is set for noon at James H. Taylor, II Stadium. That game will be televised locally on WYMT and broadcasted on 104.3 WEZJ radio. If you are not able to attend, you can always watch Patriot football home games on www.cumberlandspatriots.com.
For more information on the University of the Cumberlands football team as well as other Patriot athletics, visit our website at www.cumberlandspatriots.com.