With only 45 points separating first place from fourth place, the very close 2017 Centennial Conference Preseason Football poll has been released and Susquehanna University ended up fourth in the poll as announced on the Centennial Conference website Wednesday.
Defending champion Johns Hopkins finished first in the voting from head coaches and sports information directors in the conference with 162 points and 18 first place votes. Muhlenberg was second with 138 points and a first place vote followed by Franklin & Marshall (122 points) and Susquehanna with 117 points and a first place vote.
Moravian (104 points) was fifth, Gettysburg (73) sixth, Ursinus (65) seventh, McDaniel (51) eighth, Juniata (44) ninth and Dickinson (24) in 10th place.
The River Hawks finished the 2016 season at 6-4 and was 6-3 in conference play with two of the three losses coming by seven points or fewer.
The votes were calculated by the votes from each of the head coaches and the sports information directors from the member schools. In an unofficial Twitter poll on the Centennial Conference account, 406 fans voted for their top team and Susquehanna received the most attention with 42% of the votes. Johns Hopkins was second with 31%, Muhlenberg was third with 15% and Franklin & Marshall was fourth at 12%.