Colorado School of Mines stands atop the 2022 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Preseason Football Poll, the league announced Monday. The RMAC Preseason Football Poll is voted on by the league’s 10 football head coaches. Coaches are not permitted to vote for their own team.
Mines maxes out on first-place votes, receiving nine of 10 while accumulating 81 points in preseason voting. The Orediggers are fresh off a historic season where they made an impressive postseason run to the semifinal round of the NCAA playoffs. John Matocha and 2021 Harlon Hill finalist, Michael Zeman, return for the Mines offense. The tandem is just two of several weapons for an Orediggers attack that averaged 38.6 points per game last season. The defense has also reloaded under former defensive coordinator and first-year head coach Brandon Moore. Expect balanced play and fireworks from every aspect of the game from Colorado School of Mines in the 2022 season.
Colorado State University Pueblo earns 70 points and the final first-place vote for second place in preseason voting. The ThunderWolves return a slew of veteran players on both sides of the ball from the 2021 season. The Pack’s experienced offensive line will protect Steven Croell, who returns under center for his redshirt sophomore season in Pueblo. Max Gonzalez will lead the defense and will look to lead the CSU Pueblo defense which ranked first in the RMAC, and fourth nationally, last season for defensive touchdowns (5).
Rounding out the top three is Western Colorado with 66 points in the preseason coaches’ poll. The Mountaineers closed out the 2021 season by earning their first NCAA postseason appearance since the 1997 season. Quarterback Connor Desch and running back Josh Cummings return in the backfield for WCU and complement a stingy defense that led the RMAC and ranked 14th nationally in team tackles for loss (8.2) last year.
Colorado Mesa secures the fourth-place position with 53 points, followed by Chadron State with 47 points. South Dakota Mines sits in sixth with 40 points, while Black Hills State is seventh overall with 35 points.
New Mexico Highlands grabs the eighth spot with 25 points, just ahead of Adams State and Fort Lewis, which close out the preseason poll with 22 points and 11 points, respectively.
Six RMAC programs kick off on Thursday, Sept. 1, while the three more get their seasons underway Saturday, Sept. 3. Fort Lewis will take a bye week to open the season, but begins its slate on Saturday, Sept. 10.