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This past season, University of the Cumberlands rejoined the Mid-South Conference East division in football, renewing a stiff rivalry with Georgetown College. The two teams often faced each other even in the years when the Patriots were in the West, but being in the division always brings an added element to the regular season meeting.
Friday morning, the conference release had the two as heavy favorites in the East. GC tallied 35 points, five first-place picks, in the preseason poll. UC finished with 32 and the other two first-place nods. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams.
Georgetown begins the season riding a 27-game regular season winning streak, including 16 straight at home. The team has won 18 straight divisional games, dating back to the 2009 season when Campbellsville, now in the West, won 21-14 in Campbellsville. The Tigers have won five East crowns total and 18 MSC overall regular season titles.
University of the Cumberlands was 10-2 and reached the NAIA Football Championship Series' quarterfinals in 2012. Their lone regular season loss came at the hands of the Tigers in an exciting game at iHigh.com Field, 41-35. Georgetown must travel to Williamsburg for the meeting of the heavy East favorites.
Kentucky Christian was third in the poll with 24 points, followed by Lindsey Wilson, which rejoins the East this season, with 22. Union College was projected fifth with 15 points, followed closely behind by University of Pikeville with 13. Bluefield College, new to the East side this season, rounded out the poll with six voting points.
Bethel University, which ended the Tigers season a year ago, and Belhaven University are the co-favorites of the West. Bethel is two-time defending champion in the West. Cumberland University and Faulkner University tied for third in the preseason voting, while Campbellsville University finished fifth. MSC newcomer, playing its first season of football, Reinhardt University was picked sixth.
Georgetown plays Bethel, Kentucky Wesleyan and Faulkner on a three-game road stretch following a home-opener against NCAA Division II Ohio Dominican. The Tigers are then home to host Campbellsville on Homecoming. The following week, they head to Williamsburg.
GC returns home for two weeks, facing Pikeville and Bluefield. The final two weeks of regular season, the team goes to Union and hosts Lindsey Wilson for Senior Day.
"It is never an easy schedule inside the Mid-South Conference," Tiger coach Bill Cronin said. "We will hit the ground running."
Points (First Place Votes)
2012 Division Record
2012 Overall Record
Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) *
Bluefield (Va.) *
* Participated in the West Division in 2012.