The Baker University football team has captured a No. 19 ranking in the 2012 NAIA Football Coaches’ Spring Top 25 Poll after a 7-3 record and fourth-place conference finish in the 2011 season.
The Wildcats are among three other Heart of America teams in the top 25, with MidAmerica Nazarene University at No. 5, Missouri Valley College at No. 9 and Benedictine College at No. 11.
“In the spring, until you play a few football games, the rankings are, in our minds, nonexistent,” head coach Mike Grossner said. “We’ve got to prove it on the field. But it’s nice to get that national recognition for the guys and potentially, on paper, we’ve got a good football team.”
Grossner said so far in spring practices, he likes what he has seen both offensively and defensively.
“The urgency to get better right now and implement a lot of our schemes is very high,” Grossner said. “You look at those spring polls, … and our league is well represented. We know coming into the season that we (have to) play well in our league to have a chance and probably have to be a top 10 team in the country to make the playoffs.”
The Wildcats will have a scrimmage against a Baker alumni team at 1 p.m. May 5 at Liston Stadium for the annual alumni game.