The back-to-back champions Concordia Cardinals came out on top of a crowded Mideast League Preseason Coaches Poll, as three different teams earned first-place votes heading into the 2022 season.

The Cardinals, anchored by returning quarterback Gavin Brooks, finished 6-1 in the Mideast League last year and reached the quarterfinals of the NAIA Football Championship Series. Concordia earned four out of the seven available first-place votes to take the top spot in the poll.

Last season’s other co-champs, Marian, placed second in the poll with three first-place votes, while Indiana Wesleyan took third with a first-place vote going to the Wildcats.

Saint Francis and Siena Heights placed fourth and fifth, separated by a single point in the poll, with Lawrence Tech, Taylor, and Madonna filling out the remainder of the poll.

To determine the preseason rankings, head coaches across the league rank their fellow Mideast League members from top to bottom, with 1st place earning 7 points, 2nd place earning 6 points, etc. Coaches are not permitted to vote for their own teams.

The Mideast League kicks off the 2022 season when Madonna travels to Alma (Mich.) on Saturday, August 20.

2022 Mideast League Preseason Poll1.) Concordia – 44 pts. (4 first-place votes)2.) Marian – 43 pts. (3)3.) Indiana Wesleyan – 39 pts. (1)4.) Saint Francis – 29 pts.5.) Siena Heights – 28 pts.6.) Lawrence Tech – 19 pts.7.) Taylor – 15 pts.8.) Madonna – 7 pts.