After Saturday’s 34-16 victory over Gettysburg, the Johns Hopkins football team moved from No. 12 to No. 10 in the latest American Football Coaches Association poll. It is the seventh top 10 ranking for the program since the poll debuted in 1999.
The Blue Jays spent three weeks last year in the top 10, which may be part of the reason why coach Jim Margraff is not overinflating the significance of the ranking.
“Not meaningful at all,” he said Wednesday morning. “I always tell our guys that if we got an extra field goal or a do-over or an extra timeout, then it’d be worth something. But other than that, it doesn’t really interest me very much.”
With a 7-0 overall record (6-0 in the Centennial Conference), Johns Hopkins remains in first place in the league with second-place Ursinus visiting Homewood Field this Saturday. If the Blue Jays can defeat the Bears, they will clinch at least a share of their fifth straight Centennial Conference championship.
That resonated more with Margraff than a national ranking.
“Since we only play 10, they’re all important, but I would say that if you look at this game, if we win it, we would secure at least a minimum of a share of the conference championship, and it puts us in good position to continue towards our goal of going to postseason play,” he said. “So in that respect, it’s big. And they’ve got the one loss, and if they beat us, they’ll be ahead of us with that head-to-head [tiebreaker]. There are still weeks of football to play, but it’s a big game for both teams.”
Ursinus has lost only to Juniata this season, 28-7, on Oct. 19. That alone should grab the Blue Jays’ attention, but Margraff said their history against the Bears is also worthy of their focus.
“Several years ago, we were 7-0, and Ursinus beat us here at Homewood,” Margraff said, referring to a 21-17 loss on Oct. 29, 2005. “So our guys are just trying to win this one game. If they do that, they understand that maybe there’s an extra reward at the end of it, but we still have a ways to go.”