The Doane football team will open the 2012 season on September 1 against Briar Cliff University at home and with a national ranking. The Tigers enter the season ranked No. 21 by the NAIA in the national poll released on Monday.
This will mark the first time since 2003 that Doane has opened the season with a national ranking as they entered that season at No. 15. In 2002, the last time Doane finished a season ranked (No. 17) in the national poll, they started the season at No. 25. Doane was receiving votes in the NAIA poll as they entered the 2001 campaign and finished 22nd.
The Tigers were ranked No. 18 in the 2012 spring poll but dropped three spots for the preseason poll. They will return 13 starters, six on offense and seven on defense, as well as 36 letter winners.