Little more than a month ago, the Franklin College football team was ranked No. 19 in the NCAA Division III preseason poll.
Five weeks later, the Grizzlies have played two games. Heavily favored to win the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship, they have climbed to No. 13 in the D3football.com rankings.
But with regard to the poll, perhaps the most interesting number isn’t the Grizzlies’ ranking. It’s their record. They are 0-2 heading into Saturday’s HCAC-opener against visiting Manchester (0-2).
“We’ve moved up six spots since five weeks ago, and we’re 0-2. That’s good. That means we’re respected,” said Franklin coach Mike Leonard, whose team opened the season with a narrow defeat at Division III No. 1 Mount Union (Ohio) and is coming off a heartbreaking loss against Division I Football Championship Subdivision Butler.