St. Thomas was tabbed as the favorite in the MIAC football coaches preseason poll released on Thursday. The Tommies, ranked No. 3 by D3football.com, won their six conference title this decade last fall and return 14 starters.
They also have won 28 consecutive conference games.
St. John's was ranked second and Concordia (Moorhead) third.
Coach wins 500th
Concordia (St. Paul) coach Brady Starkey won the 500th match of his career when the Golden Bears, the top-ranked team in Division II volleyball, defeated Hillsdale College 25-23, 27-25, 19-25, 25-20 in their season opener in a tournament in Big Rapids, Mich.
Starkey, the NCAA all-time leader in winning percentage at .911 in 16 seasons, reached the milestone in 549 matches.
MIAC changes rules
The MIAC announced several new rules and amended bylaws for the 2018-19 academic year that its membership approved. Among them:
• Under the new heat policy, precautions will be taken when the wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) reaches 76.2 and contests will be halted when WBGT reaches 86.1.
• In cold weather, when the "feels-like" temperature reaches 29 degrees or below, precautions will be taken and no outdoor contests will be played when the "feels-like" temperature registers zero or below. "Feels-like" temperature is determined by the combination of actual air temperature, humidity and windchill.
• The lightning radius was expanded from 8 miles to 10 miles, meaning that if there is a lightning strike within 10 miles a contest will be halted and for 30 minutes.
• Postseason events will have new tickets prices; admission will be $10 for adults, $2 for students.
• In football, established a halftime targeting ejection video review on a one-year trial.
U soccer time changed
The starting time of the Gophers' home opener in women's soccer match vs. Mississippi was moved up an hour to 6 p.m. because of the threat of inclement weather later.