Three teams including the Flying Dutchmen tied for the 1999 MIAA football championship.

If the pre-season poll of head coaches and the media prevails, there is going to be a three-way race again in 2000.

Last year Albion, Alma and Hope were each 5-1 in conference play, creating the first tri-championship since 1958.

First place votes in this year's pre-season poll conducted during the MIAA's 33rd annual press day held Thursday at Alma College were split between the defending tri-champions. Albion received nine of the 22 first place votes while Alma had seven and Hope six.

In the final balloting Albion and Alma tied for first place with 42 points, followed by Hope with 49, Adrian 82, Kalamazoo 98 and Olivet 117.

The pre-favorite of coaches and the media varied. Four of the six head coaches picked Hope to win the championship with the two other votes going to Albion. Albion and Alma each received seven first place media votes while Hope had two.

The nation's oldest collegiate conference launches its 103rd year of football this fall.