Pittsburg State Ends 2011 Season at No. 1 in Division II Poll

After a 20-year dry spell, Pittsburg State (Kan.) returned to the top of Division II football. The Gorillas, who had lost their last three national championship game appearances in 1992, 1995 and 2004, beat Wayne State (Mich.), 35-21, to claim its first NCAA Division II national championship since 1991. Pittsburg State (Kan.) claimed all 29 first-place votes to end the season at No. 1 in the final AFCA Division II Coaches’ Top 25 poll for 2011. Wayne State (Mich.) used their magical run through the playoffs to finish No. 2 in the poll after being unranked when the regular season ended in November. 

Winston-Salem State (N.C.) ended the season at No. 3 with a 13-1 record and a trip to the semifinals, as did No. 4 Delta State (Miss.), who finished the season with a 11-3 record after its loss to Pittsburg State (Kan.) in the semifinals. Northwest Missouri State rounds out the Top Five with an 11-3 record and an appearance in the quarterfinals. West Texas A&M jumped back into the final poll at No. 25 after beating then-No. 23 Central Missouri, 26-7, in the Lower Kanza Bowl.

2011 American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches’ Poll – December 19, 2011

RankSchool (1st votes) Rec. Pts. Prev. Post-seasonHead Coach
1. Pittsburg St. (Kan.) (29) 13-1 725 7 D. Wayne St. (Mich.), 35-21, in national championship Tim Beck
2. Wayne St. (Mich.) 12-4 696 NR Lost to No. 7 Pittsburg St. (Kan.), 35-21, in national championship Paul Winters
3. Winston-Salem St. (N.C.) 13-1 638 3 Lost to Wayne St. (Mich.), 21-14, in semifinals Connell Maynor
4. Delta St. (Miss.) 11-3 616 8 Lost to No. 7 Pittsburg St. (Kan.), 49-23, in semifinals Ron Roberts
5. Northwest Missouri St. 11-3 548 10 Lost to No. 7 Pittsburg St. (Kan.), 41-16, in quarterfinals Adam Dorrel
6. Minnesota-Duluth 11-3 541 9 Lost to Wayne St. (Mich.), 31-25, in quarterfinals Bob Nielson
7. Midwestern St. (Texas) 10-1 520 2 Lost to No. 10 Northwest Missouri St., 38-31 OT, in second round Bill Maskill
8. New Haven (Conn.) 11-2 517 5 Lost to No. 3 Winston-Salem St. (N.C.), 27-7, in quarterfinals Peter Rossomando
9. Colorado St.-Pueblo 11-1 466 1 Lost to No. 9 Minnesota-Duluth, 24-21, in second round John Wristen
10. Nebraska-Kearney 10-2 446 4 Lost to Wayne St. (Mich.), 38-26, in second round Darrell Morris
11. Washburn (Kan.) 10-3 407 15 Lost to No. 7 Pittsburg St. (Kan.), 31-22, in second round Craig Schurig
12. North Greenville (S.C.) 11-3 393 20 Lost to No. 8 Delta St. (Miss.), 28-23, in quarterfinals Jamey Chadwell
13. Kutztown (Pa.) 11-2 388 6 Lost to No. 5 New Haven (Conn.), 44-37, in second round Raymond Monica
14. North Alabama 9-3 352 12 Lost to No. 8 Delta St. (Miss.), 42-14, in second round Terry Bowden
15. California (Pa.) 10-3 325 17 Lost to No. 3 Winston-Salem St. (N.C.), 35-28, in second round John Luckhardt
16. Abilene Christian (Texas) 8-3 307 11 Lost to No. 15 Washburn (Kan.), 52-49, in first round Chris Thomsen
17. St. Cloud State (Minn.) 9-3 290 14 Lost to Wayne St. (Mich.), 48-38, in first round Scott Underwood
18. Missouri Western St. 9-3 242 16 Lost to No. 10 Northwest Missouri St., 35-29, in first round Jerry Partridge
19. Mars Hill (N.C.) 8-3 224 19 Lost to No. 20 North Greenville (S.C.), 58-32, in second round Tim Clifton
20. Humboldt St. (Calif.) 9-1 188 13 DNQ Playoffs Rob Smith
21. Bloomsburg (Pa.) 9-2 128 18 DNQ Playoffs Danny Hale
22. Shepherd (W.Va.) 9-2 91 21 DNQ Playoffs Monte Cater
23. West Alabama 8-4 84 22 Lost to No. 12 North Alabama, 43-27, in first round Will Hall
24. West Virginia Wesleyan 9-2 51 24 DNQ Playoffs Jonas Jackson
25. West Texas A&M 8-3 48 NR D. No. 23 Central Missouri, 26-7, in Lower Kanza Bowl Don Carthel


Dropped Out: Central Missouri (23), Grand Valley St. (Mich.) (25)

Others Receiving Votes: Grand Valley St. (Mich.), 33; Central Missouri, 24; Saginaw Valley St. (Mich.), 22; Albany St. (Ga.), 20; Minnesota St.-Mankato, 20; East Central (Okla.), 19; Colorado School of Mines, 12; Concord (W.Va.), 12; Elizabeth City St. (N.C.), 10; Morehouse (Ga.), 7; Hillsdale (Mich.), 4; Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.), 4; Slippery Rock (Pa.), 4; North Carolina-Pembroke, 2; Valdosta St. (Ga.), 1.

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