Valdosta State Finishes Season at No. 1 in Division II Poll

Valdosta State (Ga.) caused six turnovers, and dominated No. 2 Winston-Salem State (N.C.) in the national title game, 35-7, to capture its third NCAA Division II national title. The Blazers rose from No. 17 in the final regular season poll to finish at No. 1 in the final poll of 2012. Finishing ranked behind No. 2 Winston-Salem State is No. 3 Minnesota State-Mankato, who made a run to the semi-finals, ending their season at 13-1. West Texas A&M also made an appearance in the Division II semi-finals, causing the Buffs to jump 12 spots to No. 4. Rounding out the Top 5 is Missouri Western State, who finished the season at 12-2 after their loss to Minnesota State-Mankato in the quarterfinals.

Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.) and West Alabama both made appearances in the second round of the playoffs, allowing both teams to move into the final poll at No. 20 and No. 21, respectively. All but three teams in the final Top 25 Poll were a part of the Division II playoffs. No. 22 Emporia State (Kan.) beat Texas A&M-Kingsville, 45-38, in the Lower Kanza Bowl, while No. 23 Tuskegee (Ala.) fell to Elizabeth City State (N.C.), 28-13, in the Pioneer Bowl. No. 24 Missouri S&T did not make the playoffs, but finished with a 10-1 record. Sioux Falls (S.D.), Miles (Ala.) and Charleston (W.Va.) all fell out of the final poll.

2012 American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches’ Poll
December 17, 2012

RankSchool (1st votes) Rec. Pts.Prev.Post-seasonHead Coach
1. Valdosta St. (Ga.) (30) 12-2 750 17 D. No. 2 Winston-Salem St. (N.C.), 35-7, in national championship David Dean
2. Winston-Salem St. (N.C.) 14-1 719 2 Lost to No. 17 Valdosta St. (Ga.), 35-7, in national championship Connell Maynor
3. Minnesota St.-Mankato 13-1 674 5 Lost to No. 17 Valdosta St. (Ga.), 35-19, in semi-finals Aaron Keen
4. West Texas A&M 12-3 596 16 Lost to No. 2 Winston-Salem St. (N.C.), 41-18, in semi-finals Don Carthel
5. Missouri Western St. 12-2 578 9 Lost to No. 5 Minnesota St.-Mankato, 17-10, in quarterfinals Jerry Partridge
6. Colorado St.-Pueblo 12-1 575 1 Lost to No. 16 West Texas A&M, 34-13, in quarterfinals John Wristen
7. Indiana (Pa.) 12-2 545 11 Lost to No. 2 Winston-Salem St. (N.C.), 21-17, in quarterfinals Curt Cignetti
8. New Haven (Conn.) 10-1 496 3 Lost to No. 11 Indiana (Pa.), 17-14, in second round Peter Rossomando
9. Ashland (Ohio) 11-1 480 4 Lost to No. 16 West Texas A&M, 33-28, in second round Lee Owens
10. Northwest Missouri St. 10-3 446 13 Lost to No. 5 Minnesota St.-Mankato, 38-35 2OT, in second round Adam Dorrel
11. Henderson St. (Ark.) 10-1 408 6 Lost to No. 9 Missouri Western St., 45-21, in second round Scott Maxfield
12. Minnesota-Duluth 10-2 407 7 Lost to No. 9 Missouri Western St., 57-55 3OT, in first round Bob Nielson
13. Carson-Newman (Tenn.) 9-3 406 22 Lost to No. 17 Valdosta St. (Ga.), 48-26, in quarterfinals Ken Sparks
14. Shippensburg (Pa.) 11-2 349 15 Lost to No. 2 Winston-Salem St. (N.C.), 37-14, in second round Mark Maciejewski
15. Indianapolis (Ind.) 10-3 288 18 Lost to No. 1 Colorado St.-Pueblo, 28-7, in second round Bob Bartolomeo
16. Midwestern St. (Texas) 9-2 284 8 Lost to No. 18 Indianapolis (Ind.), 31-14, in first round Bill Maskill
17. Bloomsburg (Pa.) 10-2 263 10 Lost to No. 15 Shippensburg (Pa.), 58-20, in first round Danny Hale
18. Chadron St. (Neb.) 9-3 231 20 Lost to No. 16 West Texas A&M, 38-30, in first round Jay Long
19. Harding (Ark.) 9-2 219 12 Lost to No. 13 Northwest Missouri St., 35-0, in first round Ronnie Huckeba
20. Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.) 9-3 195 NR Lost to No. 22 Carson-Newman (Tenn.), 38-35, in second round Mike Houston
21. West Alabama 9-4 189 NR Lost to No. 17 Valdosta St. (Ga.), 49-21, in second round Will Hall
22. Emporia St. (Kan.) 10-2 110 24 D. Texas A&M-Kingsville, 45-38, in Lower Kanza Bowl Garin Higgins
23. Tuskegee (Ala.) 10-2 97 14 Lost to Elizabeth City St. (N.C.), 28-13, in Pioneer Bowl Willie Slater
24. Missouri S&T 10-1 95 19 DNQ Playoffs David Brown
25. Shepherd (W.Va.) 8-3 84 25t Lost to No. 11 Indiana (Pa.), 27-17, in first round Monte Cater

Dropped Out: Sioux Falls (S.D.) (21), Miles (Ala.) (23), Charleston (W.Va.) (25t)

Others Receiving Votes: Miles (Ala.), 69; Sioux Falls (S.D.), 68; Winona St. (Minn.), 47; Fort Valley St. (Ga.), 22; Charleston (W.Va.), 20; Saginaw Valley St. (Mich.), 12; Grand Valley St. (Mich.), 10; Michigan Tech, 9; California (Pa.), 5; Bentley (Mass.), 4.

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