Northwest Missouri State Opens 2014 Season at No. 1

Northwest Missouri State, fresh off of their fourth Division II title in 2013, opens up 2014 as the preseason favorite to win the national championship. This is the third time since the AFCA Division II Coaches’ Poll started in 2000 that the Bearcats have begun the season ranked No. 1. Grand Valley State (Mich.) comes in at No. 2, followed by Minnesota-Duluth, Colorado State-Pueblo and North Alabama rounding out the Top 5.

There will be four Top 25 matchups in the first week of action, highlighted by No. 2 Grand Valley State traveling to No. 22 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and No. 4 Colorado State-Pueblo hosting No. 11 West Texas A&M. The last two Top 25 matchups have No. 7 Minnesota State-Mankato hosting No. 15 St. Cloud State (Minn.) and No. 21 North Carolina-Pembroke traveling to No. 14 Winston-Salem State (N.C.).

2014 American Football Coaches Association Preseason Division II Coaches’ Poll – August 18, 2014

RankSchool (1st votes) 2013 Rec. Pts.Prev.*Season OpenerHead Coach
1. Northwest Missouri St. (31) 15-0 799 1 Sept. 4 vs. Nebraska-Kearney Adam Dorrel
2. Grand Valley St. (Mich.) 12-3 725 3 Sept. 4 at No. 22 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) Matt Mitchell
3. Minnesota-Duluth 11-2 634 8 Sept. 6 vs. Concordia-St. Paul (Minn.) Curt Wiese
4. Colorado St.-Pueblo 11-1 619 7 Sept. 4 vs. No. 11 West Texas A&M John Wristen
5. North Alabama 10-3 589 10 Sept. 13 at Mississippi College Bobby Wallace
6. Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.) 13-2 538 2 Sept. 6 vs. Point (Ga.) Ian Shields
7. Minnesota St.-Mankato 11-1 530 6 Sept. 4 vs. No. 15 St. Cloud State (Minn.) Todd Hoffner
8. Henderson St. (Ark.) (1) 11-1 523 13 Sept. 6 at Southern Nazarene (Okla.) Scott Maxfield
9. Pittsburg St. (Kan.) 10-2 522 19 Sept. 6 vs. Northeastern St. (Okla.) Tim Beck
10. West Chester (Pa.) 13-2 477 4 Sept. 6 at New Haven (Conn.) Bill Zwaan
11. West Texas A&M 11-3 407 11 Sept. 4 at No. 4 Colorado St.-Pueblo Mike Nesbitt
12. Shepherd (W.Va.) 11-1 393 9 Sept. 6 at West Liberty (W.Va.) Monte Cater
13. Ohio Dominican 10-1 390 12 Sept. 6 vs. Malone (Ohio) Bill Conley
14. Winston-Salem St. (N.C.) 10-2 389 14 Sept. 6 vs. No. 21 North Carolina-Pembroke Kienus Boulware
15. St. Cloud State (Minn.) 12-2 350 5 Sept. 4 at No. 7 Minnesota St.-Mankato Scott Underwood
16. Carson-Newman (Tenn.) 10-3 333 17 Sept. 4 vs. Edinboro (Pa.) Ken Sparks
17. Tarleton St. (Texas) 7-3 266 NR Sept. 13 at No. 11 West Texas A&M Cary Fowler
18. Indianapolis (Ind.) 10-2 229 18 Sept. 6 at Saginaw Valley St. (Mich.) Bob Bartolomeo
19. Delta St. (Miss.) 7-3 206 NR Sept. 6 at Fort Valley St. (Ga.) Todd Cooley
20. Indiana (Pa.) 9-2 167 24 Sept. 6 vs. St. Augustine’s (N.C.) Curt Cignetti
21. North Carolina-Pembroke 9-2 140 15 Sept. 6 at No. 14 Winston-Salem St. (N.C.) Shane Richardson
22t. Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 10-2 133 NR Sept. 4 vs. No. 2 Grand Valley St. (Mich.) Victor Santa Cruz
22t. Emporia St. (Kan.) 9-2 133 20 Sept. 4 vs. Missouri Southern St. Garin Higgins
24. Bloomsburg (Pa.) 10-2 103 16 Sept. 6 at Stonehill (Mass.) Paul Darragh
25. Tuskegee (Ala.) 8-3 98 25 Sept. 6 vs. Alabama A&M Willie Slater

*– Ranking in final AFCA Division II Poll of 2013

Others Receiving Votes: Saginaw Valley St. (Mich.), 87; Central Missouri, 82; West Alabama, 67; Valdosta St. (Ga.), 59; American International (Mass.), 51; Ferris St. (Mich.), 41; California (Pa.), 38; Missouri Western St., 38; Albany St. (Ga.), 32; Midwestern St. (Texas), 31; Harding (Ark.), 27; Colorado School of Mines, 20; Newberry (S.C.), 20; Concord (W.Va.), 19; East Stroudsburg (Pa.), 19; Slippery Rock (Pa.), 13; Eastern New Mexico, 12; Ouachita Baptist (Ark.), 9; Winona St. (Minn.), 9; Fayetteville St. (N.C.), 7; Sioux Falls (S.D.), 7; Truman St. (Mo.), 5; Findlay (Ohio), 3; Miles (Ala.), 3; Chadron St. (Neb.), 2; Michigan Tech, 2; Washburn (Kan.), 2; West Georgia, 2.

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