Northwest Missouri State No. 1 in Preseason AFCA Poll

After winning a fifth national title in 2015, Northwest Missouri State will start 2016 where they ended last year – at No. 1 in the AFCA Division II Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. This is the fourth time since the poll began in 2000 that the Bearcats start the season ranked No. 1. Semifinalists from last season’s playoffs, West Georgia and Grand Valley State (Mich.), are ranked second and third, respectively, followed by national runner-up Shepherd (W.Va.) at No. 4. Colorado State-Pueblo rounds out the top five.

The first week of action starts off with three Top 25 matchups as No. 1 Northwest Missouri State begins defending their national championship by traveling to No. 24 Emporia State (Kan.). The second ranked team in the poll, West Georgia, plays host to No. 22 Catawba (N.C.), while No. 5 Colorado State-Pueblo travels to in-state rival No. 18 Colorado School of Mines in a key early-season matchup in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. 

2016 American Football Coaches Association Preseason Division II Coaches’ Poll – August 15, 2016

RankSchool (1st votes) 2015 Rec. Pts.2015 Rank*Season OpenerHead Coach
1. Northwest Missouri St. (29) 15-0 749 1 Sept. 1 at No. 24 Emporia St. (Kan.) Adam Dorrel
2. West Georgia (1) 12-2 676 3 Sept. 3 vs. No. 22 Catawba (N.C.) Will Hall
3. Grand Valley St. (Mich.) 12-3 658 4 Sept. 1 vs. Tiffin (Ohio) Matt Mitchell
4. Shepherd (W.Va.) 13-1 638 2 Sept. 3 vs. West Virginia Wesleyan Monte Cater
5. Colorado St.-Pueblo 12-2 581 5 Sept. 1 at No. 18 Colorado School of Mines John Wristen
6. Ashland (Ohio) 10-1 523 10 Sept. 1 vs. Mercyhurst (Pa.) Lee Owens
7. Minnesota St. 10-2 466 13 Sept. 1 at Minot St. (N.D.) Todd Hoffner
8. Indiana (Pa.) 9-3 364 19 Sept. 10 at East Stroudsburg (Pa.) Curt Cignetti
9t. Henderson St. (Ark.) 11-2 363 12 Sept. 1 vs. Southeastern Oklahoma St. Scott Maxfield
9t. Texas A&M-Commerce 8-4 363 23 Sept. 1 vs. Faith (Fla.) Colby Carthel
11. Slippery Rock (Pa.) 12-2 360 7 Sept. 3 vs. New Haven (Conn.) Shawn Lutz
12. Ferris St. (Mich.) 11-1 359 6 Sept. 1 vs. Ohio Dominican Tony Annese
13. Humboldt St. (Calif.) 10-2 353 16 Sept. 1 at Carson-Newman (Tenn.) Rob Smith
14. Midwestern St. (Texas) 10-2 344 9 Sept. 3 at Truman St. (Mo.) Bill Maskill
15. North Alabama 9-3 330 15 Sept. 1 at Jacksonville St. (Ala.) Bobby Wallace
16. Indianapolis (Ind.) 10-2 276 18 Sept. 3 at Hillsdale (Mich.) Bob Bartolomeo
17. Tuskegee (Ala.) 10-3 241 11 Sept. 3 at Clark Atlanta (Ga.) Willie Slater
18. Colorado School of Mines 8-3 228 NR Sept. 1 vs. No. 5 Colorado St.-Pueblo Gregg Brandon
19. Minnesota-Duluth 9-3 196 NR Sept. 1 at Southwest Minnesota St. Curt Wiese
20. Central Missouri 8-3 184 NR Sept. 1 at Pittsburg St. (Kan.) Jim Svoboda
21. Assumption (Mass.) 11-2 144 17 Sept. 3 vs. Kutztown (Pa.) Bob Chesney
22. Catawba (N.C.) 9-3 140 25 Sept. 3 at No. 2 West Georgia Curtis Walker
23. Sioux Falls (S.D.) 9-3 125 21t Sept. 1 at St. Cloud State (Minn.) Jed Stugart
24. Emporia St. (Kan.) 11-3 124 8 Sept. 1 vs. No. 1 Northwest Missouri St. Garin Higgins
25. Augustana (S.D.) 9-3 119 24 Sept. 3 vs. Northern St. (S.D.) Jerry Olszewski

*– Ranking in final AFCA Division II Poll of 2015

Others Receiving Votes: Florida Tech, 107; Valdosta St. (Ga.), 99; Pittsburg St. (Kan.), 88; West Chester (Pa.), 82; Winston-Salem St. (N.C.), 74; Charleston (W.Va.), 60; Carson-Newman (Tenn.), 53; Colorado Mesa, 50; Harding (Ark.), 40; Albany St. (Ga.), 34; Virginia Union, 29; California (Pa.), 25; Angelo St. (Texas), 19; Azusa Pacific (Calif.), 13; Miles (Ala.), 11; Delta St. (Miss.), 9; Michigan Tech, 9; Western Oregon, 9; West Texas A&M, 8; Fort Hays St. (Kan.), 6; Bowie St. (Md.), 4; Saginaw Valley St. (Mich.), 4; Central Oklahoma, 3; Ouachita Baptist (Ark.), 3; Ohio Dominican, 2; Texas A&M-Kingsville, 2; Bemidji St. (Minn.), 1; McKendree (Ill.), 1; Newberry (S.C.), 1.

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