Tuesday, August 28, 2007


WACO, TEX.-- The top five teams remained unchanged in the 2007 American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches’ Poll after the opening weekend of action.

No. 1 Grand Valley State was idle in week one, but begins its title defense versus St. Joseph’s on Aug. 30. No. 2 Northwest Missouri State was leading Arkansas Tech, 21-0, with 2:30 remaining in the first quarter when the game was called due to lightning. A decision on the outcome of the game is still pending. North Dakota stays in the third position after its 59-0 blanking of Humboldt State. North Alabama remains at No. 4 and opens its season against Tusculum on Sept. 8. No. 5 Chadron State downed then-No. 25 Washburn, 34-24.

No. 6 Valdosta State gets its first taste of action in 2007 when they host No. 21 Albany State. No. 7 Pittsburg State opened its season with a 28-14 win over Texas A&M-Commerce on a national television audience. No. 8 South Dakota opens its season at No. 24 West Texas A&M. Shepherd downed Millersville, 36-7, and sits in the ninth position while No. 10 Delta State begins its season at Jackson State.

No. 11 Abilene Christian starts its season on Saturday at conference rival Central Oklahoma while No. 12 Bloomsburg hosts’ regional foe C.W. Post. Carson-Newman moved up two spots to No. 13 after its 52-21 victory over Virginia State. No. 14 Nebraska-Omaha begins its 2007 at in-state rival Nebraska-Kearney while No. 15 Northwood plays host to conference rival Mercyhurst.

No. 16 Newberry opens its season by hosting Chowan on Saturday. No. 17 West Chester will travel to fellow PSAC member Edinboro while No. 18 Southeastern Oklahoma State hosts NAIA member Northwestern Oklahoma State. Midwestern State moved up four spots to No. 19 after beating Adams State, 41-15. Bemidji State fell a spot to No. 20 as it prepares for a trip to Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday.

No. 21 Albany State fell one spot in the poll despite beating North Carolina Central, 16-10. No. 22 Elizabeth City State opens its 2007 schedule against Catawba. No. 23 California (Pa.) downed East Stroudsburg, 26-3, on a rare Monday night game. West Texas A&M stayed at No. 24 this week at the Buffs prepare for their game against No. 8 South Dakota. Saginaw Valley State jumps into the Top 25 this week and faces Ashland on Saturday.

Conference Breakdown: The Lone Star Conference (Abilene Christian, Southeastern Oklahoma State, Midwestern State, West Texas A&M) has the most representatives in the preseason AFCA Division II Coaches’ Poll with four. Other conferences represented include: Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic-3 (Grand Valley State, Northwood, Saginaw Valley State); Gulf South-3 (North Alabama, Valdosta State, Delta State); North Central-3 (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska-Omaha); Pennsylvania State Athletic-3 (Bloomsburg, West Chester, California (Pa.)); MIAA-2 (Northwest Missouri State, Pittsburg State); South Atlantic-2 (Carson-Newman, Newberry); Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association-1 (Elizabeth City State); Northern Sun Intercollegiate-1 (Bemidji State); Rocky Mountain Athletic-1 (Chadron State); Southern Intercollegiate-1 (Albany State); West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic-1 (Shepherd).


Only two games featuring teams ranked in the AFCA Division II Coaches’ Poll highlight this weekend’s action. The first Top 25 match up sees No. 6 Valdosta State hosting No. 21 Albany State. The Blazers have won two straight against Albany State. The second Top 25 match up sees No. 8 South Dakota traveling to Canyon, Texas, to face No. 24 West Texas A&M. This is the season opener for both schools.

Poll Points

Midwestern State senior quarterback Daniel Polk became the school’s all-time leading rusher on his first carry of the season – a 54-yard touchdown run. He finished the game with 68 yards on seven carries and now has 2,589 yards, moving past current Oakland Raider runningback Dominic Rhodes, who rushed for 2,541 yards in 1999-2000 ... Pittsburg State junior quarterback Mark Smith made a successful return from a season-ending arm injury from 2006 by rushing for a career-high three scores and passing for another in the Gorillas’ 28-14 win against Texas A&M-Commerce ... Shepherd runningback Dervon Wallace moved into 10th place on the WVIAC all-time rushing list with his 195 yards in the Rams’ 36-7 win over Millersville. He has rushed for 3,362 yards in his career ... Danny Freud of North Dakota threw for five touchdown passes - all in the first half - in UND’s 59-0 season-opening win over Humboldt State. Freund’s five touchdowns were one short of the school record ... Chadron State runningback Danny Woodhead rushed for 290 yards and four touchdowns in the Eagles 34-24 win over Washburn.