WACO, TEXAS-- Losses from Delta State and Catawba this past Saturday leave only nine undefeated teams left in the 2007 American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches’ Poll, but seven of the top eight teams still have unblemished marks after nine weeks of play.
No. 1 Grand Valley State still continues its winning ways as the Lakers beat Northwood, 51-20. North Alabama still sits in the second position after its 28-17 win over then-No. 5 Delta State. No. 3 Chadron State is 8-0 on the season after the Eagles beat Nebraska-Kearney, 28-16. No. 4 Nebraska-Omaha handed Minnesota-Duluth a 42-17 loss, while West Texas A&M jumped into the No. 5 spot after beating then-No. 12 Abilene Christian, 41-31.
California (Pa.) is up to its highest ranking ever in the AFCA Coaches’ Poll at No. 6 after the Vulcans downed Edinboro, 26-8. Northwest Missouri State beat Fort Hays State, 17-10, and jumped two spots to No. 7, as did Tarleton State, who moved from No. 10 to No. 8 after a 40-10 victory over Eastern New Mexico. North Dakota was idle, but moves up to No. 9 this week as the Fighting Sioux prepare to face Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday. Delta State falls five spots to No. 10 after its loss to No. 2 North Alabama.
No. 11 Valdosta State rebounded from its first loss of the season to blank West Alabama, 37-0. No. 12 West Chester doubled-up East Stroudsburg, 30-15, while No. 13 Carson-Newman dominated Lenior-Rhyne, 56-13. No. 14 Tuskegee is 7-0 on the season after the Golden Tigers beat then-No. 25 Albany State, 40-28. Catawba and Shepherd share the No. 15 spot this week. Catawba lost to Tusculum, 31-28, and fell eight positions, while Shepherd jumped up two spots after its 36-28 win over West Virginia Wesleyan.
Central Washington is up to No. 17 this week after the Wildcats won their third straight “Battle in Seattle” with a 24-7 victory over Western Washington. No. 18 Mesa State is 8-0 on the season after scoring 28 unanswered points in the second half to defeat Adams State, 34-21. No. 19 Pittsburg State beat Southwest Baptist, 42-23, and jumped two spots, as did No. 20 Indiana (Pa.), who beat Lock Haven, 44-13.
Abilene Christian fell nine places to No. 21 after its loss to No. 5 West Texas A&M. Tiffin dominated Lincoln, 57-6, and moved up two to No. 22. Midwestern State beat Texas A&M-Kingsville, 73-6, and stays in the 23rd position. Slippery Rock enters the poll at No. 24 for the first time since 2001. The Rock beat Shippensburg, 38-34, and moved its record to 7-1. Newberry re-enters the Coaches’ Poll at No. 25 after a two-week layoff. The Indians handed then-No. 18 Wingate a 31-23 loss.
Conference Breakdown: Lone Star-4 (West Texas A&M, Tarleton State, Abilene Christian, Midwestern State); Pennsylvania State Athletic-4 (California (Pa.), West Chester, Indiana (Pa.), Slippery Rock); Gulf South-3 (North Alabama, Delta State, Valdosta State); North Central-3 (Nebraska-Omaha, North Dakota, Central Washington); South Atlantic-3 (Catawba, Carson-Newman, Newberry); MIAA-2 (Northwest Missouri State, Pittsburg State); Rocky Mountain Athletic-2 (Chadron State, Mesa State); Great Lakes Football-1 (Tiffin); Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic-1 (Grand Valley State); Southern Intercollegiate Athletic-1 (Tuskegee); West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic-1 (Shepherd).
Four games featuring teams ranked in the AFCA Division II Coaches’ Poll highlight this weekend’s action. In the first match-up, No. 2 North Alabama will be facing its second-straight Top 25 opponent when the Lions travel to No. 11 Valdosta State. The Blazers will be looking for revenge after a 31-24 overtime loss to UNA last season. The second Top 25 match-up is for the top spot in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference as No. 3 Chadron State plays host to No. 18 Mesa State. Both teams are tied atop the RMAC standings with 5-0 records and 8-0 overall.
The third Top 25 match-up has No. 6 California (Pa.) traveling to No. 24 Slippery Rock. The Vulcans sit atop the PSAC Western Division with a 4-0 mark, with Slippery Rock right behind them at 2-1. The final match-up has No. 21 Abilene Christian facing its second-straight Top 10 team as the Wildcats travel to No. 8 Tarleton State. ACU has won two of the last three against Tarleton State while the Texans are looking to keep pace with West Texas A&M for the Lone Star Conference lead.
Grand Valley State claimed a 51-20 victory over Northwood Saturday and in the process made NCAA Division II history by winning its 35th consecutive game. GVSU’s 35 straight wins passes the previous record held by Hillsdale College (1954-57) … Midwestern State handed Texas A&M-Kingsville its worst loss in school history in terms of margin of victory with its 73-6 victory this past Saturday.