WACO, TEX.-- There was only one loss among the Top 15 teams after the sixth week of action, causing very little change in the AFCA Division II Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. Grand Valley State defeated Wayne State (Mich.), 41-10, and collected all 28 first place votes for the first time this season to remain solidly at No. 1.
No. 2 North Dakota continued its undefeated season with a 37-0 blanking of Augustana (S.D.). No. 3 North Alabama survived a fourth-quarter comeback by Arkansas Tech to win 27-20. No. 4 Chadron State moved its record to 5-0 after a 49-0 shutout of New Mexico Highlands. Valdosta State handed Ouachita Baptist a 31-3 loss and rounds out the Top 5.
No. 6 Nebraska-Omaha kept pace with North Dakota for the North Central Conference race lead after a 45-15 win over Minnesota State-Mankato, while No. 7 Carson-Newman looks to be the front-runner in the South Atlantic Conference after a 49-19 victory over then-No. 9 Newberry. No. 8 Delta State is now 4-0 this season after a 28-3 win over Southern Arkansas. Northwest Missouri State jumped to the ninth position after the Bearcats held Southwest Baptist to an MIAA record minus-74 yards rushing in its 86-13 win. West Texas A&M moves into the Top 10 for the first time this season after a 36-3 victory over Texas A&M-Kingsville.
No. 11 California is 5-0 for the first time since 1986 after a second straight shutout, this time, 56-0 over Clarion. Midwestern State beat Angelo State, 44-16, and jumps one spot to No. 12, as does Catawba, who moved from No. 14 to No. 13 after a 45-21 win over then-No. 23 Mars Hill. No. 14 Tarleton State moved its record to 5-0 after downing Southwestern Oklahoma State, 43-19. Abilene Christian jumped two spots to No. 15 after beating previously unbeaten Eastern New Mexico, 45-20.
No. 16 Pittsburg State, No. 17 West Chester and No. 18 Indiana (Pa.) all moved up three positions each this week. The Gorillas survived in a double-overtime thriller to beat Central Missouri, 38-31, while West Chester beat Bloomsburg, 44-28. Indiana (Pa.) used a last-second field goal to edge Slippery Rock, 34-31. Newberry tumbled 10 positions to No. 19 after its loss to Carson-Newman, while Tuskegee jumped five to No. 20 after a 42-9 win over Concordia (Ala.).
Shepherd moves up to No. 21 this week after beating Seton Hill, 44-6. South Dakota dropped six spots to No. 22 after its 31-7 loss to FCS member, McNeese State, while No. 23 Wingate fell five positions after its loss to Tusculum, 31-28. Virginia Union enters the Coaches’ Poll at No. 24 for the first time since Dec. 11, 2001. The Panthers are 5-0 after a 30-14 win over St. Augustine’s. No. 25 Mesa State also jumps into the poll for the first this year after the Mavericks moved to 5-0 with a 19-18 win over Nebraska-Kearney.
Conference Breakdown: Lone Star-4 (West Texas A&M, Midwestern State, Tarleton State, Abilene Christian); South Atlantic-4 (Carson-Newman, Catawba, Newberry, Wingate); Gulf South-3 (North Alabama, Valdosta State, Delta State); North Central-3 (North Dakota, Nebraska-Omaha, South Dakota); Pennsylvania State Athletic-3 (California (Pa.), West Chester, Indiana (Pa.)); MIAA-2 (Northwest Missouri State, Pittsburg State); Rocky Mountain Athletic-2 (Chadron State, Mesa State); Central Intercollegiate Athletic-1 (Virginia Union); 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. The first match-up is the sixth “Fall Classic at Arrowhead,” pitting No. 9 Northwest Missouri State against No. 16 Pittsburg State. These two teams have met at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City since 2002 with the Bearcats winning four of the five contests. The second Top 25 match-up is a key Lone Star Conference South Division contest as No. 10 West Texas A&M travels to No. 12 Midwestern State. Both teams are 5-0, and each are looking to take control of the competitive LSC South.
The third match-up sees No. 18 Indiana (Pa.) playing host to No. 11 California (Pa.). The two squads tied for the PSAC Western Division title last season, with Indiana (Pa.) taking the head-to-head match-up, 21-17. The final Top 25 match-up has No. 13 Catawba facing its second straight ranked opponent as the Indians host No. 19 Newberry. Catawba owns the all-time series lead at 36-31-3, but Newberry won last year’s meeting, 21-14.
Pat Behrns recorded his 100th victory as Nebraska-Omaha’s head coach in the Mavericks’ 45-15 win over Minnesota St.-Mankato. His 19-plus year career record stands at 136-79, 100-52 at UNO ... Northwest Missouri State set new school records for most points scored in a game (86) and largest margin of victory (73 points) in the Bearcats 86-13 win over Southwest Baptist.