WACO, TEX.-- Valdosta State defeated then-No. 20 Newberry, 14-9, moving its record to 2-0 and holding down the top spot in the American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches’ Poll with 22 first place votes.
Grand Valley State still sits second in the poll and will start its season against Indianapolis on Saturday. No. 3 North Alabama routed Southern Arkansas 57-14, while No. 4 Carson-Newman beat Concord 77-14. Those two schools will meet each other on Thursday night in Jefferson City, Tennessee, for a Top 5 showdown. California (Pa.) handed then-No. 16 West Chester a 44-32 loss, and rounds out the Top 5.
Abilene Christian moved up two spots to No. 6 after scoring 30 unanswered points in a 44-27 upset of then-No. 3 Northwest Missouri State. Nebraska-Omaha stays at No. 7 as it prepares to open its season against Nebraska-Kearney on Saturday. No. 8 Chadron State beat Mary, 37-17, and moved up one spot in the Coaches’ Poll, as did No. 9 West Texas A&M, who handed then-No. 20 Mesa State a 23-20 loss. Delta State climbed into the Top 10 despite not playing a game. The Statesmen play McNeese State on Saturday.
No. 11 Central Washington stays in the same position after going to overtime to beat Dixie State, 44-38. Northwest Missouri State falls nine spots to No. 12 after its loss to Abilene Christian. No. 13 Shepherd won a close game against Shippensburg, 20-16, as did No. 14 Pittsburg State, who edged Central Oklahoma 16-12. Tuskegee is ranked No. 15 this week and begins its season against Miles on Saturday.
Indiana (Pa.) was idle and moved up five spots to No. 16. The Crimson Hawks will start its season against new conference member C.W. Post on Saturday. No. 17 Minnesota-Duluth blanked Concordia-St. Paul, 40-0, and jumped up five spots while Bloomsburg moved up six places to No. 18 after upsetting then-No. 15 Ashland, 49-42. Tarleton State comes into the Coaches’ Poll at No. 19 after handing Southeastern Oklahoma State a 51-10 loss. Southern Connecticut State edged past West Virginia Wesleyan, 26-21, and rounds out the Top 20.
No. 21 Newberry fell just one spot after its loss to No. 1 Valdosta State. Washburn enters the Coaches’ Poll at No. 22 after beating Colorado School of Mines, 27-3. West Chester dropped seven spots to No. 23 after its loss to California, while Ashland fell nine positions to No. 24 after its loss to Bloomsburg. Albany State beat Shaw, 27-10, and jumps into the Coaches’ Poll at No. 25.
Conference Breakdown: MIAA-4 (Nebraska-Omaha, Northwest Missouri St., Pittsburg St., Washburn); Pennsylvania State Athletic-4 (California (Pa.), Indiana (Pa.), Bloomsburg, West Chester); Lone Star-3 (Abilene Christian, West Texas A&M, Tarleton St.); Gulf South-3 (Valdosta St., North Alabama, Delta St.); Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic-2 (Grand Valley St., Ashland); South Atlantic-2 (Carson-Newman, Newberry); Southern Intercollegiate Athletic-2 (Tuskegee, Albany St.); Great Northwest Athletic-1 (Central Washington); Northeast 10-1 (Southern Connecticut St.); Northern Sun Intercollegiate-1 (Minnesota-Duluth); Rocky Mountain Athletic-1 (Chadron St.); West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic-1 (Shepherd).
There are three games featuring teams ranked in the AFCA Division II Coaches’ Poll that highlight this weekend’s action.
The first match-up is a Top 5 tilt as No. 3 North Alabama travels to No. 4 Carson-Newman. UNA holds the all-time series lead at 6-1, with five of those contest coming in the NCAA Division II playoffs.
The second Top 25 match-up sees No. 18 Bloomsburg hosting No. 5 California (Pa.). The Huskies hold a 10-7-2 advantage against California (Pa.) in the all-time series, but the Vulcans handed Bloomsburg a 31-13 loss last season.
The final Top 25 match-up this week has No. 14 Pittsburg State traveling to No. 8 Chadron State, which is the first meeting between those two schools.
No. 1 Valdosta State’s defense held then-No. 20 Newberry to just 70 yards of total offense ... No. 3 North Alabama scored 57 points in its victory over Southern Arkansas, which is the 10th most points scored in a game in Lions history. UNA also racked up 624 yards of total offense ... No. 6 Abilene Christian snapped then-No. 3 Northwest Missouri State’s 17-game home winning streak with a come-from-behind victory, 44-27. ACU finished the game on a 37-6 scoring run after trailing 21-7 at the end of the fist quarter ... No. 4 Carson-Newman racked up 722 yards of total offense, just nine short of the school record, in the Eagles 77-14 win over Concord ... No. 17 Minnesota-Duluth handed Concordia-St. Paul its first shutout loss in 91 games, 40-0, dating back to 1999.