Sioux Falls Ranked #17 In AFCA Preseason Poll

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WACO, TEXAS – The of Sioux Falls Football Team, the defending NSIC champions, has been ranked #17 in the 2017 American College Football Association (AFCA) NCAA Division II Coaches Top-25 Preseason Poll, which was released Monday by the AFCA.

The Cougars, directed by first-year head football coach Jon Anderson, has been ranked in 36 straight polls by the AFCA. The Cougars, which was ranked #8 in the final poll of the 2016 season, earned 235 points in the 2017 preseason ranking. USF, which made its third straight NCAA DII postseason appearance a year ago in a 12-1 campaign, is one of four NSIC schools ranked, including Minnesota Duluth at #10 (431 points), Minnesota State at #20 (201 points) and Bemidji State at #25 (133 points).

USF has won nine or more games in four of its five years at NCAA DII. A year ago, the Cougars rolled through the NSIC regular season with an 11-0 record on the way to a 12-1 record and a second straight playoff berth. With the 12-1 season, the Cougars registered a 23rd straight winning season, which ranks best in NCAA DII and fifth-best across all levels.

The Cougars have been ranked in every AFCA poll since opening at #24 on Sept. 22, 2014.  A year ago, USF was ranked in the top 10 for the final eight polls of the regular season. USF, which was ranked #23 in the 2016 AFCA preseason poll, jumped as high as #4 on Oct 17. The Cougars have won 32-of-37 games and victorious in 186 games since the turn of the Century (16 years) and 428 in school history.  

In 2017, USF returns 10 starters, including All-American running back Max Mickey, and 34 letter winners to a squad which opens the season with a Thursday, Aug. 31 road game at #10 Minnesota Duluth. Aside from Mickey, the Cougars returns six other All-NSIC performers, including two-time all-league safety Josh Butler.

After back-to-back NCAA Division II national titles and winners of 30 straight games, Northwest Missouri State will start the 2017 season ranked No. 1 in the AFCA Division II Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. This is the fifth time since the poll began in 2000 that the Bearcats start the season ranked No. 1. Grand Valley State (Mich.), who made a run to the quarterfinals of the Division II playoffs last season, begins this year at No. 2. The Lakers are followed by fellow Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference rival Ferris State (Mich.) at No. 3, with Emporia State (Kan.) and Texas A&M-Commerce rounding out the Top 5. 

AFCA 2017 Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Northwest Missouri State (34), 15-0, 850
2. Grand Valley St. (Mich.), 12-1, 765
3. Ferris State (Mich.), 12-3, 716
4. Emporia State (Kan.), 11-2, 652
5. Texas A&M Commerce, 10-2, 634
6. North Alabama, 11-2, 622
7. Shepherd (W. Va.), 13-1, 574
8. California (Pa.), 11-1, 568
9. Indiana (Pa.), 10-2, 500
10. Minnesota Duluth, 10-2, 431
11. Valdosta State (Ga.), 8-3, 390
12. Colorado State-Pueblo, 8-3, 349
13. Azusa Pacific (Calif.), 9-3, 302
14. LIU-Post (N.Y.), 12-1, 288
15. Harding (Ark.), 13-1, 281
16. Colorado School of Mines, 10-3, 254
17. Sioux Falls, 12-1, 235
18. Southwest Baptist (Mo.), 10-2, 227
19. North Carolina-Pembroke, 10-2, 220
20. Minnesota State, 8-3, 201
21. Central Missouri State (Mo.), 9-3, 189
22. Southern Arkansas, 9-3, 157
23. Colorado Mesa, 9-3, 154
24. Midwestern State (Texas), 8-3, 138
25. Bemidji State (Minn.), 9-3, 133

Others Receiving Votes: Ashland (Ohio), 130; Tuskegee (Ala.), 123; North Greenville (S.C.), 121; Winston-Salem St. (N.C.), 114; Newberry (S.C.), 107; Ohio Dominican, 86; West Chester (Pa.), 82; West Georgia, 75; Edinboro (Pa.), 57; Albany St. (Ga.), 45; Florida Tech, 43; Assumption (Mass.), 38; Texas A&M-Kingsville, 36; Fairmont St. (W.Va.), 19; Bowie St. (Md.), 16; Augustana (S.D.), 14; Carson-Newman (Tenn.), 14; Virginia Union, 12; Arkansas Tech, 11; Central Washington, 10; Pittsburg St. (Kan.), 10; Henderson St. (Ark.), 8; Charleston (W.Va.), 7; Indianapolis (Ind.), 7; Gannon (Pa.), 6; Ouachita Baptist (Ark.), 6; Truman St. (Mo.), 5; Fort Valley St. (Ga.), 4; Slippery Rock (Pa.), 4; Delta St. (Miss.), 3; East Central (Okla.), 3; Humboldt St. (Calif.), 2; Tusculum (Tenn.), 1; Wingate (N.C.), 1.


Courtesy: USF

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