De'Von Smith Benedict College
2023 Football

Benedict College ranked in D2 top 20

Benedict College is expected to be one of the top teams in D2 football in 2023.

Courtesy: Benedict College Athletics

WACO, TEX. – The Benedict College Tigers, who finished the 2022 season ranked 12th nationally, start the 2023 season ranked 17th in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) preseason Division II Coaches Top 25 poll.

For the second straight year, Ferris State (Mich.) begins a new football season at No. 1. The Bulldogs repeated as Division II national champions in 2022 and will look for a three-peat as they begin play against Mercyhurst (Pa.) on August 31. No. 2 is last season’s runner-up, Colorado School of Mines. The Orediggers will begin 2023 with a new head coach in Pete Sterbick and a Top 3 matchup as they play host to No. 3 Grand Valley State (Mich.).

The only other Top 25 matchup during the first weekend of action pits No. 12 Ashland (Ohio) at No. 16 Indiana (Pa.). The Eagles will be looking for payback as IUP beat Ashland in the second round of the 2022 playoffs.

Benedict College, the defending SIAC champions, begin the season on Sept. 2 at home against Shaw University in the Carolinas Classic. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Purchase tickets at

2023 American Football Coaches Association Preseason Division II Coaches’ Poll – August 14, 2023

RankSchool (1st votes)2022 Rec.Pts.2022 RankSeason OpenerHead Coach
1Ferris St. (Mich.) (29)14-17251Aug. 31 vs. Mercyhurst (Pa.)Tony Annese
2Colorado School of Mines13-36422Aug. 31 vs.  No. 3 Grand Valley St. (Mich.)Pete Sterbick
3Grand Valley St. (Mich.)12-16413Aug. 31 at No. 2 Colorado School of MinesScott Wooster
4Pittsburg St. (Kan.)12-16335Aug. 31 vs. Washburn (Kan.)Brian Wright
5Angelo St. (Tex.)12-15907Aug. 31 at West AlabamaJeff Girsch
6Northwest Missouri St.10-35608Aug. 31 at Missouri SouthernRich Wright
7West Florida12-24824Sept. 1 vs. Kentucky WesleyanKaleb Nobles
8Ouachita Baptist (Ark.)11-145510Aug. 31 at Southwestern Oklahoma St.Todd Knight
9Minnesota St.10-345014Aug. 31 at Sioux Falls (S.D.)Todd Hoffner
10Delta St. (Miss.)11-24389Aug. 31 at Missouri S&TTodd Cooley
11Bemidji St. (Minn.)10-342024Aug. 31 vs. Northern St. (S.D.)Brent Bolte
12Ashland (Ohio)10-238713Aug. 31 at No. 16 Indiana (Pa.)Doug Geiser
13Shepherd (W.Va.)13-23596Sept. 2 vs. Southern Connecticut St.Ernie McCook
14Harding (Ark.)9-230522Aug. 31 at Southern Nazarene (Okla.)Paul Simmons
15Slippery Rock (Pa.)10-330416Sept. 2 vs. Wayne St. (Mich.)Shawn Lutz
16Indiana (Pa.)10-230011Aug. 31 vs. No. 12 Ashland (Ohio)Paul Tortorella
17Benedict College (S.C.) (1)11-123212Sept. 2 vs. Shaw (N.C.)Chennis Berry
18Virginia Union9-220018Sept. 3 vs. Morehouse (Ga.)Alvin Parker
19Emporia St. (Kan.)9-3187NRAug. 31 vs. Lincoln (Mo.)Garin Higgins
20Indianapolis (Ind.)9-214917Sept. 2 vs. Hillsdale (Mich.)Chris Keevers
21Wingate (N.C.)11-314715Aug. 31 vs. Albany St. (Ga.)Joe Reich
22West Georgia8-214619Aug. 31 vs. Limestone (S.C.)David Dean
23Assumption (Mass.)8-3132NRSept. 2 vs. Kutztown (Pa.)Andy McKenzie
24Newberry (S.C.)9-213121Sept. 2 at Shippensburg (Pa.)Todd Knight
25Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.)8-3129NRSept. 2 vs. St. Augustine’s (N.C.)Mike Jacobs

*– Ranking in final AFCA Division II Poll of 2022

Others Receiving Votes: Notre Dame (Ohio), 99; Davenport (Mich.), 69; Colorado St.-Pueblo, 56; Bowie St. (Md.), 53; Truman St. (Mo.), 31; Central Washington, 30; Limestone (S.C.), 30; Winona St. (Minn.), 23; Wayne St. (Neb.), 18; Henderson St. (Ark.), 17; Fayetteville St. (N.C.), 16; Tuskegee (Ala.), 16; Morehouse (Ga.), 13; Findlay (Ohio), 12; Fort Valley St. (Ga.), 11; Ohio Dominican, 10; Tiffin (Ohio), 10; California (Pa.), 9; Washburn (Kan.), 9; Charleston (W.Va.), 8; Millersville (Pa.), 8; Mars Hill (N.C.), 6; Saginaw Valley St. (Mich.), 6; Texas A&M-Kingsville, 6; Western Colorado, 6; Kutztown (Pa.), 5; Wayne St. (Mich.), 5; Winston-Salem St. (N.C.), 5; Gannon (Pa.), 4; Central Oklahoma, 3; Central St. (Ohio), 2; New Haven (Conn.), 2; Sioux Falls (S.D.), 2; Southern Arkansas, 2; Bluefield St. (W.Va.), 1; Minnesota-Duluth, 1; Nebraska-Kearney, 1; West Alabama, 1.

Benedict College ranked in D2 top 20
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