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 benedicttickets.com.
2023 American Football Coaches Association Preseason Division II Coaches’ Poll – August 14, 2023
|Rank||School (1st votes)||2022 Rec.||Pts.||2022 Rank||Season Opener||Head Coach|
|1||Ferris St. (Mich.) (29)||14-1||725||1||Aug. 31 vs. Mercyhurst (Pa.)||Tony Annese|
|2||Colorado School of Mines||13-3||642||2||Aug. 31 vs. No. 3 Grand Valley St. (Mich.)||Pete Sterbick|
|3||Grand Valley St. (Mich.)||12-1||641||3||Aug. 31 at No. 2 Colorado School of Mines||Scott Wooster|
|4||Pittsburg St. (Kan.)||12-1||633||5||Aug. 31 vs. Washburn (Kan.)||Brian Wright|
|5||Angelo St. (Tex.)||12-1||590||7||Aug. 31 at West Alabama||Jeff Girsch|
|6||Northwest Missouri St.||10-3||560||8||Aug. 31 at Missouri Southern||Rich Wright|
|7||West Florida||12-2||482||4||Sept. 1 vs. Kentucky Wesleyan||Kaleb Nobles|
|8||Ouachita Baptist (Ark.)||11-1||455||10||Aug. 31 at Southwestern Oklahoma St.||Todd Knight|
|9||Minnesota St.||10-3||450||14||Aug. 31 at Sioux Falls (S.D.)||Todd Hoffner|
|10||Delta St. (Miss.)||11-2||438||9||Aug. 31 at Missouri S&T||Todd Cooley|
|11||Bemidji St. (Minn.)||10-3||420||24||Aug. 31 vs. Northern St. (S.D.)||Brent Bolte|
|12||Ashland (Ohio)||10-2||387||13||Aug. 31 at No. 16 Indiana (Pa.)||Doug Geiser|
|13||Shepherd (W.Va.)||13-2||359||6||Sept. 2 vs. Southern Connecticut St.||Ernie McCook|
|14||Harding (Ark.)||9-2||305||22||Aug. 31 at Southern Nazarene (Okla.)||Paul Simmons|
|15||Slippery Rock (Pa.)||10-3||304||16||Sept. 2 vs. Wayne St. (Mich.)||Shawn Lutz|
|16||Indiana (Pa.)||10-2||300||11||Aug. 31 vs. No. 12 Ashland (Ohio)||Paul Tortorella|
|17||Benedict College (S.C.) (1)||11-1||232||12||Sept. 2 vs. Shaw (N.C.)||Chennis Berry|
|18||Virginia Union||9-2||200||18||Sept. 3 vs. Morehouse (Ga.)||Alvin Parker|
|19||Emporia St. (Kan.)||9-3||187||NR||Aug. 31 vs. Lincoln (Mo.)||Garin Higgins|
|20||Indianapolis (Ind.)||9-2||149||17||Sept. 2 vs. Hillsdale (Mich.)||Chris Keevers|
|21||Wingate (N.C.)||11-3||147||15||Aug. 31 vs. Albany St. (Ga.)||Joe Reich|
|22||West Georgia||8-2||146||19||Aug. 31 vs. Limestone (S.C.)||David Dean|
|23||Assumption (Mass.)||8-3||132||NR||Sept. 2 vs. Kutztown (Pa.)||Andy McKenzie|
|24||Newberry (S.C.)||9-2||131||21||Sept. 2 at Shippensburg (Pa.)||Todd Knight|
|25||Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.)||8-3||129||NR||Sept. 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.