Ichabods 3rd, Hornets 8th in MIAA Pre-Season Football Poll

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Northwest Missouri State, the 2006 NCAA Division II national runner-up, is the choice as the team to beat in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association preseason football coaches poll.

The survey was announced Monday (July 30) during the 2007 MIAA Football Kickoff Luncheon at the Arrowhead Club.

The Bearcats, winners of 14 consecutive games before falling in the national final, picked up all nine available first-place votes (coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams), to collect 81 points in the poll. Senior RB Xavier Omon and senior QB Josh Mathews lead eight returning offensive starters for Northwest.

Pittsburg State, winner of the 2006 Mineral Water Bowl, was second in the poll with 71 points, followed by Washburn, which received the only other first-place vote and collected 59 points. Both teams return quarterbacks who missed a good portion of last season -- junior Mark Smith at PSU and senior Jordan Brill at WU.

Central Missouri edged Missouri Western for fourth place in the poll -- the Mules collected 55 points while the Griffons (a 2006 NCAA-II playoff qualifier) had 53.

Truman, which last season had a winning MIAA record for the first time since 2001, leads the second five with 41 points. Missouri Southern was seventh with 35 points.

Emporia State, with former Hornets QB Garin Higgins as new head coach, was selected eighth with 29 points, while Fort Hays State had 16 points for ninth. Southwest Baptist, in their last season playing an MIAA football schedule with interim head coach Keith Allen at the controls, was 10th in the poll with 10 points.

The season begins on Aug. 23 when Central Missouri travels to Minnesota State-Mankato and Northwest hosts Arkansas Tech. The 2007 conference schedule commences on Sept. 15.

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2007 MIAA Football Preseason Coaches Poll

School Pts.
1. Northwest Missouri State (9).... 81
2. Pittsburg State................. 71
3. Washburn (1).................... 59
4. Central Missouri................ 55
5. Missouri Western................ 53
6. Truman.......................... 41
7. Missouri Southern............... 35
8. Emporia State................... 29
9. Fort Hays State................. 16
10. Southwest Baptist............... 10

Points awarded on an 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.
Coaches could not vote for their own school.


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