Washburn Ichabod Football Team Tabbed 6th/4th In MIAA Preseason Polls

By: WU, posted by Kinch O'Kelley
By: WU, posted by Kinch O'Kelley

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Washburn Ichabods were picked sixth in the MIAA preseason coaches poll and fourth in the preseason media poll which were both released Monday by the league office. The Ichabods report for camp on Thursday and will have their first practice on Aug. 10. The Ichabods, who finished the 2012 season with a 7-4 record, will open the season on Sept. 5 at Nebraska-Kearney.

Washburn was picked sixth in the coaches poll with 116 points trailling defending champion Missouri Western and Northwest Missouri who each recorded six first-place votes tallying 159 points. Pittsburg State had two first-place votes and 145 total points. Central Missouri was fourth with 119 points and Lindenwood was just ahead of the Ichabods in fifth with 117 points. Emporia State was seventh with 113 points followed by Fort Hays State (70 points), Missouri Southern (68 points), Central Oklahoma (57 points) and Northeastern State was 11th with 56 points. Nebraska-Kearney was 12th with 51 points followed by Southwest Baptist in 13th with 30 points and Lincoln was last with 14 points.

In the preseason media poll, the Ichabods were picked fourth with 231 points. Northwest Missouri was tabbed as the team to beat with 300 points with 10 first-place votes and Missouri Western was second with 10 first-place votes and 294 total points. Pittsburg State received two first-place media votes and 276 total points and Washburn was fourth with 231 points. Lindenwood was fifth with 221 points followed by Central Missouri, Emporia State, Missouri Southern and Fort Hays State tied for eighth. Northeastern State, Central Oklahoma, Nebraska-Kearney, Southwest Baptist and Lincoln rounded out the media poll.

Washburn will have its home opener against Fort Hays State on Sept.14 starting at 6 p.m. in Yager Stadium.

The Washburn Ichabods return nine players who started at least seven games last season and one more who started all 13 in 2011 en route to All-American honors as the Ichabods look to improve on their 28.8 ppg output, which was sixth in the MIAA while their total offensive average of 374.2 yards per game ranked eighth in the conference. The Ichabods do return four of their five starting offensive lineman from last season giving them a solid front four to build on entering the 2013 campaign.

The Washburn Ichabods defensive side of the ball returns seven starters who saw action in 2012 plus another who missed the season with an injury as the Ichabods prep for the upcoming campaign. Last season the Ichabods were third in the MIAA in pass defense and sixth overall. Washburn allowed 29.8 points per game and will look to improve on that total with the experience they have returning along with a talented group of newcomers who will see time this season. Overall the Ichabods return five of their top six tacklers.

The Washburn special team units will have many of its key components returning from the 2012 season. Last season, the Ichabods finished 14th in the nation in net punting after averaging 37.18 yards per punt as a group. The Ichabods averaged 19.7 yards per kickoff return and 7.3 yards per punt return. In the MIAA rankings, Washburn was seventh in the conference in kickoff returns, while finishing fourth in average punting. The Ichabods were 7 of 9 overall on field goal attempts and 38 of 43 on point after touchdown kicks.
2013 MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll
T1. Missouri Western (6) 159
T1. Northwest Missouri (6) 159
3. Pittsburg State (2) 145
4. Central Missouri 119
5. Lindenwood 117
6. Washburn 116
7. Emporia State 113
8. Fort Hays State 70
9. Missouri Southern 68
10. Central Oklahoma 57
11. Northeastern State 56
12. Nebraska-Kearney 51
13. Southwest Baptist 30
14. Lincoln 14

2013 MIAA Preseason Media Poll
1. Northwest Missouri (10) 300
2. Missouri Western (10) 294
3. Pittsburg State (2) 276
4. Washburn 231
5. Lindenwood 221
6. Central Missouri 205
7. Emporia State (1) 197
T8. Missouri Southern 138
T8. Fort Hays State 138
10. Northeastern State 125
11. Central Oklahoma 113
12. Nebraska-Kearney 96
13. Southwest Baptist 52
14. Lincoln 29

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