ESU Football Begins Season In Top 25 | First Time Ever

By: Emporia State University Athletics, posted by Justin Surrency
By: Emporia State University Athletics, posted by Justin Surrency

Emporia, Kan.--(ESUhornets.com) For the first time in school history, the Emporia State football team will begin the season ranked in the top 25 of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) NCAA Division II Preseason Poll. The Hornets are ranked #22 and are one of three MIAA teams in the top 25 with a total of six conference schools receiving votes.

Eight teams from NCAA Super Region 3 are in the top 25 with a total of 15 region teams receiving votes. Only the top six in the final NCAA Regional Rankings will make the playoffs.

The Hornets started last season receiving votes in the preseason poll and were ranked as high as #10 after starting the season 8-0. Emporia State finished last season 9-2 with both losses to teams that finished last season ranked in the top ten nationally and are #1 and #3 in this year's preseason poll. The Hornets were 2-2 against ranked teams in 2013.

The AFCA Poll and D2Football.com polls are the two major polls that come out weekly during the season. Emporia State has been ranked in the top 25 in a number of other preseason polls this year. The Hornets were #9 in Steve Pugh's compughterratings.com ranking, #13 in Lindy's Preseason Magazine, #15 in the Bennett Rankings, #16 in the Massey Ratings, and #22 in the Sporting News Preseason poll.

The Hornets have laid a good foundation for continued success with a total of 21 players back that started at least two games for last year's 9-2 squad. The defense returns seven players with at least five starts while the offense brings back ten players with at least four starts last season.

The Hornets will open the season on Thursday, September 4 against Missouri Southern in Welch Stadium.

2013 AFCA NCAA Division II Preseason Poll
School (1st votes) 2012 Rec. Pts. 2013 Rank*
1. Northwest Missouri St. (31) 15-0 799 1
2. Grand Valley St. (Mich.) 12-3 725 3
3. Minnesota-Duluth 11-2 634 8
4. Colorado St.-Pueblo 11-1 619 7
5. North Alabama 10-3 589 10
6. Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.) 13-2 538 2
7. Minnesota St.-Mankato 11-1 530 6
8. Henderson St. (Ark.) (1) 11-1 523 13
9. Pittsburg St. (Kan.) 10-2 522 19
10. West Chester (Pa.) 13-2 477 4
11. West Texas A&M 11-3 407 11
12. Shepherd (W.Va.) 11-1 393 9
13. Ohio Dominican 10-1 390 12
14. Winston-Salem St. (N.C.) 10-2 389 14
15. St. Cloud State (Minn.) 12-2 350 5
16. Carson-Newman (Tenn.) 10-3 333 17
17. Tarleton St. (Texas) 7-3 266 NR
18. Indianapolis (Ind.) 10-2 229 18
19. Delta St. (Miss.) 7-3 206 NR
20. Indiana (Pa.) 9-2 167 24
21. North Carolina-Pembroke 9-2 140 15
22. Emporia St. (Kan.) 9-2 133 20
22. Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 10-2 133 NR
24. Bloomsburg (Pa.) 10-2 103 16
25. Tuskegee (Ala.) 8-3 98 25
*– Ranking in final AFCA Division II Poll of 2013
Others Receiving Votes: Saginaw Valley St. (Mich.), 87; Central Missouri, 82; West Alabama, 67; Valdosta St. (Ga.), 59; American International (Mass.), 51; Ferris St. (Mich.), 41; California (Pa.), 38; Missouri Western St., 38; Albany St. (Ga.), 32; Midwestern St. (Texas), 31; Harding (Ark.), 27; Colorado School of Mines, 20; Newberry (S.C.), 20; Concord (W.Va.), 19; East Stroudsburg (Pa.), 19; Slippery Rock (Pa.), 13; Eastern New Mexico, 12; Ouachita Baptist (Ark.), 9; Winona St. (Minn.), 9; Fayetteville St. (N.C.), 7; Sioux Falls (S.D.), 7; Truman St. (Mo.), 5; Findlay (Ohio), 3; Miles (Ala.), 3; Chadron St. (Neb.), 2; Michigan Tech, 2; Washburn (Kan.), 2; West Georgia, 2.
MIAA Teams in Bold
Super Region 3 Teams in Italics


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