The Joplin Globe
WACO, Texas —
Pittsburg State was one of three MIAA teams listed in the NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, released by the American Football Coaches Association on Monday.
The Gorillas were ranked 21st with 165 points, marking the 22nd time in the last 24 years they have been ranked in the preseason poll. Pitt State, then coming off a national title, was the preseason No. 1 last year before finishing 7-3 and falling out of the Top 25.
Pitt State’s combined 15 returning starters — seven on offense, eight on defense — may have been a factor in coaches voting the Gorillas in the Top 25.
Northwest Missouri was the MIAA’s top vote-getter, coming in at No. 4 in the poll with one first-place vote and 616 points. The Bearcats were behind defending national champion Valdosta State, Minnesota State and West Texas A&M. Valdosta State received 26 of 32 first-place votes and 766 points.
Winston-Salem State rounded out the top five and Missouri Western, the MIAA’s defending champion, came in at No. 6.
Central Missouri, Emporia State and Washburn received votes but did not crack the Top 25.
Pitt State opens its season on Sept. 7 by hosting Northeastern State at Carnie Smith Stadium.