After claiming their first-ever Division II national championship in 2017, Texas A&M-Commerce will start the 2018 season ranked No. 1 in the AFCA Division II Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. This is the first time since the poll began in 2000 that the Lions start the season ranked No. 1. West Florida, who lost to Texas A&M-Commerce in the championship game, begins this year at No. 2. The Argonauts are followed by Minnesota State at No. 3, Indiana (Pa.) at No. 4 and Fort Hays State and Northwest Missouri State tied at No. 5.
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The first week of action starts off with four Top 25 matchups, all on Thursday, August 30. The first game has No. 2 West Florida hosting No. 22 Carson-Newman (Tenn.) while No. 4 Indiana (Pa.) travels to No. 15 Ashland (Ohio). The third Top 25 matchup is a conference battle as No. 5t Fort Hays State (Kan.) plays host to No. 18 Central Missouri. The final matchup has No. 10 Grand Valley State (Mich.) hosting No. 13 Indianapolis (Ind.).
2018 American Football Coaches Association Preseason Division II Coaches’ Poll August 13, 2018
|Rank||School (1st Place Votes)||2017 Record||Pts.||2017 Rank*||Season Opener||Head Coach|
|1||Texas A&M-Commerce (13)||14-1||748||1||Aug. 30 vs. Texas A&M-Kingsville||Colby Carthel|
|2||West Florida (14)||11-4||721||2||Aug. 30 vs. No. 22 Carson-Newman (Tenn.)||Pete Shinnick|
|3||Minnesota St. (2)||13-1||691||4||Aug. 30 vs. Southwest Minnesota St.||Todd Hoffner|
|4||Indiana (Pa.) (2)||13-1||666||3||Aug. 30 at No. 15 Ashland (Ohio)||Paul Tortorella|
|5t||Fort Hays St. (Kan.)||11-1||591||8||Aug. 30 vs. No. 18 Central Missouri||Chris Brown|
|5t||Northwest Missouri St. (2)||9-3||591||16||Aug. 30 vs. Missouri Western St.||Rich Wright|
|7||Harding (Ark.)||11-4||550||6||Aug. 30 at Henderson St. (Ark.)||Paul Simmons|
|8||Ferris St. (Mich.)||11-2||503||5||Aug. 30 vs. East Stroudsburg (Pa.)||Tony Annese|
|9||Central Washington||11-1||494||7||Sept. 1 at Eastern Washington||Ian Shoemaker|
|10||Grand Valley St. (Mich.)||8-3||478||NR||Aug. 30 vs. No. 13 Indianapolis (Ind.)||Matt Mitchell|
|11||Midwestern St. (Texas)||10-1||473||11||Sept. 1 vs. Humboldt St. (Calif.)||Bill Maskill|
|12||West Alabama||10-3||470||12||Aug. 30 vs. Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.)||Brett Gilliland|
|13||Indianapolis (Ind.)||11-1||402||13||Aug. 30 at No. 10 Grand Valley St. (Mich.)||Bob Bartolomeo|
|14||Colorado St.-Pueblo||9-3||401||17||Sept. 1 vs. Dixie St. (Utah)||John Wristen|
|15||Ashland (Ohio)||11-2||350||10||Aug. 30 vs. No. 4 Indiana (Pa.)||Lee Owens|
|16||Shepherd (W.Va.)||10-1||332||14||Sept. 1 at Notre Dame (Ohio)||Ernie McCook|
|17||Assumption (Mass.)||11-2||292||9||Sept. 1 vs. Kutztown (Pa.)||Andy McKenzie|
|18||Central Missouri||9-3||209||NR||Aug. 30 at No. 5t Fort Hays St. (Kan.)||Jim Svoboda|
|19||West Georgia||9-4||196||19||Sept. 1 vs. Catawba (N.C.)||David Dean|
|20||Sioux Falls (S.D.)||9-3||158||20||Aug. 30 vs. Concordia-St. Paul (Minn.)||Jon Anderson|
|21||Winona St. (Minn.)||10-2||134||15||Aug. 30 at Wayne St. (Neb.)||Tom Sawyer|
|22||Carson-Newman (Tenn.)||8-3||118||NR||Aug. 30 at No. 2 West Florida||Mike Turner|
|23||Ohio Dominican||7-3||105||NR||Aug. 30 vs. California (Pa.)||Kelly Cummings|
|24||Ouachita Baptist (Ark.)||9-3||102||NR||Aug. 30 at Northwestern Oklahoma St.||Todd Knight|
|25||Findlay (Ohio)||10-3||101||22||Sept. 1 at Kentucky Wesleyan||Rob Keys|
*– Ranking in final AFCA Division II Poll of 2017
Others Receiving Votes: California (Pa.), 89; Delta St. (Miss.), 74; West Chester (Pa.), 74; Colorado Mesa, 66; Bowie St. (Md.), 60; Virginia St., 51; Minnesota-Duluth, 41; Albany St. (Ga.), 39; Florida Tech, 36; Colorado Mines, 34; Shippensburg (Pa.), 31; Tuskegee (Ala.), 26; Wingate (N.C.), 25; Azusa Pacific (Calif.), 22; Valdosta St. (Ga.), 22; Pittsburg St. (Kan.), 21; Notre Dame (Ohio), 18; Eastern New Mexico, 17; Edinboro (Pa.), 15; Missouri Western St., 14; Bloomsburg (Pa.), 13; Emporia St. (Kan.), 11; Central Oklahoma, 9; LIU Post (N.Y.), 8; Slippery Rock (Pa.), 8; Augustana (S.D.), 5; Fairmont St. (W.Va.), 5; Humboldt St. (Calif.), 4; Catawba (N.C.), 3; Fayetteville St. (N.C.), 3; Hillsdale (Mich.), 3; Southern Arkansas, 1; Washburn (Kan.), 1.
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