UNA Number 1 In D-2 Polls - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

UNA Number 1 In D-2 Polls

WACO, Texas – The University of North Alabama football team is the new No. 1 ranked team in the NCAA Division II after moving up one spot in the latest American Football Coaches Association poll. The Lions replace Northwest Missouri State in the top spot after the Bearcats lost a 38-35 decision to 16th ranked Pittsburg State. On a Saturday when the No. 1, 3 and 4 ranked teams all lost, UNA rallied from a 14-0 deficit to destroy Southern Arkansas 42-14.

 

UNA head coach Terry Bowden said he wasn't sure taking over the top spot would help his team, but he says it shows respect for the Lions' program.

"I still believe it doesn't mean a whole lot being No. 1 this early in the season," said Bowden. "But I would just as soon fight the rest of this battle from No. 1 as from No. 2."

North Alabama started the 2011 season ranked sixth nationally and has slowly climbed to the top spot for the first time since 2009. The Lions last earned a No. 1 ranking on October 19, 2009 and held it for three weeks before losing their regular-season finale.

 

UNA's first No. 1 national ranking in Division II was on Oct. 4, 1993 after a road win at Portland State. The Lions then held that No. 1 ranking for almost three years, for what was then a record 27 consecutive polls. That streak ended on Sept. 9, 1996.

 

UNA has been nationally ranked in 82 of the last 83 Division II polls dating back to 2005.

 

There was a big shakeup at the top of the Division II poll this week with No. 1 Northwest Missouri State, No. 3 Shepherd and No. 4 Valdosta State all losing and eight previously unbeaten teams falling.

 

The Lions travel to Russellville, Ark., Saturday (Oct. 8) to take on Arkansas Tech in UNA's third straight game against former Gulf South Conference members from Arkansas. UNA has downed Harding and Southern Arkansas and now faces an ATU squad that has struggled to a 1-4 start. North Alabama holds a 12-3 lead in the series and has won the last eight straight in the series, dating back to a win by the Wonder Boys in Russellville in 1999.

North Alabama hasn't lost a regular-season game to a non-GSC school since a 24-21 overtime loss at Samford on Aug. 29, 2002. That gives the Lions an 18-game regular season winning streak against non-GSC schools. UNA is 95-28-1 all-time in non-conference games since joining the Gulf South Conference in 1971. 

Kickoff for UNA's game at Arkansas Tech is set for 7 p.m. at Thone Stadium/Buerkle Field in Russellville, Ark.

 

AMERICAN FOOTBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION

October 3, 2011  - NCAA Division II Poll

 

Rank

School (1st votes)

Rec.

Pts.

Prev.

Last Week

Next Game

1. North Alabama (26) 5-0 722 2 D. Southern Arkansas, 42-14 Oct. 8 at Arkansas Tech

2. Bloomsburg (Pa.) 5-0 647 5 D. East Stroudsburg (Pa.), 32-20 Oct. 8 vs. Cheyney (Pa.)

3. Delta St. (Miss.) (1) 5-1 644 6 D. No. 25 Ouachita Baptist, 45-14 Oct. 6 vs. Arkansas-Monticello

4. Nebraska-Kearney 5-0 631 7 D. Adams St. (Colo.), 37-14 Oct. 8 vs. Chadron St. (Neb.)

5. Washburn (Kan.) 5-0 603 8 D. Emporia St. (Kan.), 31-17 Oct. 8 at Truman St. (Mo.)

6. Wayne St. (Mich.) 5-0 583 9 D. Northern Michigan, 30-28 Oct. 8 vs. Lake Erie (Ohio)

7. Northwest Missouri St. (1) 4-1 521 1 Lost to No. 15 Pittsburg St., 38-35 Oct. 8 at No. 19 Central Missouri

8. Pittsburg St. (Kan.) (1) 5-0 509 15 D. No. 1 Northwest Missouri St., 38-35 Oct. 8 at Fort Hays St. (Kan.)

9. Minnesota-Duluth 4-1 491 10 D. Minnesota St.-Moorhead, 42-21 Oct. 8 at Winona St. (Minn.)

10. Abilene Christian (Texas) 3-1 439 11 D. Western Oregon, 51-35 Oct. 8 at Eastern New Mexico

11. Colorado St.-Pueblo 5-0 425 14 D. Chadron St. (Neb.), 38-28 Oct. 6 vs. Colorado School of Mines

12. Albany St. (Ga.) 4-1 360 13 D. Kentucky St., 57-31 Oct. 8 at Lane (Tenn.)

13. Valdosta St. (Ga.) 4-1 344 4 Lost to Arkansas-Monticello, 23-9 Oct. 8 at Ouachita Baptist

14. Shepherd (W.Va.) 4-1 297 3 Lost to Concord (W.Va.), 28-14 Oct. 8 at West Virginia Wesleyan

15. California (Pa.) 4-1 278 16 D. Lock Haven (Pa.), 54-13 Oct. 8 vs. Gannon (Pa.)

16. Winston-Salem St. (N.C.) 5-0 276 21 D. Johnson C. Smith (N.C.), 28-10 Oct. 8 at St. Augustine's (N.C.)

17. St. Cloud State (Minn.) 4-1 255 17

D. Northern St. (S.D.), 27-14 Oct. 8 vs. Minnesota St.-Mankato

18. Midwestern St. (Texas) 4-0 247 22 D. Incarnate Word (Texas), 45-14 Oct. 8 vs. Tarleton St. (Texas)

19. Central Missouri 4-1 238 19

D. Arkansas Tech, 42-16 Oct. 8 vs. No. 7 NW Missouri St.

20. West Texas A&M 3-1 228 20 D. Tarleton St. (Texas), 44-13 Oct. 8 vs. Angelo St. (Texas)

21. New Haven (Conn.) 4-1 154 23 D. Stonehill (Mass.), 52-23 Oct. 7 at Southern Connecticut St.

22. Hillsdale (Mich.) 4-1 125 24 D. Saginaw Valley St. (Mich.), 38-35 Oct. 8 vs. Ohio Dominican

23. Kutztown (Pa.) 4-1 117 12 Lost to Shippensburg (Pa.), 49-7 Oct. 8 vs. East Stroudsburg (Pa.)

24. Humboldt St. (Calif.) 4-0 85 NR D. Dixie St. (Utah), 56-27 Oct. 8 at UC-Davis

25. Edinboro (Pa.)

4-1 33 18 Lost to Indiana (Pa.), 19-0 Oct. 8 vs. Slippery Rock (Pa.)

 

Dropped Out: Ouachita Baptist (Ark.) (25)

 

Others Receiving Votes: Michigan Tech, 30; West Alabama, 30; Bemidji St. (Minn.), 28; Wayne St. (Neb.), 22; Colorado School of Mines, 16; Texas A&M-Kingsville, 11; Ashland (Ohio), 9; Ferris St. (Mich.), 6; Ouachita Baptist (Ark.), 5; West Virginia Wesleyan, 4; Mars Hill (N.C.), 3; Morehouse (Ga.), 3; Southern Connecticut St., 3; Southwest Baptist (Mo.), 2; Southwestern Oklahoma St., 1.

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