UWA football ranked No. 16

Published 10:49 am Tuesday, August 20, 2013

LIVINGSTON – The University of West Alabama football team is ranked No. 16 in the 2013 American Football Coaches Association NCAA Division II Preseason Poll which was released Monday.

The Tigers are one of two Gulf South Conference teams in the top 16, with defending national champion Valdosta State starting the season in the top spot. West Alabama, the defending GSC champions, are host to Valdosta State Oct. 10 at Tiger Stadium.

“It’s good that people think enough of us to rank us consistently,” UWA head coach Will Hall said. “This is the third or fourth year in a row that we have been ranked in the preseason polls, which is a good thing.

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“It’s good to start in the mix because it allows you to get up there further as the season goes along, and in the Division II world, it’s all about trying to get a one or two seed to get a bye in the playoffs,” Hall said. “Starting out at 16 gives us a chance to, if we take care of our business, be up high enough at the end to get that bye.”

The Tigers were one of two Division II schools in Alabama to be ranked in the coaches’ top 25. Tuskegee, coached by former Tiger great Willie Slater, is ranked 24th.

2013 American Football Coaches Association

Preseason Division II Coaches’ Poll – Aug. 19

Rank School (1st votes) Record

1. Valdosta St. (Ga.) (26) 12-2

2. Minnesota St.-Mankato (3) 13-1

3. West Texas A&M (1) 12-3

4. Northwest Missouri St.(1) 10-3

5. Winston-Salem St. (N.C.) 14-1

6. Missouri Western St. 12-2

7. Shippensburg (Pa.) 11-2

8. Colorado St.-Pueblo 12-1

9. Ashland (Ohio) 11-1

10. Indiana (Pa.) (1) 12-2

11. Minnesota-Duluth 10-2

12. New Haven (Conn.) 10-1

13. Henderson St. (Ark.) 10-1

14. Grand Valley St. (Mich.) 8-3

15. Midwestern St. (Texas) 9-2

16. West Alabama 9-4

17. Carson-Newman (Tenn.) 9-3

18. Bloomsburg (Pa.) 10-2

19. Indianapolis (Ind.) 10-3

20. Chadron St. (Neb.) 10-3

21. Pittsburg St. (Kan.) 7-3

22. Saginaw Valley St. (Mich.) 8-3

23. Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.) 9-3

24. Tuskegee (Ala.) 10-2

25. Shepherd (W.Va.) 8-3