Ryan Prickett, Sports Information Director
WACO, Texas – For the first time since the AFCA Division II Coaches Poll began in 2000, Fort Hays State Football enters the Top 25 after its 35-6 win over No. 13 Central Missouri last week. After receiving votes for several weeks in previous years and early this year, the Tigers finally make their debut in the poll at No. 21.
Fort Hays State received 14 votes in the first regular season poll released by the AFCA on September 4, but after the win over Central Missouri, it received 152 votes. The No. 21 ranking in the poll is where Central Missouri started in the preseason before jumping to No. 13 prior to the game in Hays last week. With its win, Fort Hays State knocked Central Missouri out of the poll, but the Mules are now the sixth-highest among the receiving votes section.
This is not the first time FHSU has been ranked in the official NCAA Division II rankings. The last appearance in the top 25 of the official NCAA Division II Poll was September 16, 1996, when FHSU was No. 6 in the nation. The Tigers fell out of the poll the following week and went nearly 21 calendar years without appearing in the official poll until Monday. The poll prior to 2000 was organized by the NCAA Football Committee. Fort Hays State made an appearance in the D2Football.com poll last year, but never quite broke into the AFCA poll. The D2Football.com poll will be released on Tuesday.
Fort Hays State will get its first test as a top 25 team at Central Oklahoma on Saturday night (Sept. 16). Central Oklahoma is 1-1 so far this year after a win over Lindenwood at home and a loss at Pittsburg State. FHSU has won its last two meetings with Central Oklahoma.
Northwest Missouri State continues its hold on the No. 1 ranking in the nation, but joins FHSU as the only two undefeated teams remaining in the MIAA. Eight of the 12 MIAA teams have started 1-1 on the year. Emporia State moved up one spot to No. 14 this week, with its one loss to top ranked Northwest Missouri. Central Missouri and Washburn are among the MIAA teams receiving votes this week.
|Rank||School (First-place votes)||Record||Points||Previous|
|1.||Northwest Missouri St. (34)||2-0||850||1|
|2.||Ferris St. (Mich.)||1-0||810||2|
|7.||Sioux Falls (S.D.)||2-0||617||9|
|12.||Grand Valley State (Mich.)||1-1||417||14|
|13.||Midwestern State (Texas)||1-0||402||16|
|14.||Emporia State (Kan.)||1-1||397||15|
|16.||Albany State (Ga.)||2-0||369||20|
|21.||Fort Hays State (Kan.)||2-0||152||NR|
|22.||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)||1-1||115||8|
|24.||Delta State (Miss.)||2-0||92||NR|
|25.||Slippery Rock (Pa.)||2-0||69||NR|