UNA Will Begin Football Season Unranked

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For the first time since 2005 a University of North Alabama football team will open a season unranked in the American Football Coaches Association NCAA Division II poll. The AFCA released its annual pre-season poll Monday with the Lions out of the Top 25 but receiving votes.
 
“I think it’s a reflection of how few returning starters we have back, we have a new coaching staff and we signed so many incoming freshman,” UNA head coach Bobby Wallace said. “But we have a lot of very capable players here, and our expectations don’t change based on what other people think.” 
 
Three of UNA’s 2012 opponents are ranked, with Valdosta State 8th, Delta State 14th and West Alabama 15th. Four more of UNA’s opponents – Texas A&M-Kingsville, Tarleton State, Miles, West Georgia and Harding – received votes. 
 
UNA has been nationally ranked in 89 of the last 91 Division II polls dating back to 2005, falling out of the Top 25 only once on Nov. 15, 2010. The Lions closed their 2011 season with a 9-3 record and a No. 14 national ranking. 
 
In his previous ten seasons as head coach at UNA from 1988-97, Wallace had the Lions in the Division II Top 25 in eight of those years, including a stretch of 27 consecutive No. 1 rankings from 1993-96. 
 
2012 AFCA NCAA DIVISION II PRE-SEASON POLL – August 13
Rank School (1st votes) Rec. Pts. Rank* Season Opener Head Coach
1. Pittsburg St. (Kan.) (21) 13-1 720 1 Aug. 30 at Northeastern St. (Okla.) Tim Beck
2. Minnesota-Duluth (5) 11-3 661 6 Aug. 30 at Southwest Minnesota St. Bob Nielson
3. Northwest Missouri St. (1) 11-3 613 5 Aug. 30 vs. East Central (Okla.) Adam Dorrel
4. Midwestern St. (Texas) (1) 10-1 582 7 Sept. 8 at Tarleton St. (Texas) Bill Maskill
5. Wayne St. (Mich.) (1) 12-4 502 2 Sept. 8 at Ashland (Ohio) Paul Winters
6. Colorado St.-Pueblo 11-1 481 9 Aug. 30 vs. No. 24 West Texas A&M John Wristen
7. Grand Valley St. (Mich.) 8-3 473 NR Sept. 1 at Western Oregon Matt Mitchell
8. Valdosta St. (Ga.) 6-4 415 NR Sept. 1 at Saginaw Valley St. (Mich.) David Dean
9. Winston-Salem St. (N.C.) (1) 13-1 386 3 Sept. 1 vs. North Carolina-Pembroke Connell Maynor
10. Abilene Christian (Texas) 8-3 367 16 Sept. 1 vs. McMurry (Texas) Ken Collums
11. California (Pa.) 10-3 347 15 Aug. 30 vs. No. 17 Hillsdale (Mich.) Mike Kellar
12. Kutztown (Pa.) 11-2 329 13 Aug. 30 vs. St. Anselm (N.H.) Raymond Monica
13. New Haven (Conn.) 11-2 322 8 Sept. 1 vs. Merrimack (Mass.) Peter Rossomando
14. Delta St. (Miss.) 11-3 290 4 Sept. 1 vs. Fort Valley St. (Ga.) Jamey Chadwell
15. West Alabama 8-4 274 23 Sept. 1 at Clark Atlanta (Ga.) Will Hall
16. St. Cloud State (Minn.) 9-3 266 17 Aug. 30 vs. Sioux Falls (S.D.) Scott Underwood
17. Hillsdale (Mich.) 8-3 228 NR Aug. 30 at No. 11 California (Pa.) Keith Otterbein
18. Missouri Western St. 9-3 218 18 Aug. 30 vs. Central Missouri Jerry Partridge
19. Shepherd (W.Va.) 9-2 199 22 Sept. 1 at Shippensburg (Pa.) Monte Cater
20. Washburn (Kan.) 10-3 187 11 Aug. 30 vs. Nebraska-Kearney Craig Schurig
21. Humboldt St. (Calif.) 9-1 183 20 Aug. 30 vs. Colorado Mesa Rob Smith
22. Albany St. (Ga.) 8-4 149 NR Sept. 1 vs. No. 23 North Greenville (S.C.) Mike White
23. North Greenville (S.C.) 11-3 139 12 Sept. 1 at No. 22 Albany St. (Ga.) Carroll McCray
24. West Texas A&M 8-3 132 25 Aug. 30 at No. 6 Colorado St.-Pueblo Don Carthel
25. Bloomsburg (Pa.) 9-2 129 21 Aug. 31 at Stonehill (Mass.) Danny Hale
*– Ranking in final AFCA Division II Poll of 2011
 
Others Receiving Votes: Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.), 128; North Alabama, 128; Nebraska-Kearney, 122; Saginaw Valley St. (Mich.), 100; Ouachita Baptist (Ark.), 96; Central Missouri, 72; Indianapolis (Ind.), 70; Mars Hill (N.C.), 57; Indiana (Pa.), 49; North Carolina-Pembroke, 47; Elizabeth City St. (N.C.), 44; Minnesota St.-Mankato, 41; Colorado School of Mines, 40; East Central (Okla.), 33; Texas A&M-Kingsville, 32; Slippery Rock (Pa.), 18; Miles (Ala.), 15; Concord (W.Va.), 9; Tarleton St. (Texas), 9; West Georgia, 9; Morehouse (Ga.), 7; Ashland (Ohio), 6; Michigan Tech, 6; Southern Connecticut St., 6; Central Washington, 4; Henderson St. (Ark.), 3; Assumption (Mass.), 2; West Virginia Wesleyan, 2; Azusa Pacific, 1; Carson-Newman (Tenn.), 1; Harding (Ark.), 1.
 
Courtesy UNA Media Relations