The Bearcats were ranked No. 1 in the AFCA Preseason Top 25 Poll released on Monday. They received all but one first-place vote, which went to Henderson State. Northwest is coming off their third 15-0 campaign in program history. This also marks the third time they've started the season No. 1 since the poll started in 2000.
Missouri Western garnered 38 Top 25 votes to slide in at 33rd in the nation. The Griffons posted an 8-3 record last year but missed out on the postseason for the first time since 2004.
Also representing the MIAA in the Top 25 are Pittsburg State (No. 9) and Emporia State (T-No. 22). Central Missouri (82) and Washburn (2) also received votes.
Both MWSU and Northwest begin the season at home on Thursday, September 4.
|Rank||School (1st votes)||2013 Rec.||Pts.||Prev.*||Season Opener||Head Coach|
|1.||Northwest Missouri St. (31)||15-0||799||1||Sept. 4 vs. Nebraska-Kearney||Adam Dorrel|
|2.||Grand Valley St. (Mich.)||12-3||725||3||Sept. 4 at No. 22 Azusa Pacific (Calif.)||Matt Mitchell|
|3.||Minnesota-Duluth||11-2||634||8||Sept. 6 vs. Concordia-St. Paul (Minn.)||Curt Wiese|
|4.||Colorado St.-Pueblo||11-1||619||7||Sept. 4 vs. No. 11 West Texas A&M||John Wristen|
|5.||North Alabama||10-3||589||10||Sept. 13 at Mississippi College||Bobby Wallace|
|6.||Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.)||13-2||538||2||Sept. 6 vs. Point (Ga.)||Ian Shields|
|7.||Minnesota St.-Mankato||11-1||530||6||Sept. 4 vs. No. 15 St. Cloud State (Minn.)||Todd Hoffner|
|8.||Henderson St. (Ark.) (1)||11-1||523||13||Sept. 6 at Southern Nazarene (Okla.)||Scott Maxfield|
|9.||Pittsburg St. (Kan.)||10-2||522||19||Sept. 6 vs. Northeastern St. (Okla.)||Tim Beck|
|10.||West Chester (Pa.)||13-2||477||4||Sept. 6 at New Haven (Conn.)||Bill Zwaan|
|11.||West Texas A&M||11-3||407||11||Sept. 4 at No. 4 Colorado St.-Pueblo||Mike Nesbitt|
|12.||Shepherd (W.Va.)||11-1||393||9||Sept. 6 at West Liberty (W.Va.)||Monte Cater|
|13.||Ohio Dominican||10-1||390||12||Sept. 6 vs. Malone (Ohio)||Bill Conley|
|14.||Winston-Salem St. (N.C.)||10-2||389||14||Sept. 6 vs. No. 21 North Carolina-Pembroke||Kienus Boulware|
|15.||St. Cloud State (Minn.)||12-2||350||5||Sept. 4 at No. 7 Minnesota St.-Mankato||Scott Underwood|
|16.||Carson-Newman (Tenn.)||10-3||333||17||Sept. 4 vs. Edinboro (Pa.)||Ken Sparks|
|17.||Tarleton St. (Texas)||7-3||266||NR||Sept. 13 at No. 11 West Texas A&M||Cary Fowler|
|18.||Indianapolis (Ind.)||10-2||229||18||Sept. 6 at Saginaw Valley St. (Mich.)||Bob Bartolomeo|
|19.||Delta St. (Miss.)||7-3||206||NR||Sept. 6 at Fort Valley St. (Ga.)||Todd Cooley|
|20.||Indiana (Pa.)||9-2||167||24||Sept. 6 vs. St. Augustine’s (N.C.)||Curt Cignetti|
|21.||North Carolina-Pembroke||9-2||140||15||Sept. 6 at No. 14 Winston-Salem St. (N.C.)||Shane Richardson|
|22t.||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)||10-2||133||NR||Sept. 4 vs. No. 2 Grand Valley St. (Mich.)||Victor Santa Cruz|
|22t.||Emporia St. (Kan.)||9-2||133||20||Sept. 4 vs. Missouri Southern St.||Garin Higgins|
|24.||Bloomsburg (Pa.)||10-2||103||16||Sept. 6 at Stonehill (Mass.)||Paul Darragh|
|25.||Tuskegee (Ala.)||8-3||98||25||Sept. 6 vs. Alabama A&M||Willie Slater|