WACO, Texas – The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) released its eighth AFCA Division III Coaches' Poll of the 2013 season on Monday and Gallaudet University earned the 25th spot following a rout of Anna Maria College, 35-7, last Saturday. This is the first time that the Bison have been ranked in the AFCA Division III Coaches' Poll.
After receiving votes throughout the season, the Bison were finally able to find their way into the top 25 after a decisive victory over Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) opponent Anna Maria College. After being locked in a defensive battle in the first half, Gallaudet went into halftime with a 14-7 lead. The Bison were able to make adjustments and come out firing in the second half, as they went on to score three touchdowns and shutout the AMCAT offense, 21-0 in the final 30 minutes of play. This win brought Gallaudet's win streak to 11 games, a school-record, dating back to last season. The Bison earned their first ECFC title and received an automatic berth into the 2013 NCAA Division III football championship.
Johns Hopkins blazed up the gridiron this past weekend against Franklin & Marshall, 45-30, to secure the Centennial Conference title and its place at No. 8 in the AFCA Division III Coaches' Poll. John Carroll took care of business against then-No. 12 Heidelberg to set up a showdown against No. 1 Mount Union for the Ohio Athletic Conference crown this weekend. The top 10 looks remarkably similar to last week's poll, with Bethel taking advantage of its extra win to jump Hobart for the No. 6 spot and Wabash getting upset by new-No. 11 Wittenberg to fall all the way to No. 18 this week.
Outside of the top 10, however, is another story entirely. With seven different schools losing over the weekend, four of which to unranked competition, the poll opened up to a slew of new faces, including: Ithaca at No. 20, No. 21 Lebanon Valley, No. 22 Thomas More who finds itself back in the polls after a four week break and No. 25 Gallaudet.
The last Gallaudet University team to be nationally ranked was the 2010-11 women's basketball team, who peaked at No. 18 during their 24-4 season.
About the AFCA poll
In response to overwhelming support by NCAA Division III coaches, the American Football Coaches Association began publishing a Division III Top 25 Coaches' Poll in 1999.
Prior to 1999, there were no coaches' polls for any NCAA divisions other than Football Bowl Subdivision. The NCAA had published a regional poll for Division III prior to 1999, but discontinued the poll because of changes in the selection process for the Division III playoffs that took effect in 1999.
The regional poll had been used to rank teams for consideration for the 16-team playoff tournament. But in 1999, the Division III playoffs expanded to 28 teams and the regional format was no longer used.
The Division III poll follows the same basic format as the USA Today Coaches' Poll. The 2013 Division III Board of Coaches will have 42 voters, representing all Division III conferences. For more information about the AFCA please visit its website at www.afca.com.
AFCA DIVISION III COACHES' POLL – WEEK EIGHT
|1.||Mount Union (Ohio)||39||9-0||1,047||1|
|2.||Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas)||3||9-0||1,004||2|
|4.||North Central (Ill.)||9-0||913||4|
|8.||Johns Hopkins (Md.)||9-0||718||8|
|9.||John Carroll (Ohio)||9-0||712||10|
|13.||Pacific Lutheran (Wash.)||8-1||536||15|
|16.||St. Thomas (Minn.)||7-2||393||21|
|21.||Lebanon Valley (Pa.)||8-1||198||NR|
|22.||Thomas More (Ky.)||8-1||128||NR|
Dropped Out: 16. Franklin (Ind.), 23. Texas Lutheran, 24. Illinois College, 25. Pacific (Ore.)
NR = Not Ranked