GLIAC coaches tab GVSU as North Division favorites

GVL / Robert Mathews
Junior Linebacker Luther Ware having some fun during media day.

Robert Mathews

GVL / Robert Mathews Junior Linebacker Luther Ware having some fun during media day.

Brady Fredericksen

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Two days after learning they would open the season with a No. 7 national ranking by the American Football Coaches Association, the Grand Valley State University football team was selected to win the GLIAC North Division by the conference’s coaches.

Thanks to six first-place votes, the Lakers will enter the season as favorites in a division that saw two teams — Wayne State University and Saginaw Valley State University — make the NCAA Division II Playoffs last season.

GVSU defeated Saginaw Valley State on the final day of the season to clinch a share of the North Division title.

Both Saginaw Valley and Wayne State — who dropped a 35-21 decision to Pittsburg State University in the Division II National Championship Game — qualified for the postseason over South Division, and overall conference champion, Hillsdale College.

Hillsdale, Saginaw Valley State and Michigan Technological University rounded out the North’s top five, while Ferris State University, Northern Michigan University and Northwood University wrap up the division.

Ashland University was selected to win the South Division.

Here are the full 2012 GLIAC Football Preseason Coaches’ Poll rankings:

North Division (first place votes, total points)
1. Grand Valley State University (6, 108)
2. Wayne State University (4, 99)
3. Hillsdale College (4, 96)
4. Saginaw Valley State University (2, 87)
5. Michigan Technological University (66)
6. Ferris State University (45)
7. Northern Michigan University (36)
8. Northwood University (30)

South Division (first place votes, total points)
1. Ashland University (10, 113)
2. Ohio Dominican University (5, 108)
3. University of Findlay (1, 97)
4. Lake Erie College (73)
5. Walsh University (49)
T6. Tiffin University (43)
T6. Notre Dame College (43)
8. Malone University (41)

GVSU will also open the season as the No. 4 team in D2Football.com’s preseason poll.

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