WACO, Texas — The Pitt State football team, the defending NCAA Division II national champion, drew the No. 1 ranking in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) preseason poll released Monday (Aug. 13).
The Gorillas received 21 of a possible 30 first-place votes to start the 2012 season exactly where they finished the 2011 campaign. Pitt State posted a 13-1 record a year ago, capping the season with a 35-21 victory over Wayne (Mich.) State in the Division II National Championship Game at Florence, Ala., on Dec. 17.
Minnesota Duluth, a national quarterfinalist with an 11-3 record in 2011, received five first-place votes and 661 points to finish No. 2 in the poll, followed by NW Missouri State (613 points), Midwestern State (582 points) and Wayne State (502 points). The Bearcats, Mustangs and Warriors all received one first-place vote apiece.
Winston-Salem State, which posted a 13-1 record and reached the Division II semifinals a year ago, received the remaining first-place vote in the poll. The Rams were picked No. 9 in the poll with 386 points.
MIAA rivals Missouri Western and Washburn also were selected in the top 25 — the Griffons coming in at No. 18 and the Ichabods at No. 20. Nebraska-Kearney and Central Missouri also received votes in the poll.
Gorillas Face Busy Schedule Saturday
The Gorillas will have a busy day of action Saturday (Aug. 18). Pitt State will host its annual YMCA Youth Football Clinic at 11 a.m. at Carnie Smith Stadium. The Gorillas then will make an appearance at Pittsburg's Meadowbrook Mall from 1-3 p.m. for Autograph Day, where the squad will sign team posters and distribute schedule cards. The third annual Ladies Night at the Pitt will take place from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Carnie Smith Stadium, and the Gorillas will wrap up the night with a practice under the lights at the stadium.
Pitt State opens defense of its national championship on Thursday, Aug. 30, when the Gorillas travel to Tahlequah, Okla., to face MIAA newcomer Northeastern State. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. (CDT).
Game Tickets for Season Opener Available Locally
Game tickets for the season opener against Northeastern State will be available locally. Pitt State will have an allotment of 1,000 general admission tickets and 900 student tickets to sell beginning Tuesday (Aug. 14) in the Ticket Office in the Weede Building.
G.A. tickets are $10. PSU student (with current college ID) tickets are $5 and student/children (ages 4 through high school) are $3.
Doc Wadley Stadium has 10,500 general admission seats with approximately 2,000 seats on visiting side (east grandstands). Fans are welcome to sit on either side of the stadium on a first-come first-serve basis.
Parking immediately around Doc Wadley Stadium is $5. Parking is free from the NSU Library (behind the Redmen Heritage Wall) on Grand Avenue. A free shuttle service is provided to Doc Wadley Stadium.