FERRIS STATE FOOTBALL CRACKS THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Bulldogs Listed 24th This Week Heading Into Saturday's Showdown At GVSU
The unbeaten Ferris State University football team (3-0, 2-0 GLIAC) has cracked the national rankings for the first time this season as the Bulldogs are listed 24th this week (Sept. 16) in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II National Poll released Tuesday.
FSU earned 56 total points in the poll conducted by head coaches from across the country following the squad's 14-0 shutout victory over previously undefeated Findlay in its home opener under rainy conditions this past Saturday (Sept. 13) at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich.
The Bulldogs are one of only two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) schools listed in the nation's current top 25 poll along with second-ranked archrival Grand Valley State. The Bulldogs and the Lakers will square off in the annual Anchor-Bone Classic this Saturday (Sept. 20) evening with kickoff set for 7 p.m. (EDT) at GVSU's Lubbers Stadium in Allendale, Mich. FSU and GVSU remain the only unbeaten teams in the GLIAC entering Saturday night’s showdown.
Ferris and 23rd-ranked Edinboro (Pa.) are the only newcomers to this week's poll, which is headed by top-ranked Valdosta State (Ga.). The Blazers received 21 first-place votes with GVSU earning two, third-ranked North Alabama receiving one and number four Abilene Christian (Texas) picking up two first-place votes. Last week (Sept. 9), Ferris had been listed among other schools receiving votes in the AFCA poll with 10 points.
This week's ranking marks the first time Ferris State has ever been ranked among the nation's top 25 teams in the AFCA poll since the organization began publishing a Division II Top 25 Coaches’ Poll in 2000. The 2008 Division II Board of Coaches consists of 26 voters representing all Division II conferences, as well as independent schools. The poll is released on Tuesdays beginning and runs through the final week of the regular season.
This week also represents the first time the Bulldogs have been ranked in any national poll since earning preseason recognition as the nation's 18th-ranked squad in the 2007 Lindy's College Football Preview Division II Preseason Top 25 Poll. The Bulldogs finished the 2006 season ranked 17th in Don Hansen's Football Gazette's final Division II Top 40 poll and 22nd nationally in D2Football.com's final Top 25 poll.
Ferris’ win over Findlay gave the Bulldogs only their second 3-0 start in the last 12 years along with the 2006 campaign when they won their first three outings before losing at Hillsdale in week four (29-27). Prior to 2006, FSU hadn’t won three in a row since the 1996 campaign when they made their last trip to the NCAA-II Playoffs. Ironically, Ferris also played GVSU in week four of the ‘96 campaign and suffered a 36-17 loss at Allendale, which at the time halted the Bulldogs’ 42-game unbeaten streak (40-0-2) along with their 41-game Midwest Intercollegiate Football Conference (MIFC) unbeaten string (39-0-2) and their 27-game conference win streak.
Saturday's win against the Oilers represented FSU's first shutout dating back 71 games since recording a 35-0 triumph at home over Michigan Tech in 2001. It marked the program’s eighth shutout victory since 1990, but only the second in the last 12 seasons along with the 2001 contest.
The Anchor-Bone Classic will be carried live locally by WYBR (102.3 FM) with Jason DaDay handling the play-by-play duties. The game will be televised live in parts of Michigan on Charter Main Street and Comcast (900/901). Live internet Gametracker statistics and a video/audio pay-per-view webcast are also slated to be offered. Links for all media coverage will be posted on the FSU website and can be found by clicking the “internet event schedule” icon at www.ferris.edu/sports.
The Anchor Bone Trophy, which is sponsored by Huntington Bank, is awarded annually to the winner of the Ferris State-Grand Valley State football game. The trophy debuted in 2002 and GVSU has maintained possession of the trophy the last five years with three wins in Allendale along with two at FSU’s Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids.
Bulldog fans can join fellow alumni and friends for the "Sink the Lakers" tailgate before Saturday’s game beginning at 4 p.m. (EDT) in Lot F adjacent to the GVSU Fieldhouse in Allendale. Please RSVP to Brandi in the Ferris Alumni Office at (888) 378-3647 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For ticket information, please contact the GVSU Athletics Office at (616) 331-8800. In addition, tickets can be bought online via Star Tickets Plus at www.starticketsplus.com.
For the complete national rankings, please visit this link:
AFCA National Rankings (PDF)