Ferris State Football Tabbed Among Nation's Top Six Teams In Two Preseason Polls

FSU

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University football program, which has advanced to the NCAA Division II Semifinals in three of the past four seasons, will open the year listed among the nation's top six teams again in two different collegiate gridiron polls recently unveiled.

The Bulldogs have been picked as the country's #4 preseason team by Street & Smith's along with #6 by Lindy's Sports in each publication's annual college football national preview magazine. Both went on sale on newsstands across the nation this month.

In both polls, defending national champion West Florida, which edged FSU in the national semifinals a year ago, has been tabbed as the country's top team entering the year.

This year marks the fifth time in the past six years the Bulldogs have been tabbed as one of the country's top four teams in at least one preseason national ranking.

Lindy's Sports, which is billed as the nation's leading football authority, highlighted the top 25 teams in the country based on expert opinions and also featured a preseason All-America team. The top six teams nationally in the magazine's preseason listing included West Florida (#1), Lenoir-Rhyne (#2), Valdosta State (#3), Minnesota State (#4), Northwest Missouri State (#5) and Ferris State (#6).

Lindy's Sports also tabbed two Bulldogs as Preseason All-Americans, including senior defensive back James Ceasar (Detroit/East English Village) on the first team and senior offensive tackle Dylan Pasquali (Trenton) on the second team squad. FSU had two of the three players from the GLIAC on the magazine's Preseason All-America list.

Meanwhile, in the Street & Smith's poll, the publication tabbed West Florida (#1), Northwest Missouri State (#2), Texas A&M-Commerce (#3), Ferris State (#4) and Valdosta State (#5) in the top five overall. Pasquali was tabbed as a first team Preseason All-American by Street & Smith's and was the only player from the GLIAC on the listing. The magazine noted in it's preview article that "Ferris State has established itself as the premier program in the GLIAC."

The Bulldogs will begin their 112th season of varsity competition this coming fall with their sights set on making a seventh consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II Playoffs.

Ferris State reached the national semifinals for the third time in four years in 2019. Last fall, along with reaching the national semifinals, FSU also claimed a second-straight Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Championship with an unblemished league record. Last year marked the Bulldogs' fourth-straight trip to the national quarterfinals or beyond, which is the longest streak in the country. Over the past two seasons, the Bulldogs have compiled a 27-2 mark.

Over the last six seasons at Ferris State, the Bulldogs have compiled a 72-9 overall record and claimed four conference championships, posted four unbeaten regular-seasons, captured three regional titles and reached the national quarterfinals four times. Ferris State has also accumulated three Harlon Hill National Player of the Year trophies, twice had a student-athlete tabbed as the nation's National Scholar-Athlete of the Year and won 12 postseason games in addition to an appearance in the 2018 National Championship game.

The Bulldogs are one of only four teams in all of college football at any NCAA level to win 11 games each of the last six years along with Alabama, Ohio State and North Dakota State. FSU is also the only D2 team in the country to reach the national quarterfinals for four consecutive years and the Bulldogs' six-straight playoff appearances is the second-longest longest streak in the nation.

Ferris State also holds the GLIAC's best mark and the best overall record of all 21 collegiate programs in Michigan at 87-16 overall since the arrival of Tony Annese as head coach in 2012.

Lindy's Sports Preseason Top 10
1. West Florida
2. Lenoir-Rhyne
3. Valdosta State
4. Minnesota State
5. Northwest Missouri State
6. Ferris State
7. Notre Dame (Ohio)
8. Texas A&M-Commerce
9. Harding 
10. Colorado Mines

Street & Smith's Preseason Top 10
1. West Florida
2. Northwest Missouri State
3. Texas A&M-Commerce
4. Ferris State
5. Valdosta State
6. Minnesota State
7. Lenoir-Rhyne
8. Colorado Mines
9. Slippery Rock
10. Harding