Skip to content

West Liberty Jumps to No. 18 in Division II Poll

October 20, 2009

WACO, Texas – The West Liberty University football team has ridden a 7-game winning streak to the highest national ranking in school history.

willie turns upfield

West Liberty wide receiver Willie Walker (5) turns upfield after making a catch as Shepherd All-American Deante Steele (28) closes in during Saturday’s game at Shepherdstown. Walker had 8 catches for 89 yards as the No. 18 Hilltoppers rallied past Shepherd, 31-30, for their seventh straight win.

Fresh off a thrilling 31-30 victory at regionally-ranked Shepherd on Saturday, Coach Roger Waialae’s Hilltoppers moved up to No. 18 in this week’s NCAA Division II Top 25.

The come-from-behind win also helped West Liberty (7-1, 5-0) continue its rise in the NCAA Division II Region One (Northeast) rankings.

The Hilltoppers are No. 5 in this week’s Region One ratings, up two spots from last week’s No. 7 ranking.

Shepherd, which had been receiving votes in the Top 25 poll and was ranked No. 9 in the region coming into last week’s showdown, dropped out of the regional rankings.

The regional rankings are used to determine the six NCAA Division II playoff participants from the Northeast Region at the end of the regular season.

“That was a very good win for our football team against a quality program,”  Waialae said. “We said after we lost our opener to (No. 23) Edinboro that we needed to approach each week as a playoff game and if we kept winning, the rankings would take care of themselves.

“We’re starting to see that play out now so there’s no reason to change anything. We have another tremendous challenge this weekend and that’s the only game we’re focusing on.”

There was a change at the top of the national poll for the second straight week as North Alabama (8-0), coached by Terry Bowden, is the new No. 1 team after receiving all 25 first-place votes. Last week’s No. 1 team, Abilene Christian, tumbled all the way to No. 9 after being shocked, 32-21, by unranked West Texas A&M.

As Waialae noted, West Liberty travels to No. 10 Charleston (8-0, 5-0) on Saturday for what shapes up as the game of the year in the West Virginia Conference.

The Hilltoppers and Golden Eagles are the only two WVIAC teams without a conference loss and Charleston is ranked No. 2 in the region. That means Saturday’s winner will have the inside track to a league championship and NCAA Division II playoff berth.

Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Laidley Field in Charleston.

American Football Coaches Association

NCAA Division II Poll

(Oct. 19, 2009)

School W-L Pts LW

1. North Alabama (25) 8-0 625 2

2. Central Washington 8-0 592 3

3. Bloomsburg (Pa.) 8-0 567 4

4. NW Missouri State 7-1 544 5

5. Minnesota St.-Mankato 8-0 525 6

6. Grand Valley State, Mich.  7-1 492 9

7. Minnesota-Duluth 7-1 475 9

8. Albany State (Ga.) 7-0 427 10

9. Abilene Christian  7-1 425 1

10. CHARLESTON 8-0 411 11

11. Tarleton State, Texas 7-1 368 13

12. Missouri Western 7-1 348 15

13. Nebraska-Kearney 7-1 315 16

14. Texas A&M-Kingsville 7-1 274 7

15. UNC-Pembroke 6-1 240 17

16. Washburn, Kan. 6-2 207 20

17. Midwestern State, Texas 6-2 193 22

18. WEST LIBERTY 7-1 151 21

19. Tuskegee, Ala. 5-2 143 19

20. Carson-Newman, Tenn. 6-2 118 25

21. Central Missouri 6-2 117 14

22. Wayne State, Neb. 6-2 109 24

23. Edinboro (Pa.) 6-2 99 12

24. California (Pa.) 6-2 97 NR

25. Hillsdale, Mich. 6-2 72 NR

Also receiving votes: Findlay, Ohio 43; Saginaw Valley State, Mich. 36; Angelo State, Texas 33; Bentley, Mass. 28; Wayne State, Mich. 20; Colorado School of Mines 9; Shippensburg, Pa. 8; Northern Michigan 6; Bowie State, Md. 3; Shaw, N.C. 2; Wingate, N.C. 2; Valdosta State, Ga. 1

NCAA Division II

Super Region One Rankings

(October 19, 2009)

All Reg.

Team W-L W-L

1. Bloomsburg, Pa. 8-0 8-0

2. Charleston 8-0 8-0

3. California, Pa. 6-2 6-2

4. Bentley, Mass. 7-1 6-1

5. WEST LIBERTY 7-1 6-1

6. Shippensburg, Pa. 6-2 6-2

7. Edinboro, Pa. 6-2 6-2

8. East Stroudsburg, Pa. 6-2 6-2

9. Bowie State, Md. 6-2 6-2

10. Shaw, N.C. 6-2 6-2

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: