By Sandy Gholston, Special Writer for the GLIAC
BAY CITY, Mich. – The 2012 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) football season will be highlighted by the additions of three new Ohio-based institutions in Malone University, Notre Dame College and Walsh University.
The GLIAC’s three newest members join one of the top NCAA Division II football conferences in the nation. Malone, Notre Dame and Walsh will be among the teams looking to knock off the defending champion of the conference, Hillsdale College. The Chargers won the title in a competitive race last fall with a league record of 8-2 – just ahead of 7-3 competitors Grand Valley State University, Saginaw Valley State University and Wayne State University.
While the Chargers emerged as regular-season champions of the GLIAC, Hillsdale was excluded from the NCAA Division II Playoffs. Qualifying for the national tournament from the conference were Saginaw Valley and Wayne State. The Cardinals were eliminated in the first round of the tournament after a 30-27 overtime loss to the University of Minnesota-Duluth. The Warriors, however, went on a run that landed Coach Paul Winters’ team in the NCAA Division II Championship game. In that contest, Wayne State came up on the short end of a 35-21 loss to national champion Pittsburg State (Kan.) University in Florence, Ala. on Dec. 17.
Grand Valley State was ranked first in the North Division while Ashland University took the top spot in the South Division in the 2012 GLIAC Football Coaches’ Preseason Poll. The Lakers garnered 108 points and six first-place votes. Wayne State came in second in the North, receiving 99 points and four first-place nods. Hillsdale and Saginaw Valley State placed third and fourth in the Division, respectively. The Chargers earned 96 points and four first-place nods, while SVSU claimed 87 points and two first-place votes.
Michigan Technological University finished fifth in the North Division poll with 66 points, followed by Ferris State University is sixth place with 45 points. Northern Michigan University and Northwood University round out the North Division in seventh and eighth place, respectively. The Wildcats earned 36 points, while the Timberwolves garnered 30 points.
Ashland earned 113 points and 10 first-place votes to finish on top of the South Division poll. Ohio Dominican University finished second with 108 points and five first-place nods. The University of Findlay placed third with 97 points and one first-place vote, while Lake Erie College finished fourth with 73 points.
Newcomer Walsh University finished in fifth place in the South Division poll with 49 points, while Tiffin University and Notre Dame College tied for sixth place, each earning 43 points. Malone University rounded out the poll in eighth place with 41 points.
Full article with team by team previews
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