When you’re the defending national champions and have your starting QB, two 1,000-yard rushers and three starting WRs coming back, then you’re likely going to start the next season at No. 1.
That’s exactly where Valdosta State will begin this season.
The Blazers, who won their final 10 games on the way to the Division II national title last year, are the No. 1 team in the American Football Coaches Association preseason poll, released Monday.
Valdosta State, which went 12-2 last year, received
26 of the 32 first-place votes for 766 points to beat out Minnesota State-Mankato, which had three firsts and 726 points. West Texas A&M, which had one first , was third at 707 points. Northwest Missouri State also had a first and 616 points for fourth and Winston-Salem State, which lost to Valdosta State in last year’s national title game, was fifth with 599 points.
The 2013 season marks the third time in the history of the poll that the Blazers will open the season at No. 1 and is the 21st time overall that VSU has been tabbed the top team in the country. The 21 weeks in the top spot are second-most among all NCAA Division II teams since the poll began prior to the 2000 season.
Fort Valley State earned four votes, but isn’t ranked.
Valdosta State has many offensive weapons.
On a downside for the Blazers, they have to replace all five offensive linemen.