USF Picked To Finish First In MSFA Mideast League

Kory Stamps USF football

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Defending Mid-States Football Association coaches have chosen sixth-ranked University of Saint Francis of Fort Wayne, Indiana, as the No. 1 team in the Mideast League.
NAIA national champion Grand View University has been tabbed to repeat as Midwest League champion in preseason voting by Mid-States Football Association coaches.
USF, which captured its 11th Mideast League title and has played 35 postseason games since 1999, earned the top spot in the Mideast on the strength of a 5-1 league record and a 9-3 overall mark in 2013. The Cougars, who shared the title with Marian and St. Xavier in 2012, garnered six first-place preseason votes and 48 points to finish ahead of the University of St. Francis of Joliet, Illinois (4-2, 7-4). St. Francis edged Marian University (6-2, 6-5) by a 35-34 margin, followed by Robert Morris University (3-3, 7-4), Siena Heights University (2-4, 5-5), Taylor University (3-3, 5-5) and Concordia University (0-6, 1-9).
Grand View, which went 6-0 in the Midwest League and 14-0 overall in 2013 en route to its first national title in 2013, garnered five first-place preseason votes and 35 points with Saint Xavier University (4-2, 7-4) second with 31 votes, followed by St. Ambrose University (5-1, 7-4) and William Penn University (3-3, 5-6) tied for third, Trinity International University (2-4, 5-5) and Olivet Nazarene University (1-5, 3-8). While Grand View earned the Midwest League automatic berth to the NAIA postseason last fall, St. Ambrose was selected as a wild card.
Taylor and Missouri Baptist University, which will play as an associate member in 2014, will be the first two MSFA teams to open the season on August 28. Grand View then begins defense of its national title on August 30 against crosstown rival Drake. The first Mideast and Midwest league games are scheduled for October 4.
Grand View’s NAIA crown came on the heels of national champion Marian in 2012 and Saint Xavier in 2011.
Mideast League Preseason Poll
1. University of Saint Francis, Indiana (9-3, 5-1), 7 first-place votes, 48 points
2. University of St. Francis, Illinois (7-4, 4-2), 1 first-place vote, 35 points
3. Marian University, Indiana (6-5, 4-2), 34 points
4. Robert Morris University, Illinois (7-4, 3-3), 30 points
5. Siena Heights University, Michigan (5-5, 2-4), 23 points
6. Taylor University (5-5, 3-3), 19 points
7. Concordia University, Michigan (1-9, 0-6)

Mideast League Preseason Poll
1. Grand View University, Iowa (14-0, 6-0), 5 first-place votes, 35 points
2. Saint Xavier University, Illinois (7-4, 4-2), 1 first-place vote, 31 points
3. St. Ambrose University, Iowa (7-4, 5-1), 21 points
3. William Penn University, Iowa (5-6, 3-3), 21 points
5. Trinity International University, Illinois (5-5, 2-4), 11 points
6. Olivet Nazarene University, Illinois (3-8, 1-5), 7 points

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