/notables/2010/07/nwc-preseason-poll

Linfield picked to repeat in NWC

Defending champion Linfield is a unanimous choice to repeat as Northwest Conference football winners, according to the preseason poll of league coaches.  For the first time, the poll includes Pacific.

The Wildcats, who advanced to the NCAA Division III semifinals last year and finished 12-1 after an unbeaten conference slate, picked up all seven first place votes and totaled the maximum of 56 points in the poll. Linfield returns three players from the 2009 All-NWC Offense, including quarterback Aaron Boehme, the league's Offensive Player of the Year.  All-NWC lineman Paul Nishizaki and defensive back Drew Fisher will lead the Wildcats' defense.

Willamette had all seven second place votes and 42 points in the poll.  The Bearcats had a strong year in 2009, finishing 8-2 and just missing the NCAA playoffs.  Willamette hopes to return to the conference title form it had in 2008.  Ron Carter and Arlin Taylor, both 2009 First Team All-NWC honorees, will lead a strong Bearcat defense.

Pacific Lutheran and Whitworth tied for third place in the final 2009 standings.  Not surprisingly the Lutes (32) edged the Pirates (31) by just one point in the 2010 poll.  Two-time All-NWC receiver Greg Ford and Second Team All-NWC QB Jordan Rasmussen will lead a potent PLU offense.  Whitworth hopes for a return to form from two-time NWC Offensive MVP Adam Anderson, a running back, who was granted a medical hardship season after missing nearly all of 2009 with an ankle injury.

Puget Sound is fifth in the poll with 19 points, despite coming off of a winless campaign in 2009. Optimism is high with Jeff Thomas taking over as head coach this season.

Lewis and Clark was sixth in the poll with 12 points.  Second Team All-NWC lineman Curtis Smith leads the Pioneers, who are picked higher than last in the poll for the first time since 2002.

Pacific makes its debut in the NWC poll with 11 points.  The Boxers will field their first team since 1992 under head coach Keith Buckley.  Pacific is competing as part of the NWC for the first time since 1984.

The season will officially get underway on Sept. 4 when Willamette heads to UW-Stevens Point and Whitworth hosts Hardin-Simmons.  Pacific will play at Puget Sound in a non-conference match-up, the first of two meetings between the schools.

The full poll:

School (No. 1 votes)     Pts., Record
1. Linfield (7)     56, 12-1, 6-0
2. Willamette            42, 8-2, 5-1
3. Pacific Lutheran      32, 3-6, 3-3
4. Whitworth            31, 5-5, 3-3
5. Puget Sound      19, 0-9, 0-6
6. Lewis and Clark      12, 2-7, 1-5
7. Pacific            11, debut season

First-place votes in parenthesis. Points awarded on 8-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.

Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Nov. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Wesley at Brockport
12:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Mount Union
Video Live stats Audio Tickets
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Husson at Delaware Valley
Live stats
1:00 PM
Berry at St. Thomas
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Linfield at Mary Hardin-Baylor
1:00 PM
Trine at Wartburg
Nov. 17: All times Eastern
Final
Merchant Marine 35, at Buffalo State 20
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Photos
Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Muhlenberg 32, at Carnegie Mellon 6
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 21, Widener 7
Video Box Score
Final
Susquehanna 28, at Albright 9
Video Box Score
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Framingham State 48, Curry 14
Video Box Score
Final
Cortland 35, at Union 28
Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Final
at Ithaca 27, Salisbury 17
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at WPI 17, SUNY-Maritime 3
Box Score Recap
Nov. 19: All times Eastern
Final
at Alfred 29, Stevenson 16
@ University of Delaware
Video Box Score Recap