/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.

Aug. 31: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Moravian at King's
7:00 PM
Methodist at Campbell
7:00 PM
Alfred State at Coast Guard
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7:00 PM
Allegheny at Thiel
7:00 PM
Stevenson at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Wesley at Delaware Valley
7:00 PM
Mayville St. at Buena Vista
7:30 PM
Manchester at Trine
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8:00 PM
McMurry at Okla. Panhandle
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
8:00 PM
Greenville at Millikin
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Salisbury at Albright
7:00 PM
Mount Ida at Mass-Dartmouth
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Curry
7:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Washington and Lee
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7:00 PM
FDU-Florham at TCNJ
7:00 PM
MIT at Becker
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7:00 PM
Westfield State at Nichols
7:30 PM
Anna Maria at WPI
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7:30 PM
Gettysburg at Bridgewater
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
TBA
Wilkes at Muhlenberg
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Birmingham-Southern at LaGrange
TBA
St. Norbert at UW-Stevens Point
TBA
Knox at Eureka
12:00 PM
Grove City at Juniata
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Endicott
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12:00 PM
Worcester State at Salve Regina
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12:00 PM
Maine Maritime at SUNY-Maritime
12:00 PM
Norwich at Morrisville State
12:00 PM
Bethany at Ursinus
12:00 PM
Brockport at Hobart
12:00 PM
Augustana at Cortland
12:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Buffalo State
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12:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Washington U.
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12:30 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Mount Union
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1:00 PM
Kalamazoo at Oberlin
1:00 PM
Catholic at McDaniel
1:00 PM
Heidelberg at Olivet
1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Lebanon Valley
1:00 PM
Alma at St. Vincent
1:00 PM
Castleton at Plymouth State
1:00 PM
Lycoming at Susquehanna
1:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at John Carroll
1:00 PM
Alfred at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Misericordia at Merchant Marine
1:00 PM
Albion at Wabash
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1:00 PM
Dickinson at Randolph-Macon
1:00 PM
Bluffton at Wooster
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1:00 PM
Union at Husson
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1:00 PM
Springfield at Western New England
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at Westminster (Pa.)
1:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Ferrum at Emory and Henry
1:00 PM
Averett at Hampden-Sydney
1:00 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
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1:00 PM
Waynesburg at Muskingum
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1:00 PM
William Paterson at RPI
1:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Chicago
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1:00 PM
Kenyon at Sewanee
1:30 PM
Franklin at Thomas More
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1:30 PM
Centre at Hanover
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Capital
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Defiance
1:30 PM
Earlham at Wilmington
2:00 PM
Carthage at Aurora
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
2:00 PM
Guilford at Huntingdon
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Simpson
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Nebraska Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Rockford at MacMurray
2:00 PM
Finlandia at Concordia (Wis.)
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2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Bethel
2:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Macalester at Carleton
2:00 PM
Grinnell at St. Olaf
2:00 PM
Hamline at Crown
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at Illinois Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Whitworth at Central
2:00 PM
Coe at UW-River Falls
2:00 PM
Loras at Elmhurst
2:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Ripon
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2:00 PM
Presentation at Lawrence
2:00 PM
George Fox at UW-Platteville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Lake Forest at Beloit
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
3:00 PM
Austin at Bacone
4:00 PM
Puget Sound at La Verne
5:00 PM
Western Connecticut at Hartwick
6:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Adrian
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7:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Southern Virginia
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7:00 PM
Brevard at Davidson
7:00 PM
Gallaudet at Shenandoah
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7:00 PM
Otterbein at Ohio Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Marietta at Geneva
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
7:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Utica
7:00 PM
Southwestern at Denison
7:00 PM
Martin Luther at Minnesota-Morris
7:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
7:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Illinois College
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7:00 PM
Trinity Int'l at Wisconsin Lutheran
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7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas-Permian Basin
7:00 PM
Luther at UW-La Crosse
7:00 PM
Wayland Baptist at Louisiana College
8:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Augsburg
8:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Cornell
8:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at North Central (Ill.)
8:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Benedictine
8:00 PM
Lyon at Hendrix
8:00 PM
Howard Payne at Southwestern Assemblies
10:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Redlands
10:00 PM
Rhodes at Willamette
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Sep. 3: All times Eastern
2:00 PM
Dickinson at Lebanon Valley
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