Bay City, Mich. - The Ferris State University football team was selected to finish seventh in the 2009 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Football Coaches Preseason Poll, which was released Monday (August 3) afternoon during the GLIAC's annual football media day luncheon at the Doubletree Hotel on the riverfront in Bay City, Mich.
The Bulldogs received 66 points in the balloting, which was conducted by the conference's 12 head coaches. The coaches weren't allowed to vote for their own team. The first-place team on each ballot earned 11 points while the second-place team received 10 points, etc. A season ago, Ferris State was also chosen to place seventh with 66 total points in the conference's preseason gridiron poll and the Bulldogs went on to register a 6-5 overall record while placing seventh in the final 2007 GLIAC standings at 5-5 in league play.
"We're excited with the group of guys we have in our program," said FSU head coach Jeff Pierce, who will begin his 15th year at Ferris State this fall and is the program's all-time winningest coach with an 90-64 (.584) career coaching mark. "They've shown a tremendous commitment over the summer, but there are a number of challenges ahead of us and we'll have to be at the top of our game every week to be successful in this conference."
Defending conference champion Grand Valley State was selected as
the preseason favorite to capture the conference title as the
Lakers earned 121 points and picked up 11 of the 12 first-place
votes. Ashland was tabbed second with 107 points and one
first-place vote while Michigan Tech recorded 94
points to place third, edging out Wayne
State's fourth-place 89 points total. Saginaw Valley
State came in fifth with 85 points and Hillsdale was sixth
at 71 points in front of the Bulldogs. Ferris State
garnered seventh place with 66 points. The Bulldogs tallied 15
more points than eighth-place Indianapolis.
In addition to the release of the preseason poll, those in attendance also heard comments from new GLIAC Commissioner Dell Robinson, comments from each member head coach, the presentation of the GLIAC Media Service Award to longtime Saginaw News beat writer Greg Mancina as well as a formal introduction to the league's two newest members, Ohio Dominican University and Lake Erie College, who will join the conference for the 2010 season. Media members in attendance also had a chance to interview head coaches.
Ferris State will kickoff its 101st season of varsity competition Saturday, Aug. 29, against the Tiffin (Ohio) Dragons in a 7 p.m. (EDT) non-conference contest at Top Taggart Field. The game will take place during FSU "Welcome Week" activities and be part of a true "Community Football Day" atmosphere as Big Rapids High School will also open its 2009 season versus Holton earlier in the day (2:30 p.m.) in the same facility and a rocket football contest will be part of the FSU halftime events.
The Bulldogs, who will play an 11-game regular-season schedule, open GLIAC action the following Saturday, Sept. 5, at home versus the Ashland Eagles with kickoff also set for 7 p.m. (EDT). The game will be part of the area's annual Riverdays Festival with the traditional Fireworks Night festivities taking place following the contest.
A highlight of the Bulldogs' 2009 campaign will come on Saturday, Oct. 3, when FSU takes on Michigan Tech in the "Battle At The Ballpark", which will be played on the home field of Minor League Baseball's West Michigan Whitecaps at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, Mich., starting at 7 p.m. (EDT).
Tickets for all home games can be purchased at the gate or by contacting the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.
The following is the complete 2009 GLIAC Football Coaches Preseason Poll with first-place votes in parenthesis.
Rank Team (First-Place Votes) Points
1. Grand Valley State (11) 121
2. Ashland (1) 107
3. Michigan Tech 94
4. Wayne State 89
5. Saginaw Valley State 85
6. Hillsdale 71
7. Ferris State 66
8. Indianapolis 51
9. Findlay 38
10. Northern Michigan 33
11. Northwood 24
12. Tiffin 13