Big Rapids, Mich. - The 2011 college football season is a little more than two months away, but Ferris State University is already drawing some gridiron attention.
The Bulldogs were recently listed as one of the possible contenders in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) race in the 2011 Sporting News College Football Preview Issue, which hit various news stands nationwide this month.
The annual publication compiled a preseason list of the nation's top 25 teams, which included three from the GLIAC in second-ranked Grand Valley State, number nine Wayne State and Hillsdale, which was listed 19th in the preseason poll.
Additionally, the magazine offered a brief conference outlook of each Division II league and included the Bulldogs among the possible contenders in the GLIAC along with Michigan Tech and Ashland.
The article, which was written by Greg Dewalt of the Florence (Ala.) TimesDaily, noted "With 19 returning starters, including fourth-year starting QB Tom Schneider, Ferris State could be ready to challenge for the conference title."
Sporting News listed defending NCAA Division II National Champion Minnesota-Duluth as the nation's preseason favorite with GVSU second followed by Abilene Christian (Texas), Northwest Missouri State and Delta State (Miss.) in the top five overall.
Ferris State kicks off its 103rd season of varsity competition this fall by hosting Hillsdale in a non-conference matchup on Friday, Sept. 2, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. (ET) at Top Taggart Field. FSU and Hillsdale are not scheduled to play each other as part of the GLIAC schedule this season.
The Bulldogs, who will play an 11-game regular-season schedule, open GLIAC action the following week at Saginaw Valley State in their first road contest on Saturday, Sept. 10, at SVSU's Wickes Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET).
The Bulldogs' 2011 schedule features alternating home and away games throughout the year as FSU will not play consecutive contests either at home or on the road at any point during the campaign.
Ferris State is expected to return nearly 50 letterwinners for the 2011 campaign, including almost 19 full-time starters with nine on the defensive side of the ball and eight coming back offensively along with two kicking specialists.
The 2011 Sporting News College Football Preview Issue includes complete preseason coverage of all levels, including 246 Division I previews along with brief looks at Division II, Division III, NAIA and junior college institutions.