Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University football squad has received its third top 10 national preseason ranking of the year in the latest 2018 NCAA Division II preseason poll announced this past weekend.
The Bulldogs, who have been tabbed as high as #3 nationally by Lindy's Sports, came in ranked eighth in the College Football America Yearbook preseason poll announced by the national publication.
Ferris State will begin its seventh season this fall under head coach Tony Annese and is expected to contend for its fifth-straight NCAA Division II playoff appearance with the return of nearly 60 letterwinners from a year ago.
Along with being picked third by Lindy's Sports and eighth by College Football America, the Bulldogs are also ranked fourth in the Massey Ratings online preseason listing and were 19th according to the Street & Smith's preseason poll.
FSU was ranked highest of three Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) members found in the College Football America Yearbook poll with Ashland tabbed 10th and Grand Valley State 28th in the preseason top 30.
Overall, defending national runner-up West Florida was chosen first followed by Indiana (Pa.), Harding (Ark.), Minnesota State and returning national champion Texas A&M Commerce in the top five overall. Central Washington was chosen sixth with Fort Hays State (Kan.) seventh in front of the Bulldogs followed by Northwest Missouri State and Ashland after FSU in the top 10.
In addition to conference foes Ashland and GVSU, one other opponent on the Bulldogs' regular-season schedule this year was featured in #21 Findlay, who the Bulldogs will host in week two action on Sept. 8 in Big Rapids.
This year marks the third time in the past four years the Bulldogs have been tabbed as one of the country's top three teams in at least one preseason national ranking.
The Bulldogs will begin their 110th season of varsity competition this coming fall with their sights set on making a fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II Playoffs. FSU has made back-to-back NCAA Division II National Quarterfinal appearances and is one of only five teams in all of college football to win at least 11 games each of the past four years. The Bulldogs along with Northwest Missouri State are the only programs in Division II football to make the playoffs each of the past four seasons.
In six seasons under Annese, the Bulldogs have become a national power on the Division II level. FSU has posted a 60-14 overall mark in the last six years and the Bulldogs have also posted the best winning percentage of all 21 collegiate programs in the state of Michigan along with the GLIAC since his arrival. Last summer, Hero Sports picked FSU as Michigan's Best College Football program regardless of division.
The Bulldogs will open the season at home under the lights at Top Taggart Field on Thursday, Aug. 30, with a non-conference matchup versus East Stroudsburg (Pa.) starting at 7:30 p.m. (ET).