Monday, August 8, 2011

Cal picked in PSAC

For the sixth straight season, the California Vulcans have been tabbed the favorite to win the PSAC West while Bloomsburg has been selected unanimously to win the PSAC East. This marks the second time in the last three seasons that the Huskies have been picked to win the East. The Vulcans and Huskies top the divisions in the 2011 PSAC football coaches' preseason poll that is being announced today as a part of PSAC football media day.

Bloomsburg will be looking to advance to the PSAC Championship game for the second straight season while California will look to return to the "State Game" this year after missing it last season for the first time since it was reinstated for the 2008 season. The Vulcans claimed the PSAC title in 2008 before falling to Shippensburg in the 2009 game. Last season, Mercyhurst won its first PSAC title by topping the Huskies in the championship game. Additionally, the Vulcans will be looking to make their fifth straight appearance in the NCAA playoffs. California had its run of three straight regional title snapped last season as Bloomsburg knocked out the Vulcans in the first round of the playoffs. The Huskies will be looking to return to the playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons and the fourth time in the last seven years.

In a complete reversal of last year's Eastern Division preseason poll when four different teams received first place votes, not including the team that finished first in the poll in West Chester, Bloomsburg received all eight first place votes to be the consensus pick to win the division. Kutztown, which finished just one game behind the Huskies in last year's standings and advanced to the NCAA playoffs for the first time in school history, came in second as the Golden Bears were listed in second on six of the eight ballots. West Chester and C.W. Post follow in third and fourth place, respectively, as those two teams were separated by just one point. East Stroudsburg came in fifth, just two points ahead of sixth place Shippensburg, while Millersville and Cheyney rounded out the poll.

The Western Division featured a very close race for the top spot as both California and second place Mercyhurst received four first place votes apiece and the Vulcans edged out the Lakers by just two points for the top spot. This represented a departure for the preseason polls of the past three seasons when the PSAC started tracking first place votes in its preseason polls as California received a majority of first place votes in each of the last three polls. IUP and Slippery Rock tied for third place while Gannon came in fifth, two points ahead of sixth place Edinboro. Clarion and Lock Haven rounded out the poll.

The results of the coaches' poll are listed below. First place votes are in parenthesis.

Eastern Division
1. Bloomsburg (8)
2. Kutztown
3. West Chester
4. C.W. Post
5. East Stroudsburg
6. Shippensburg
7. Millersville
8. Cheyney

Western Division
1. California (4)
2. Mercyhurst (4)
T3. Slippery Rock
5. Gannon
6. Edinboro
7. Clarion
8. Lock Haven


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