The Pioneer Football League released its preseason coaches’ poll Tuesday with the Valparaiso Crusaders coming in at tenth place. The Crusaders return 18 starters (nine on offense, nine on defense) under 4th year head coach Dale Carlson.
Last year’s co-champion San Diego received five first-place votes to edge out the Butler Bulldogs for the top spot in the survey.
Jacksonville and Drake sit in a deadlock for third place with Dayton and Marist rounding out the top half of the poll.
Valpo rests two spots behind the eighth-ranked Campbell Camels, a team the Brown and Gold defeated 41-21 on the road last November.
With 32 points, the Crusaders finished ahead of Mercer and Stetson in the PFL poll.
The 2013 season kicks off on Thursday, August 29th in Grand Forks, North Dakota when Valpo takes on the Fighting Sioux.
Team Points (First place votes in parentheses)
1. San Diego (5) 111
2. Butler (4) 110
3. Jacksonville (2) 99
Drake (1) 99
5. Dayton 85
6. Marist 67
7. Morehead State 65
8. Campbell 49
9. Davidson 42
10. Valparaiso 32
11. Mercer 20
12. Stetson 13