ST. LOUIS (STATS) – Defending champion San Diego was picked first in the Pioneer Football League’s preseason coaches poll for the fourth straight season, though the top three teams in the FCS non-scholarship league were tightly bunched Tuesday.
San Diego received seven of the 10 first-place votes and 89 of a maximum 100 points. Dayton got three first-place votes and 87 points, while Drake gained one first-place vote and collected 86 points.
The Toreros, who finished 9-3 last season, will return six starters on both offense and defense, including junior running back Jonah Hodges, who rushed for 1,214 yards, and junior cornerback Jamal Agnew, who led the FCS with 2.1 passes defended per game.
Dayton and Drake tied for second in the standings last year, one game behind San Diego. Dayton has captured the most PFL titles with 11, but is seeking its first since 2010.
The PFL recently ruled Jacksonville ineligible for the league title because it incorrectly rewarded financial aid during the 2010-14 seasons, but the Dolphins’ games will count in the league standings.
The PFL’s preseason team will be announced Wednesday.
Pioneer Football League Preseason Poll
Voted on by Head Coaches:
1. San Diego (7 first-place votes), 89 points
2. Dayton (3), 87
3. Drake (1), 86
4. Campbell, 71
5. Butler, 59
6. Stetson, 54
7. Marist, 50
8. Morehead State, 40
9. Valparaiso, 37
10. Davidson, 22