The Missouri Western State University football team is ranked nationally in two pre-season polls. The Griffons are ranked 6th according to The Sporting News and 12th by Lindy’s Football Annual.  Lindy’s also ranked the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats in the third spot, while the Sporting News selected them as the 12th best team in the country.

Missouri Western is coming off their best season in school history finising with a 12-2 record and winning its first ever NCAA Division II playoff game. The Griffons made it to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II playoffs which is the farthest any Griffon team has made it. Missouri Western has won eight or more games in a season in 10 of the last 13 years and has made four trips to the NCAA playoffs in that time and has played int a post season game 10 times during that time.

The Bearcats are coming off their ninth consecutive trip to the postseason as Adam Dorrel enters his third season as the Head Coach at Northwest. The 2012 season ended in double overtime in the second round of the postseason as the Bearcats posted a 10-3 overall record.

In addition, the Sporting News honored a pair of Bearcats with pre-season All-America honors with senior defensive back Brandon Dixon and junior punter Kyle Goodburn being named to the team. One Griffon, Reggie Jordan (St. Louis, Mo./Hazelwood Central) was named a pre-season All-American by The Sporting News.

Sporting News D2 Preview Top 25
1. Minnesota State
2. Shippensburg
3. West Texas A & M
4. Valdosta State
5. Ashland
6. Missouri Western
7. Duluth
8. New Haven
9. Carson-Newman
10. CSU-Pueblo
11. WInston-Salem State
12. Northwest Missouri State
13. Midwestern State
14. Lenoir-Rhyne
15. Grand Valley
16. Henderson St
17. Bloomsburg
18. West Alabama
19. Tuskegee
20. Chadron St
21. St. Cloud St
22. IUP
23. Indianapolis
24. Charleston
25. Miles

Lindy’s Pre-Season Top 25
1. Valdosta State
2. West Texas A&M
3. Northwest Missouri State
4. Minnesota State-Mankato
5. Shippensburg
6. Winston-Salem State
7. Indiana
8. Colorado State-Pueblo
9. Henderson State
10. Bloomsburg
11. New Haven
12. Missouri Western State
13. Indianapolis
14. Chadron State
15. Midwestern State
16. Winona State
17. Ashland
18. Harding
19. West Alabama
20. Lenoir-Rhyne
21. Saginaw Valley State
22. Grand Valley State
23. Tuskegee
24. Pittsburg State
25. Minnesota-Duluth