WACO, Texas (Aug. 15) â€“ The Vulcans will open the season ranked in the preseason Top 25 of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) poll for the sixth-consecutive season, as they are ranked No. 12 in the poll that was released on Monday afternoon.
Last year, the California University of Pennsylvania football team finished with a 10-2 overall record and qualified for the NCAA Playoffs for a fourth-straight season. The Vulcans opened the 2010 campaign ranked No. 6 and reached as high as No. 3 â€“ the highest mark in school history â€“ before finishing the year at No. 14.
Defending-National Champion Minnesota Duluth is a near unanimous preseason favorite after totaling 724 points behind 28 of the 29 first-place votes. Delta State (Miss.) ranks second in the poll with 657 points, while Northwest Missouri State is close behind with 624 points and received the other first-place vote.
For the third time in four years, the Vulcans will open the season against a nationally-ranked opponent, as Saint Cloud State (Minn.) is ranked No. 13 after finishing last year with a 10-3 record and No. 12 in the AFCA Top 25 Poll. Mercyhurst, who is Cal U's Week 8 Homecoming opponent on Oct. 22, begins the season at No. 17 after winning the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championship and finishing with a 10-3 mark in 2010.
Cal U will open the year on Thursday, Sept. 1, when it hosts Saint Cloud State at Adamson Stadium. The first all-time meeting between the two teams is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.