Edited: August 4, 2010
Wittenberg University emerged as the preseason favorite in balloting by North Coast Athletic Conference football coaches for the 27th annual preseason football poll.
The Tigers, who compiled a perfect 10-0 regular season record and earned two NCAA Tournament victories last season, collected eight of nine first-place votes from the coaches to total 79 points. Last season's runner-up, Wabash, was close behind in the balloting with 71 total points. The Little Giants collected one first-place vote and last won the NCAC title in 2008. Allegheny, which went 5-2 in conference play a year ago, accumulated 63 points to finish third in the poll, while Wooster (50) and Ohio Wesleyan (41) earned the fourth and fifth spots, respectively. Denison (32), Kenyon (30), Oberlin (19) and Hiram (14) rounded out the bottom four slots in the poll.
Wittenberg is entering its 15th season under the leadership of head coach Joe Fincham. Fincham holds an overall record of 126-30 at Wittenberg, including a mark of 85-14 in North Coast Athletic Conference games. The Tigers, who were eliminated from the 2009 NCAA Playoffs by eventual National Champion Wisconsin-Whitewater, are led by returning NCAC and NCAA Div. III Defensive Player of the year Eddie Vallery (South Solon, OH/Madison Plains). A senior defensive end, Vallery led the nation in sacks (16.5) as a junior.
The 2010 season opens on Saturday, September 4. NCAC play begins Saturday, Sept. 11.
North Coast Athletic Conference 2010 Preseason Coaches' poll
1. Wittenberg (8) 79
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