Courtesy of the Great West Conference
NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- Defending Great West Conference champion UC Davis has been selected by the coaches to win the 2010 GWC football race.
The Aggies are coming off a championship season in 2009 which included a 6-5 overall record and a 3-1 record in the Great West. It was the second GWC title for UC Davis which shared the crown with Cal Poly in 2005.
After recording its 38th winning season in 40 years in 2009, UC Davis led the 2010 GWC coachesâ€™ poll with 23 points and received three first-place votes. Veteran coach Bob Biggs, the 2009 GWC Coach of the Year, is entering his 18th season as head coach and has a 130-66-1 record at the school. He returns 51 lettermen and 17 starters (8 offense, 6 defense and 3 special teams) from the championship team of a year ago. UC Davis opens its seasons on September 4 at Cal.
Cal Poly finished second in the poll with 18 points and one first-place vote. The Mustangs enter the 2010 season looking for their fourth GWC title after finishing fifth last season with a 1-3 conference record. Second-year head coach Tim Walsh, who led his first team to a 4-7 overall record, returns 19 starters (11 offense, 8 defense) and 59 lettermen. Cal Poly will kick off the 2010 season when it hosts Humboldt State on September 4.
Finishing third in the GWC poll was Southern Utah with 14 points and one first-place vote. The Thunderbirds finished tied for second in the conference last season with North Dakota and South Dakota, with each posting 2-2 conference marks. Southern Utah is led by coach Ed Lamb who enters his third season at the helm and posted a 5-6 record in 2009. The Thunderbirds return 39 lettermen, including 17 starters ( 8 offense, 9 defense) and open their season on September 4 at Wyoming.
Rounding out the poll are South Dakota and North Dakota at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively.
South Dakota received 11 points in the poll after finishing the 2009 campaign with a 5-5 record. Coach Ed Meierkort enters his seventh season at USD and returns 14 starters (7 offense, 5 defense, 2 special teams) and 43 letterwinners. The Coyotes open their season on September 4 at Central Florida.
The Fighting Sioux of North Dakota kick off their season on September 2, when they travel to Idaho for a Thursday night contest. Coach Chris Mussman, in his third season at UND, returns 31 lettermen and 14 starters (6 offense, 8 defense).
The race for the 2010 GWC championship begins on October 2 when South Dakota hosts North Dakota during Dakota Days festivities at the DakotaDome.
2010 Great West Conference Preseason Football Poll
1. UC Davis (3) 23 pts.
2. Cal Poly (1) 18 pts.
3. Southern Utah (1) 14 pts.
4. South Dakota 11 pts.
5. North Dakota 9 pts.