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Wildcat Football Picked Second in PFL Preseason Poll

by | Aug 2, 2023

Coach Abell’s post-game talk at the 2022 FCS game vs. Richmond.


DAVIDSON, N.C. – Coming off its third straight FCS Playoff appearance, Davidson has been picked second in the Pioneer Football League Preseason Poll as announced Tuesday by the conference office.

2023 Pioneer Football League
Preseason Coaches’ Poll
 Place                   Team    Pts
1. St. Thomas (8) 98
2. Davidson (2) 92
3. Dayton 75
4. San Diego (1) 73
5. Butler 68
6. Valparaiso 52
7. Marist 45
8. Drake 38
9. Stetson 31
10. Morehead State 22
11. Presbyterian 11
  • First-place votes in parentheses.
  • 10 points awarded for a first-place vote, with one point less for each succeeding place. (Maximum score = 100)
  • Coaches were not allowed to vote for their team.

The Wildcats, who have won two of the last three league titles, received 92 points (2 first-place votes), just behind last year’s champion St. Thomas, which garnered 98 points (8 first-place votes).

Entering his sixth season at the helm, head coach Scott Abell has guided the Wildcats to a 34-19 overall record and 28-13 conference mark, while capturing two PFL regular season crowns.

Just one of four teams to make the last three FCS Playoffs, Davidson finished the 2022 season with its fifth straight winning season, marking just the fourth time in program history to accomplish that feat.

A year ago, the Wildcats were also just one of four FCS teams to finish in the top 20 nationally in both total offense and defense.

Dayton (75 points) and San Diego (73) were predicted third and fourth, respectively, just ahead of Butler in fifth.

Marist, which finished tied with Valparaiso in sixth place last season, received a seventh-place nod in the preseason poll. Following the Red Foxes were Drake (38), Stetson (31), Morehead State (22), and Presbyterian (11).

The upcoming 2023 season marks the 31st year of the Pioneer Football League. The league will feature 11 teams, each playing an eight-game schedule to determine the league champion and recipient of the automatic bid to the NCAA FCS Championship.

The 2023 schedule gets underway Thursday, Aug. 31, with Morehead State hosting West Virginia State before Valparaiso meets Youngstown State.

The 2023 PFL race starts in Week 3 (Sept. 16) when Davidson travels to Marist.

About the Pioneer Football League
The Pioneer Football League is the only non-scholarship, football-only NCAA Football Championship Subdivision conference. The PFL is a truly national conference with members on each coast and throughout the nation’s heartland. Butler University, the University of Dayton, Drake University, and Valparaiso University were among the league’s founding members in 1993, with Davidson College, Marist College, Morehead State University, Presbyterian College, the University of San Diego, the University of St. Thomas, and Stetson University joining to form the current 11-team league.

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