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WT Buffs finish school best in AFCA poll

The West Texas A&M football team finished fourth in the final American Football Coaches Association final poll released Monday, capping one of the most successful seasons in school history. It is the highest end-of-the-season ranking in school history for the Buffs.

WT, which finished 12-3 on the year and earned a share of the Lone Star Conference championship, had a remarkable run through the NCAA Division II Super Four Regional entering the tournament as the six-seed. The Buffs, who entered the tournament ranked 16th, upset third-seeded and No. 20 Chadron State (38-30), fourth-ranked and second-seeded Ashland University (Ohio) 33-28 and toppled No. 1-ranked Colorado State-Pueblo 34-13, before falling in the NCAA Semifinal to No. 2 Winston-Salem State. The amazing part of the run is all of the postseason games came on the road as the team traveled over 8,000 miles during the postseason.

For the season, WT played in a school-record ten road games as the team went 8-2 in those games and 11 games away from Canyon with a neutral site game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington earlier in the season with a 40-10 win over then-No. 14 Texas A&M Kingsville.

Valdosta State downed Winston-Salem State in the National Championship game last weekend 35-7 as the Blazers finished first, followed by WSSU. Minnesota State Mankato, who lost to Valdosta State in the other NCAA semifinal, finished third, followed by the Buffs and Missouri Western was fifth to round out the top five.

The Buffs previous best finish in the final AFCA poll was eighth in 2007 as the team went 12-1 with the lone loss coming in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Northwest Missouri State.

Colorado State-Pueblo fell to sixth following the loss to the Buffaloes. Indiana (Pa.) was seventh following its loss to Winston-Salem State in the quarterfinals, while New Haven (Conn.) was eighth, followed by Ashland and Northwest Missouri State finished tenth.

WT has finished in the AFCA Top 25 or others receiving votes in each of head coach Don Carthelâ??s eight years at the helm of the program. The Buffs registered three wins in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history and also advanced to their first NCAA semifinal in program history.




2012 American Football Coaches Association Division II Coachesâ?? Poll


December 17, 2012






Rank





School (1st votes)





Rec.





Pts.





Prev.





Post-season





Head Coach






1.




Valdosta St. (Ga.) (30)




12-2




750




17




D. No. 2 Winston-Salem St. (N.C.), 35-7, in national championship




David Dean






2.




Winston-Salem St. (N.C.)




14-1




719




2




Lost to No. 17 Valdosta St. (Ga.), 35-7, in national championship




Connell Maynor






3.




Minnesota St.-Mankato




13-1




674




5




Lost to No. 17 Valdosta St. (Ga.), 35-19, in semi-finals




Aaron Keen







4.





West Texas A&M





12-3





596





16





Lost to No. 2 Winston-Salem St. (N.C.), 41-18, in semi-finals





Don Carthel






5.




Missouri Western St.




12-2




578




9




Lost to No. 5 Minnesota St.-Mankato, 17-10, in quarterfinals




Jerry Partridge






6.




Colorado St.-Pueblo




12-1




575




1




Lost to No. 16 West Texas A&M, 34-13, in quarterfinals




John Wristen






7.




Indiana (Pa.)




12-2




545




11




Lost to No. 2 Winston-Salem St. (N.C.), 21-17, in quarterfinals




Curt Cignetti






8.




New Haven (Conn.)




10-1




496




3




Lost to No. 11 Indiana (Pa.), 17-14, in second round




Peter Rossomando






9.




Ashland (Ohio)




11-1




480




4




Lost to No. 16 West Texas A&M, 33-28, in second round




Lee Owens






10.




Northwest Missouri St.




10-3




446




13




Lost to No. 5 Minnesota St.-Mankato, 38-35 2OT, in second round




Adam Dorrel






11.




Henderson St. (Ark.)




10-1




408




6




Lost to No. 9 Missouri Western St., 45-21, in second round




Scott Maxfield






12.




Minnesota-Duluth




10-2




407




7




Lost to No. 9 Missouri Western St., 57-55 3OT, in first round




Bob Nielson






13.




Carson-Newman (Tenn.)




9-3




406




22




Lost to No. 17 Valdosta St. (Ga.), 48-26, in quarterfinals




Ken Sparks






14.




Shippensburg (Pa.)




11-2




349




15




Lost to No. 2 Winston-Salem St. (N.C.), 37-14, in second round




Mark Maciejewski






15.




Indianapolis (Ind.)




10-3




288




18




Lost to No. 1 Colorado St.-Pueblo, 28-7, in second round




Bob Bartolomeo






16.




Midwestern St. (Texas)




9-2




284




8




Lost to No. 18 Indianapolis (Ind.), 31-14, in first round




Bill Maskill






17.




Bloomsburg (Pa.)




10-2




263




10




Lost to No. 15 Shippensburg (Pa.), 58-20, in first round




Danny Hale






18.




Chadron St. (Neb.)




9-3




231




20




Lost to No. 16 West Texas A&M, 38-30, in first round




Jay Long






19.




Harding (Ark.)




9-2




219




12




Lost to No. 13 Northwest Missouri St., 35-0, in first round




Ronnie Huckeba






20.




Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.)




9-3




195




NR




Lost to No. 22 Carson-Newman (Tenn.), 38-35, in second round




Mike Houston






21.




West Alabama




9-4




189




NR




Lost to No. 17 Valdosta St. (Ga.), 49-21, in second round




Will Hall






22.




Emporia St. (Kan.)




10-2




110




24




D. Texas A&M-Kingsville, 45-38, in Lower Kanza Bowl




Garin Higgins






23.




Tuskegee (Ala.)




10-2




97




14




Lost to Elizabeth City St. (N.C.), 28-13, in Pioneer Bowl




Willie Slater






24.




Missouri S&T




10-1




95




19




DNQ Playoffs




David Brown






25.




Shepherd (W.Va.)




8-3




84




25t




Lost to No. 11 Indiana (Pa.), 27-17, in first round




Monte Cater





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