Three time defending NCAA Division III champion UW-Whitewater is ranked number one in the preseason poll released July 31.

UW-Whitewater received 17 of 25 first place votes.

The University of Mount Union, with the remaining eight first place votes, is second and Wesley College (Delaware) is third.  Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) is fourth, followed by Linfield College (Oregon), North Central College (Illinois), and Salisbury State College (Maryland) in seventh.  The top 10 is rounded out by University of Saint Thomas (Minnesota) in eighth, Delaware Valley College (Pennslyvania), and Wabash College (Indiana).

UW-Whitewater has won a record seven consecutive Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships.

The Warhawks have earned a playoff berth each season, and have advanced to the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl in Salem, Va., the NCAA III championship, all seven years.

UWW’s opponent all of those years has been Mount Union, with UWW winning four of the last five meetings including a 13-10 decision in 2011.

Whitewater begins the 2012 season with a 45-game win streak, dating back to the 2008 Stagg Bowl.  That streak is the longest active string in NCAA football – in any division, and is the fourth longest streak in the history of NCAA football ­– also at any level.

Lance Leipold, entering his sixth year as the Warhawks’ head coach, has compiled a 72-3 record.  Over that span he has directed Whitewater to playoff wins over many of the teams mentioned in the top 10, beginning with a 4-1 mark against Mount Union and including Franklin (2-0), Mary Hardin-Baylor (2-0), North Central (2-0), Wabash, Linfield, Wesley, Saint Thomas, and Salisbury.

UWW will open the 2012 schedule Friday, Aug. 31 at Washington University in Saint Louis. The home opener, versus Buffalo State College (New York) is set for Saturday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. in Perkins Stadium.  Call (262) 472-2222 for football ticket information.

Whitewater has ranked among the top 10 in Division III football attendance each of the last six years, including third in 2011.


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