That last two GLIAC seasons have produced first-time, outright championships for a pair of the league's long-standing members; Hillsdale earned the title in 2011, with Ashland completing an unbeaten regular season to claim the crown in 2012. Will the 2013 title go to another first-timer? The league's head coaches seem to think it not impossible as their preseason poll results were announced.
The picture in the North has even less clarity, which resembles how the standings looked at the end of 2012. Four teams finished atop the north at 7-3 last year, and each of those clubs earned at least one first-place vote in this year's preseason poll. Grand Valley led the way with 94 points and six first-place ballots. Saginaw Valley also picked-up six first-place votes, but only tallied 87 total points to finish second. Fellow co-champs from last year Michigan Tech (66 points, one first-place vote) and Hillsdale (65 points, one first-place vote) finished fourth and fifth respectively, but found themselves passed over for third by the coaches as Ferris State garnered 69 total points along with a single first-place nod. It's obvious that the coaches see Ferris and Ohio Dominican as teams to watch out for in 2013, and it will be interesting to see if their thoughts are validated on the field.
Rounding out the North Division balloting was sixth place Wayne State with 48 points, seventh place Northern Michigan with 23 points, and finally Northwood with 22 points.
The 2013 Division II football season opens for six GLIAC members on Thursday, September 5th, with seven more of the league's clubs playing two days later on Saturday the 7th. The conference schedule then begins in earnest on Saturday, September 14th.