BATESVILLE, Ark. – The 2016 Lyon College football team has a lot to prove to the coaches and sports information directors in the Central States Football League after posting a winless record a year ago. The Scots were picked to finish in last place this fall after posting an 0-11 season mark in 2015, while being held winless in the CSFL with an 0-6 record.
Defending conference champion Arizona Christian University, which is ranked No. 20 in the NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll after being ranked 22nd in the spring, received seven of the 11 first-place votes and received 52 points and is the choice to once again claim the title. ACU is fresh off its second season of football in 2015, as the Firestorm finished with a 6-3 overall record and were undefeated in conference play.
Langston University was on the heels of the top vote getter, as the Lions were just three points shy of the Firestorm. Langston fell into second place and received 49 total points while being picked twice as the first place team. Southwestern Assemblies of God University also received a pair of first place votes and took a third place ranking with 42 total points to finish in third.
Wayland Baptist University (Texas) sewed up fourth place with 33 points and Texas College ranked fifth, receiving 24 total points. Bacone College landed in the sixth spot with 19 points and Lyon rounded out the poll with 12 points.
During the 2016 season, seven teams will compete for the CSFL title, including three teams from Texas, two schools from Oklahoma and one University out of California and Arkansas. The CSFL is comprised of Arizona Christian University, Bacone College, Langston University, Lyon College, Southwestern Assemblies of God University (Texas), Wayland Baptist University (Texas), and Texas College.
Texas Wesleyan University will join the CSFL as a first-year program in 2017.
Conference members Lyon and Wayland Baptist will open the college football season on Thursday, Aug. 25, when they tangle in a non-conference matchup at Batesville's Pioneer Stadium at 8 p.m. The teams will place twice this season.
2016 CSFL Preseason Poll
Rk. School – Pts. (1st place votes)
1. Arizona Christian University – 52 (7)
2. Langston University – 49 (2)
3. Southwestern Assemblies of God U. – 42 (2)
4. Wayland Baptist University – 33
5. Texas College – 24
6. Bacone University – 19