The Great American Conference's superb second season on the gridiron reached yet another high as Harding joined Ouachita Baptist and Henderson State in the AFCA Division II Coaches' Top 25 Poll. The Bisons checked in at No. 23 while the Tigers held steady at No. 11 and the Reddies climbed up to No. 12.
October 8 AFCA Top 25 Poll
With its 23-20 victory over Southern Arkansas on Saturday, Harding moved to 5-0 for the first time since 2002 and jumped into the Top 25 for the first time since Sept. 20, 2005, at No. 23. In 2005, Harding upset No. 1-ranked Valdosta State 16-13 and entered the poll at No. 24.
Harding was also ranked for six weeks during the 2002 season, reaching as high as 18th in the poll.
Henderson State has moved up to No. 12 after its 71-0 blanking of Arkansas-Monticello last Saturday. The Reddies, 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the Great American Conference, totaled a season-high 655 yards of offense while the defense forced six turnovers against the Boll Weevils.
Henderson State had averaged 60.0 points per game - which leads all divisions of the NCAA – through the first six games and has outscored its opponents by an average of nearly 40 points per game.
The Tigers captured a 33-12 victory over Southwestern Oklahoma State on Saturday, but it wasn't enough to fuel them into the top 10, despite a loss from No. 3 Grand Valley State.
Grand Valley State fell to No. 14 in the poll following their loss. Minnesota State-Mankato leap-frogged the Tigers and moved into 10th place.
The first-ever GAC contest between two ranked opponents takes place at 6 p.m., Saturday when the Bisons host the Reddies. Henderson State has won four of the last five in the series, including a 35-21 decision in Searcy. Harding maintains a 13-8-1 advantage in the series at home. Ouachita Baptist travels to Arkansas-Monticello.
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