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College football: UMD ranked third in preseason poll

Early praise continues to flow for Minnesota Duluth’s football team, which was ranked third in the American Football Coaches Association Division II preseason poll released Monday.

UMD, which has appeared in every AFCA weekly poll since early September 2008, sits behind top-ranked Northwest Missouri State — the defending national champ that ousted the Bulldogs from the playoffs a year ago — and No. 2 Grand Valley State.

UMD, already tabbed to win the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, is one of three league teams in the AFCA poll. Minnesota State-Mankato is ranked seventh and St. Cloud State checks in at No. 15. The Bulldogs open the season Sept. 6 at home against Concordia-St. Paul.