Nov 8, 2011 1:46 AM by Lee Douglas/CSU-Pueblo
WACO, Texas - CSU-Pueblo has been given its highest national ranking in the history of the football program - No. 2 - according to the latest American Football Coaches' Association Division II Coaches' Poll, released Monday.
The ThunderWolves, now at 10-0, are off to its best start in the history of the program. They are one of just three teams in the country with unblemished records, joined by No. 3 Midwestern State (Tex.) at 9-0 and No. 4 Winston Salem State (N.C.) at 10-0. Each got one of 29 first place votes in the poll, though the ThunderWolves did not get any first place votes. All three teams were behind Delta State (Miss.), which at 9-1, held on to its top ranking with a slim 38-36 win over North Alabama. Its lone loss came to NCAA FCS Northwestern State (La.).
The ThunderWolves rose to No. 2 by virtue of losses by Pittsburg State (Kan.), last week's No. 2, and Northwest Missouri State, last week's No. 3.
CSU-Pueblo's ranking surpasses the program's previous best of No. 3 in nation, set during 1980, the last time CSU-Pueblo claimed an RMAC Championship. The ThunderWolves secured at least a share of an RMAC title Saturday with its 41-3 win over Western State, but will seek an outright championship with a win over Western New Mexico.
The football team's success has also been unparalleled by any ThunderWolf team sports in recent history. Only CSU-Pueblo's baseball team, which rose to a No. 2 ranking in 2004, can claim as high a ranking since the school became a Division II institution in 1991.
Similar heights have been reached by the CSU-Pueblo Olympic sports, including the 1985 and 1991 wrestling teams, which were the NAIA national runners-up, and the 1982 gymnastics team, which also a national runner-up.