Aug. 17, 2010

By Amy Farnum

The University of Minnesota Duluth was selected as the preseason favorite to claim the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference title after returning 44 letterwinners and 11 starters from last year’s squad that went 10-0 in league contests.

The two-time defending NSIC champion Bulldogs also boast the league’s North Division Preseason Defensive and Offensive Players of the Year in senior linebacker Robbie Aurich and senior running back Issac Odim.  Aurich, a tri-captain for the Bulldogs, has led UMD in tackles for two straight seasons, and has posted team-high tackle totals in 15 of the squad’s last 17 games while anchoring a defense that ranked second in scoring defense (12.4 ppg) last year.

Odim stars for the Bulldogs offensively as their all-time leading rusher and scorer.  He ran for a school-record 1,808 yards and 29 touchdowns with 12 100-yard rushing games in 2009.  Odim also ranked second in the nation scoring with 15.23 points per game. 

UMD, ranked No. 4 in the AFCA Division II Preseason Top 25, enters the 2010 season on a 20-game NSIC winning streak.  The Bulldogs will open their 78th season of college football at No. 5 Central Washington on Aug. 28.

AT YOUR FINGERTIPS:  Technology has had an effect on all aspects of our lives, especially when it comes to the media.  The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference is embracing that technology by conducting the league’s football media day event entirely online this year, saving on travel expenses for coaches, players and media.  The web event will also probably save a tree by cutting the amount of paper used for media guides and notes.

The GLIAC will have a special web site dedicated to Football Media Day, including video interviews with each of our 14 head coaches, a video season preview, an interactive poll, and links to the electronic versions of the GLIAC and member schools’ media guides.  The web site will be unveiled on Aug. 18 and can be accessed through
“Today’s technology has allowed the GLIAC to accommodate local, regional, and national media through a virtual venue,” said GLIAC Commissioner Dell Robinson. “We wanted to bring GLIAC football to our spectators and community through the web. The digital media portion of our business is forever changing and we want to stay ahead of the curve. The idea was developed through an idea to be cost effective and reach more fans and alumni.”

The game between No. 17 Tuskegee University and Div. I FCS Texas Southern on Sept. 25 was originally scheduled to be played at Los Angeles Coliseum but has been moved to Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.

Ladd-Peebles Stadium serves as the home football facility as the home football facility for four area high schools, the University of South Alabama football program, the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic, the GMAC Bowl and the Senior Bowl.

Tuskegee is the coaches’ preseason favorite to win the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference – a title the Golden Tigers have won for five straight years.  The program is 42-5 over the last four seasons, and will be vying for its seventh straight 10-win season in 2010.

USING THEIR MUSCLE: Members of the 2010 St. Cloud State University football team were on hand on Aug. 11 to volunteer and help the school’s Residential Life staff move lofts, futons, and refrigerators into campus dorm rooms.

The team sent groups of players to each of the St. Cloud State dormitories, as the University prepared for the annual residential life move-in day on Aug. 21.  The next day, the Huskies held their first official practice as they get ready to open the season at Augustana College on Sept. 4. 

"This is an outstanding way for our student-athletes to make a contribution back to our campus community," said head coach Scott Underwood. 

The Huskies was predicted to finish third in the NSIC following a 7-4 season in 2009 in which the squad won seven of their last eight games.