ABILENE - The ACU Wildcats finished the 2011 football season ranked No. 16 in the country, according to the final American Football Coaches' Association top 25 poll, which was released Monday afternoon.
Pittsburg State (Kan.) - which won its first national championship since 1991 last Saturday with a 35-21 win over Wayne State (Mich.) - finished the season ranked No. 1 after posting a 13-1 record. The Warriors of Wayne State finished No. 2 after a 12-4 campaign.
Winston-Salem State (N.C.) finished No. 3 after posting a 13-1 record, while Delta State (Miss.) was No. 4 and Northwest Missouri State No. 5.
Lone Star Conference champion Midwestern State finished seventh in the poll after posting a 10-1 season. Washburn - which knocked off ACU, 52-49, in the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs - finished No. 11 in the AFCA poll.
ACU - one of only four programs in the country to qualify for the NCAA Division II playoffs in each of the last six seasons - finished the regular season at 8-2 before the loss to Washburn capped head coach Chris Thomsen's seventh and final season at ACU at 8-3.
Thomsen announced his resignation last Friday so that he could join the coaching staff at Arizona State as the offensive backs coach.
The only other LSC team to finish in the top 25 was West Texas A&M, which finished No. 25 after its 26-7 win over Central Missouri in the Lower Kanza Bowl pushed the Buffaloes' final record to 8-3.
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