For the fifth time in the last six seasons, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater football team has been tabbed No. 1 in the D3football.com Preseason Top 25, the Web site announced Monday, July 13.
The Warhawks, who won their sixth NCAA Division III national championship in the last eight years in 2014, tallied 18 of the 25 first-place votes and totaled 614 points.
Mount Union (Ohio), which UW-Whitewater defeated 43-34 in Stagg Bowl XLII to clinch the title, is second with 603 points, including six first-place votes. Linfield (Ore.), which the Warhawks downed 21-14 in the national semifinals a season ago, earned the remaining first-place vote and is third. Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) and Wesley (Del.) round out the top five.
UW-Whitewater, which has won nine of the last 10 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships, is slated to return seven starters each on offense and defense in 2015. The Warhawks, who also return both specialists, enter the season on a college football-best 32-game win streak.
Kevin Bullis, a defensive assistant for the Warhawks for the last seven years, enters his first season as head coach. He is the 21st coach in the illustrious 121-year history of the program.
UW-Whitewater kicks off the 2015 season on Sept. 12 at Belhaven (Miss.). The Warhawks host Finlandia (Mich.) in their home opener on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 1 p.m. at Perkins Stadium.
UW-Whitewater is set to face two other teams who appear in the preseason rankings. The Warhawks host UW-Platteville, which is receiving votes, on Oct. 3, and visit No. 18 UW-Oshkosh one week later, on Oct. 10.