WACO, Texas -- For the first time since 1994, the Eureka College football team has received votes in a national top 25 poll after appearing on at least one ballot in the final American Football Coaches Association Division III Coaches' Poll released on Monday. Eureka, the only Upper Midwest Athletic Conference member to receive votes and one of only five schools from the state of Illinois to appear on a ballot, received two votes in the final AFCA poll.
Eureka finished the season with an 8-3 overall record and a 8-1 UMAC mark to win the league's outright championship for the first time. The Red Devils qualified for their first-ever NCAA playoff field and lost their first-round game to eventual quarterfinalist St. Thomas (Minn.), 47-8 on Nov. 18 in St. Paul, Minn. Monday's announcement marked the first time a UMAC school has received votes in the AFCA Division III Top 25 since St. Scholastica in the final 2014 poll.
The Red Devils appeared in the NAIA Division II Top 25 poll 18 times between Sept. 16, 1991 and Nov. 14, 1994. Eureka reached as high as #3 nationally on Nov. 11, 1991, just two days after winning at Greenville to finish its first-ever undefeated regular season at 10-0.
The AFCA began publishing a Division III Top 25 Coaches' poll in 1999. The poll follows the same basic format as the USA Today Coaches' Poll. The Division III Board of Coaches has 42 voters representing all Division III conferences.