The UW–Platteville Pioneers are slotted to finish second in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, based on a poll conducted by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.
They were second in voting to UW–Whitewater, last year’s NCAA Division III National Champion.
The Warhawks are followed in the WIAC predictions by UW–Platteville, UW–Oshkosh, UW–Stevens Point, UW–La Crosse, UW–River Falls, UW–Eau Claire and UW–Stout.
UW–Platteville’s 2015 roster consists of 39 returning letterwinners, including senior wide receiver Russell Martin, who had a team-best 884 receiving yards a season ago and compiled 52 catches and six touchdown receptions.
Senior defensive lineman Andrew Robinson was second in league in 2014 with 16.5 tackles for loss, while adding 51 tackles and 7.5 quarterback sacks.
The Pioneers have registered a 32–10 record over the last four seasons — the most victories over a four-year span since 1970–73 (33 wins).
Head coach Mike Emendorfer enters his 17th season at the helm and is the longest tenured football coach in the WIAC. He needs six victories to move into second place on the school’s all-time wins list. Gone from last year’s squad is linebacker Jacob Zilbar, who secured WIAC Defensive Player of the Year recognition.
2015 Preseason Predictions (voted on by WIAC head coaches and sports information directors:
1.UW–Whitewater, 15–0, 7–0 WIAC
2.UW–Platteville, 7–3, 5–2
3.UW–Oshkosh, 6–4, 6–1
4.UW–Stevens Point, 7–3, 4–3
5.UW–La Crosse, 3–7, 2–5
6.UW–River Falls, 3–7, 2–5
7.UW–Eau Claire, 1–9, 1–6
8.UW–Stout, 2–8, 1–6