BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Months after securing its second consecutive Division II NCAA championship, at least one sports outlet expects the Ferris State University football team to make it a three-peat.

Lindy’s Sports has released its first preseason poll for the 2023 season, listing the Bulldogs as the best D2 team in the nation — one spot ahead of archrival Grand Valley State.

The Bulldogs beat Colorado School of Mines 41-14 last December to claim its second national title. The team finished 14-1 last year with its lone loss coming at the hands of the Lakers in the annual Anchor-Bone Classic. Ferris State got the last laugh however, beating Grand Valley 24-21 in the third round of the playoffs.

Lindy’s Sports also expects Super Region Three to be the toughest in the country. Five teams from Super Region Three others were listed in the top 10, including No. 4 Pittsburg State, No. 5 Northwest Missouri Baptist and No. 9 Ouachita Baptist.

The Bulldogs and Lakers are the only two teams from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to be included in the preseason top 25.

Ferris State will open the 2023 season Aug. 31 when the Bulldogs host Mercyhurst at Top Taggart Field. Grand Valley State will start the year on the road, taking on No. 3 Colorado School of Mines on Aug. 31.