Ashland University's football game against Ferris State on Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. at Jack Miller Stadium/Martinelli Field will be broadcast on ESPN3 as part of the 2017 Division II Football Showcase.
One of the top early-season matchups in NCAA Division II, the Eagles are coming off a 9-2 season and a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference South Division championship in 2016, while the Bulldogs were 12-3 and an NCAA postseason squad.
In the preseason poll in the Lindy's Sports College Football National 2017 Preview magazine, Ashland was ranked No. 20 in the country, and Ferris State No. 2.
The 2016 matchup between the Eagles and Bulldogs in Big Rapids, Mich., also shown on ESPN3, resulted in a 39-31 Ashland victory following 25 unanswered AU points. In that game, Ashland was ranked No. 5 and FSU No. 7 in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II Coaches' Top 25 poll.
Division II and ESPN are in their third year of a regular-season partnership. The 2017 Division II Football Showcase will be an 11-week, 22-game (18 games scheduled, four to be "flexed" in) schedule streamed on ESPN3. ESPN3 is available on the ESPN app.
"The collaboration with ESPN provides a continued opportunity to showcase Division II's balanced student-athlete experience," said Terri Steeb Gronau, vice president of Division II. "The student-athletes who will be featured in these games have made incredible achievements on and off the field, and we're excited to share their abilities with a broad national audience on ESPN3."
"The quality of Division II football continues to rise," said Steve Mullins, incoming chair of the Division II Football Committee and director of athletics at Arkansas Tech. "We are proud to provide our fans and communities the opportunity to watch some of the most exciting teams across the nation."
2017 NCAA DIVISION II FOOTBALL SHOWCASE SCHEDULE
Saturday, Sept. 2 — Notre Dame (Ohio) at Shepherd
Saturday, Sept. 2 — East Central at Oklahoma Baptist
Saturday, Sept. 9 — Bowie State at Winston-Salem State
Saturday, Sept. 9 — Albany State (Ga.) at Tuskegee
Saturday, Sept. 16 — Grand Valley State at Michigan Tech
Saturday, Sept. 16 — Tusculum at Limestone
Saturday, Sept. 23 — Mars Hill at Catawba
Saturday, Sept. 23 — Ferris State at ASHLAND
Saturday, Sept. 30 — West Florida at Florida Tech
Saturday, Sept. 30 — Colorado Mesa at Colorado State-Pueblo
Saturday, Oct. 7 — Southwest Baptist at Truman
Saturday, Oct. 7 — California (Pa.) at Indiana (Pa.)
Saturday, Oct. 14 — Findlay at Hillsdale
Saturday, Oct. 14 — Indiana (Pa.) at Slippery Rock
Saturday, Oct. 21 — Grand Valley State at Ferris State
Saturday, Oct. 21 — Tarleton State at Texas A&M-Kingsville
Saturday, Oct. 28 — Southern Arkansas at Henderson State
Saturday, Oct. 28 — Azusa Pacific at Central Washington
Saturday, Nov. 4 — To be determined
Saturday, Nov. 11 — To be determined