Eagles Ranked 12th in Preseason FCS Poll

Eastern joins fourth-ranked Montana State and No. 11 Montana in The Sports Network NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Top 25 Poll

The Eagles will again have a target on their backs, but they’ll be chasing two other Big Sky Conference foes when the 2012 football season begins.

Eastern Washington University was selected 12th in The Sports Network NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Top 25 football poll released Monday (Aug. 13) as selected by a national panel of sportswriters, broadcasters and sports information directors.

The Eagles, who won the 2010 FCS title, were ranked No. 1 in the first two polls of the 2011 season but were not ranked at the end of the year after finishing 6-5 overall. With a total of 15 starters and 48 total letterwinners returning, the Eagles have been ranked as high as seventh nationally by other preseason publications and websites heading into the 2012 season.

Montana State, Eastern’s opponent on Oct. 13 in Bozeman, Mont., received three first-place votes and was selected fourth in The Sports Network poll with 3,217 total votes. Eastern opens its home schedule Sept. 29 versus Montana, a school picked one spot higher than the Eagles at No. 11. The Grizzlies received 2,018 votes and EWU had 1,897.

Top-ranked Sam Houston State, which lost to North Dakota State in last year’s FCS title game, received 79 of the 152 first-place votes and 3,708 total votes. The NDSU Bison were picked second and received 59 votes and 2,625 total votes.

A national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries select the Top 25 each season. A first-place vote is worth 25 points, a second-place vote 24 points, all the way down to one point for a 25th-place vote.

During the regular season, the Top 25 will be released every Monday afternoon, except for the final weekend of the regular season, when it will be released Sunday morning, Nov. 18, prior to the selection of the FCS playoff field. The Sports Network will release a final Top 25 following the FCS championship game, which will be held Jan. 5 in Frisco, Texas, for the third-straight season.

The Eagles open the 2012 season at Idaho on Aug. 30, followed by a game at Pac-12 Conference member Washington State on Sept. 8.

EWU IN PRESEASON TEAM RANKINGS

The Sports Network: 1. Sam Houston State; 4. Montana State; 11. Montana; 12. Eastern Washington.

Athlon (preseason): 1. Sam Houston State; 4. Montana; 12. Eastern Washington; 17. Montana.

Lindy’s Football Preview (preseason): 1. Sam Houston State; 3. Montana State; 5. Montana.; 22. Eastern Washington.

USA Today (preseason): 1. Sam Houston State; 5. Montana State; 6. Montana.

Phil Steele’s Football (preseason): 1. Sam Houston State; 3. Montana State; 7. Eastern Washington; 14. Northern Arizona; 20. Montana.

College­ Sporting News (preseason): 1. North Dakota State; 4. Montana State; 10. Montana; 12. Eastern Washington.

 

The Sports Network FCS Top 25 College Football Poll

 

Team (First-place votes)

2011 Record

Points

1. Sam Houston State (79)

14-1

3,708

2. North Dakota State (59)

14-1

2,625

3. Georgia Southern (6)

11-3

3,249

4. Montana State (3)

10-3

3,217

5. James Madison (3)

8-5

2,812

6. Appalachian State (1)

8-4

2,800

7. Towson

9-3

2,674

8. Old Dominion

10-3

2,484

9. Northern Iowa

10-3

2,168

10. Wofford

8-4

2,080

11. Montana

11-3

2,018

12. Eastern Washington

6-5

1,897

13. Youngstown State (1)

6-5

1,860

14. New Hampshire

8-4

1,857

15. Delaware

7-4

1,810

16. Lehigh

11-2

1,514

17. Stony Brook

9-4

1,339

18. Eastern Kentucky

7-5

1,055

19. Illinois State

7-4

1,052

20. Stephen F. Austin

6-5

863

21. Maine

9-4

721

22. Jacksonville State

7-4

625

23. Indiana State

6-5

522

24. Central Arkansas

9-4

508

25. Harvard

9-1

477 

Others receiving votes: Murray State 292, Northern Arizona 259, Norfolk State 222, Chattanooga 191, Liberty 150, South Carolina State 137, Bethune-Cookman 134, McNeese State 127, Grambling State 87, Tennessee Tech 77, Portland State 73, North Dakota 68, Alabama State 66, Jackson State 63, Southern Illinois 63, William & Mary 59, Southern Utah 54, Georgia State 49, Furman 43, Albany 39, Richmond 31, Villanova 30, Penn 16, Duquesne 14, South Dakota State 10, San Diego 9, Elon 9, Drake 8, Holy Cross 7, Prairie View A&M 6, South Dakota 6, Alabama A&M 4, Southeast Missouri 4, Georgetown 3, Idaho State 3, Sacramento State 3, Cornell 2, Bryant 1, Eastern Illinois 1, Jacksonville 1, Missouri State 1, Samford 1, UT Martin 1, The Citadel 1, Western Illinois 1.

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