August 13, 2013

Eagles Ranked Fourth In Preseason FCS Poll

Eastern joins second-ranked Montana State, No. 14 Cal Poly, No. 18 Northern Arizona and No. 20 Montana in The Sports Network NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Top 25 Poll

Beau Baldwin is humbled and challenged at the same time.

The Eastern Washington University head football coach knows his team has a lot of work ahead if it’s going to live up to the No. 4 ranking it was given in the preseason NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Top 25 football poll released Tuesday (Aug. 13) by The Sports Network as selected by a national panel of sportswriters, broadcasters and sports information directors.

“It’s what you want as a head coach and coaching staff,” Baldwin said of the respect given to his squad, which opens the season Aug. 31 at Oregon State. “It means you’ve done things in a positive way prior to the upcoming season. Ultimately, you want to go into a season with people coming after you because of the success you’ve had in the past.”

The Eagles, who won the 2010 FCS title and were a semifinalist in 2012, trail only No. 1 North Dakota State, No. 2 Montana State and No. 3 Sam Houston State in the poll. The Bison are the two-time defending FCS champions, and the Bearkats were the runners-up both seasons.

Eastern plays at Sam Houston State on Sept. 28 in a rematch of last year’s 45-42 Bearkat victory in the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs. Montana State, which was defeated at home by the Eagles 27-24 a year ago, plays at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash., on Nov. 9 in a game regionally televised on Root Sports.

Other Big Sky schools ranked in the preseason poll are No. 14 Cal Poly, No. 18 Northern Arizona and No. 20 Montana. The Eagles play at Cal Poly on Nov. 16 and Montana on Oct. 26 – both games are also televised on Root Sports.

The Eagles finished the 2012 season ranked fourth in FCS, just ahead of Montana State. The Eagles were 12th in last season’s preseason poll and were No. 1 entering the 2011 season. With a total of 12 1/2 starters and 48 total letterwinners returning to this year’s squad, the Eagles have been ranked anywhere from fourth to seventh nationally by other preseason publications and websites heading into the 2013 season.

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. 17, 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. 4 in Frisco, Texas, for the fourth-straight season. 

EWU in National Preseason Team Rankings

4th (The Sports Network) . . . also, #1 North Dakota State, #2 Montana State, #3 Sam Houston State, #13 Illinois State, #14 Cal Poly, #18 Northern Arizona, #20 Montana.

3rd (Coaches) . . . also, #1 North Dakota State, #2 Montana State, #4 Sam Houston State, #10 Illinois State, #11 Cal Poly, #18 Northern Arizona, #22 Montana.

4th (Sporting News) . . . also, #1 North Dakota State, #3 Montana State, #6 Sam Houston State, #9 Illinois State, #14 Montana, #17 Northern Arizona, #21 Cal Poly, #24 Sacramento State

6th (Lindy’s Magazine) . . . also, #1 North Dakota State, #3 Montana State, #10 Sam Houston State, #22 Illinois State, #23 Montana, #24 Wagner.

4th (USA Today) . . . also, #1 North Dakota State, #2 Montana State, #3 Sam Houston State, #6 Illinois State, #8 Cal Poly.

7th (Athlon) . . . also, #1 North Dakota State, #2 Montana State, #4 Sam Houston State, #9 Montana, #15 Cal Poly, #16 Northern Arizona, #24 Illinois State.

EWU in Big Sky Preseason Rankings

2nd (Big Sky Coaches) . . . also, #1 Montana State, #3 Montana, #4 Cal Poly, #5 Northern Arizona, #6 Sacramento State, #7 North Dakota, #8 Northern Colorado, #9 Southern Utah, #10 Portland State, #11 UC Davis, #12 Weber State, #13 Idaho State.

2nd (Big Sky Media) . . . also, #1 Montana State, #3 Montana, #4 Cal Poly, #5 Northern Arizona, #6 Sacramento State, #7 North Dakota, #8 Northern Colorado, #9 Southern Utah, #10 Portland State, #11 Weber State, #12 UC Davis, #13 Idaho State.

The Sports Network FCS Top 25 College Football Poll 

Team (First-place votes)

2011 Record

Points

1. North Dakota State (127)

14-1

3,340

2. Montana State (1)

11-2

2,079

3. Sam Houston State (5)

11-4

2,941

4. Eastern Washington

11-3

2,873

5. Villanova

8-4

2,334

6. South Dakota State

9-4

2,268

7. Central Arkansas

9-3

2,244

8. Wofford

9-4

2,089

9. Georgia Southern (1)

10-4

2,002

10. New Hampshire

8-4

1,920

11. Towson

7-4

1,871

12. Appalachian State

8-4

1,696

13. Illinois State

9-4

1,657

14. Cal Poly

9-3

1,646

15. Richmond

8-3

1,384

16. Stony Brook

10-3

1,178

17. Northern Iowa

5-6

1,106

18. Northern Arizona

8-3

988

19. James Madison

7-4

964

20. Montana

5-6

813

21. Eastern Illinois

7-5

686

22. Lehigh

10-1

587

23. Bethune-Cookman 

9-3

514

24. Chattanooga

6-5

505

25. Coastal Carolina

8-5

489 

 
Others receiving votes: Eastern Kentucky 468, Youngstown State 463, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 174, Colgate 174, Tennessee State 151, Wagner 140, Delaware 130, The Citadel 100, Indiana State 90, Penn 57, McNeese State 46, Sacramento State 44, Samford 39, Southern Illinois 39, Harvard 35, South Carolina State 32, Southeastern Louisiana 30, Tennessee-Martin 29, Stephen F. Austin 17, San Diego 15, Albany 13, Liberty 12, Bucknell 11, Grambling State 8, North Carolina Central 8, Tennessee Tech 6, Jackson State 6, Furman 4, Alabama A&M 4, Alabama State 4, Alcorn State 4, William & Mary 4, Jacksonville State 3, Missouri State 3, Weber State 2, Murray State 2, Butler 2, Elon 2, Florida A&M 2, Northwestern State 1, Duquesne 1, Drake 1.
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