Cats fourth, Griz 10th in coaches poll

OGDEN, Utah —  Two-time defending Big Sky Conference Co-Champion Montana State will open the 2012 season ranked fourth in the FCS Coaches’ Poll.

The poll was released on Wednesday. Two coaches from each of the 13 FCS leagues vote weekly.

Montana and Eastern Washington are also ranked, while North Dakota, Northern Arizona, Cal Poly, Portland State and Idaho State received votes.

Montana State earned 540 points. The Bobcats have finished 7-1 in Big Sky play each of the past two seasons, advancing to the postseason. Montana State beat New Hampshire in a second-round game before falling to Sam Houston State in the quarterfinals in 2011.

Defending national champion North Dakota State is ranked first. The Bison received 19 first-place votes and 640 total points. Sam Houston State, which lost to NDSU in the national title game, is second. The Bearkats earned six first-place votes and 623 total points.

Georgia Southern is ranked third with one first-place vote and 592 points. Appalachian State rounded out the top five. The Mountaineers received 504 total points.

Montana will begin the season ranked 10th. The Grizzlies shared the regular-season title with Montana State in 2011, advancing to the semifinals where they fell to Sam Houston State.

Eastern Washington, the 2010 national champion, is ranked 15th. The Eagles won six of their last seven games in 2011.

The 2012 season begins on Thursday, Aug. 30, with eight teams in action. The other five will open on Saturday, Sept. 1.

The first conference games will be played on Saturday, Sept. 22.

— Big Sky Conference Information

 FCS Coaches Preseason Top 25

 Team (First-place votes)                                 2011 Record           Points
1. North Dakota State (19)                                               14-1                          640
2. Sam Houston State (6)                                                 14-1                          623
3. Georgia Southern (1)                                                    11-3                          592
4. Montana State                                                       10-3                        540
5. Appalachian State                                                          8-4                          504
6. Old Dominion                                                               10-3                          470
7. Northern Iowa                                                               10-3                          466
8. James Madison                                                              8-5                           456
9. Towson                                                                             9-2                           454
10. Montana                                                               11-3                          425
11. Lehigh                                                                           11-2                             371
12. New Hampshire                                                          8-4                             337
13. Wofford                                                                         6-2                             322
14. Delaware                                                                       7-4                             294
15. Eastern Washington                                                   6-5                             248
16. Maine                                                                            9-4                             232
17. Stony Brook                                                                 9-4                             228
18. Youngstown State                                                       6-5                            184
19. Central Arkansas                                                         9-4                            157
20. Illinois State                                                                 7-4                            148
21. Eastern Kentucky                                                        7-5                            127
22. Harvard                                                                         9-1                           113
23. Norfolk State                                                                 9-3                            72
24. Stephen F. Austin                                                         6-5                            69
25. Indiana State                                                                 6-5                            66

Others Receiving Votes: Jacksonville State (54); Liberty (48); Murray State (32); Jackson State (30); Bethune-Cookman (21); Tennessee Tech (20); South Carolina State (15); Florida A&M (14); Grambling State (13); William & Mary (12); North Dakota (10); Albany (9); Northern Arizona (9); Cal Poly (8); Chattanooga (7); Portland State (7); Alabama A&M (3); Idaho State (3); Cornell (2); Pennsylvania (2); Alabama State (1); McNeese State (1); San Diego (1)

 

 

 



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