August 6, 2013

Football Ranked 8th in Preseason Coaches Poll


SPARTANBURG, S.C.
– The University of New Hampshire football team, led by 15th-year head coach Sean McDonnell, is ranked eighth in the FCS Coaches Preseason Poll, which was announced Tuesday. The Wildcats, who were preseason No. 12 last season and finished the year ranked 13th, are the highest-ranked CAA team.

UNH, which has been ranked in every poll since Sept. 13, 2004, peaked at No. 7 last season (Nov. 5) en route to an 8-4 record, including 6-2 in the CAA, for a share of the league championship. The 'Cats have qualified for the NCAA Division I Championship tournament nine straight years, which is the nation's longest current streak.

Back-to-back national champion North Dakota State is preseason No. 1 for the second straight season, followed by Montana State, Eastern Washington and Sam Houston State. Wofford, which defeated UNH in the second round of the NCAAs last season, is preseason No. 5, followed by Central Arkansas and South Dakota State. 

The Wildcats have five ranked opponents on their 2013 schedule: No. 9 Villanova (Oct. 9, home, 12 p.m.); No. 12 Towson (Oct. 5, road, 12 p.m.); No. 13 Stony Brook (Oct. 26, road, 4 p.m.); No. 15 James Madison (Nov. 9, home, 12:30 p.m.) and No. 17 Lehigh (Sept. 28, road, 12:30 p.m.).

The FCS Coaches Poll is based exclusively on a voting panel of head coaches in the FCS under the cooperation of the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).

Preseason 2013 FCS Coaches Preseason Poll  (August 6, 2013)

Rank Team 2012 Record Final Ranking

1. North Dakota State (23)  14-1 1
2. Montana State (1) 11-2 5
3. Eastern Washington 11-3 4
4. Sam Houston State (1)         11-4 2
5. Wofford   9-4   7
6. Central Arkansas 9-3 10
7. South Dakota State 9-4  17
8. UNH   8-4 13

9. Villanova 8-4 16
10. Illinois State 9-4   9
11. Cal Poly 9-3 11
12. Towson 7-4 15
13. Stony Brook 10-3 12
14. Richmond 8-3 18
15. James Madison   7-4 21
16. Northern Iowa 5-6 NR
17. Lehigh 10-1 14
18. Northern Arizona   8-2 20
19. Eastern Kentucky (1) 8-3 19
20. Bethune-Cookman    9-3 23
21. Coastal Carolina 8-5 24
22. Montana  6-2*   NR
23. Eastern Illinois 7-5 25
24. Youngstown State  7-4  NR
25. Chattanooga         6-5 NR

* final six games vacated

The Wildcats report for training camp Friday and hold their first practice of the season Saturday afternoon. New Hampshire opens the year Saturday, Sept. 7 (3 p.m., ESPN3) at Central Michigan, a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team that won the 2012 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. 

UNH plays its home opener against defending Patriot League champion Colgate on Saturday, Sept. 14 (12 p.m.) at Cowell Stadium. For season and individual game tickets, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.

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