The Sports Network (TSN) released their preseason top-25 poll of FCS football programs on Tuesday and Villanova was picked in the top-5.
The Wildcats finished last season ranked 15th, but shot up the rankings in the offseason, likely due to the large contingent of returning players on both sides of the ball. High expectations abound for the team this Fall, especially with a year of experience under starting quarterback John Robertson's belt.
The 'Cats check in as the top-ranked team in out of the CAA in the poll. According to the list, New Hampshire was picked 10th, with Towson at 11th, Richmond at 15th, Stony Brook at 16th, and JMU at 19th. The University of Albany, whose 75-year-old coach Bob Ford announced that he would retire after the 2013 season*, received votes (13), as did Delaware (130), William & Mary (4), and future CAA member Elon (2).
Both Georgia Southern and Appalachian State were ranked in the poll (9th and 12th respectively), despite being in the process of transitioning to FBS football. Old Dominion, one of the best teams in FCS last season, is also transitioning to FBS, but did not receive votes.
Villanova was also ranked in the FCS Coaches Poll, coming in at number-9. In that poll, the Wildcats were the second-highest ranked CAA school, coming in behind New Hampshire at number-8.
TSN Top 25 Preseason Poll
|Rank||Team (First Place Votes)||2012 Record||Points||Previous Rank|
|1||North Dakota State Bison (127)||14-1||3340||1|
|2||Montana State Bobcats (1)||11-2||3079||5|
|3||Sam Houston State Bearkats (5)||11-4||2941||2|
|4||Eastern Washington Eagles||11-3||2873||4|
|6||South Dakota State Jackrabbits||9-4||2268||14|
|7||Central Arkansas Bears||9-3||2244||10|
|9||Georgia Southern Eagles (1)||10-4||2002||3|
|10||New Hampshire Wildcats||8-4||1920||13|
|12||Appalachian State Mountaineers||8-4||1696||9|
|13||Illinois State Redbirds||9-4||1657||8|
|14||Cal Poly Mustangs||9-3||1646||12|
|16||Stony Brook Seawolves||10-3||1178||11|
|17||Northern Iowa Panthers||5-6||1106||NR|
|18||Northern Arizona Lumberjacks||8-3||988||20|
|19||James Madison Dukes||7-4||964||19|
|21||Eastern Illinois Panthers||7-5||686||NR|
|22||Lehigh Mountain Hawks||10-1||587||16|
|25||Coastal Carolina Chanticleers||8-5||489||24|
*Bob Ford was the longest-tenured coach in college football after being hired in 1970 out of St. Lawrence University, where Andy Talley also coached prior to Villanova.