Jan. 7, 2014
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - After one of the best seasons in school history, Fordham earned a spot among the top 10 teams in the country in both of the final FCS polls released on Monday.
The Rams came in at No. 9 in The Sports Network top 25 and No. 10 in the FCS Coaches Poll rankings released following the FCS playoffs, where North Dakota State won its third-consecutive title with a 35-7 win in the championship game against Towson on Saturday.
Fordham completes a history-making season with its highest-ever final ranking in the national polls. The Rams had previously been ranked No. 12 after making it to the FCS quarterfinals in 2002.
The Rams finished the season with a 12-2 mark, which included a first-round FCS playoff win at home against Sacred Heart on Nov. 30 before bowing out at eventual national runner-up Towson the following week. Fordham started the season with 10 wins for the first time in school history and was ranked as high as fifth in the polls, its highest ever ranking on the FCS level. The list of firsts for the Rams included a win over an FBS team (Temple), victory over a top-ten ranked team at Jack Coffey Field (Villanova) and the most non-League wins in a season (six).
Fordham junior quarterback Michael Nebrich and linebacker Stephen Hodge were named Patriot League Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively, and received FCS All-America status along with two of their classmates, wide receiver Sam Ajala and offensive lineman Mason Halter. Head coach Joe Moorhead was named the AFCA Regional Co-Coach of the Year and Patriot League Coach of the Year as well as one of five finalists for the FCS Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award.
A Patriot League team has now finished in the top 15 of at least one national poll in five consecutive seasons. Fordham is the second League squad to place in the top 10 in the past three years after Lehigh was at No. 5/6 following the 2011 season.
North Dakota State, Towson, Eastern Washington, Eastern Illinois and New Hampshire compiled the top five order in both final polls. Lehigh was the second team out in the receiving votes category in both polls after the Mountain Hawks were ranked No. 24 following the regular season. Lehigh falls out of the national top 25 for the first time since entering in November 2010.
View the entire Sports Network top 25 and FCS Coaches Poll
Fordham placed second, behind only Towson, in the final ECAC FCS Lambert Poll. Lehigh came in ninth in the ranking.