Aug. 16, 2011
Center Valley, Pa. - The first official poll for the Football Championship Subdivision came out on Monday, and defending Patriot League champion Lehigh landed in a nearly identical spot as it finished at the end of last season by claiming the No. 13 position in The Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS top 25.
The Mountain Hawks placed No. 14 in the final Sports Network/Fathead.com rankings in 2010 after claiming the Patriot League title and winning at Northern Iowa in a first-round game of the NCAA Division I Football Championship.
The ranking is the latest in the line of preseason recognition for Lehigh, which was picked to win the Patriot League in a vote by the League's football head coaches and sports information directors. It had previously earned a mention in five different top 25 lists from media outlets. Lehigh's top ranking came from Lindy's, where the Mountain Hawks were ranked No. 12. Lehigh took the No. 14 spot in Athlon, No. 16 from both Phil Steele's and College Sporting News and No. 22 in Sporting News.
The Mountain Hawks garnered 1,351 points in the poll, 317 behind 12th place Montana and 89 more than Villanova, which came in at No. 14. Defending national champion Eastern Washington earned the top spot in the poll with 90 of a possible 140 first-place votes. The rest of the top five consists of Appalachian State, William & Mary, Georgia Southern and Delaware.
Colgate was listed among the teams receiving votes in the poll.
Patriot League teams will play a total of five non-League games against teams that made the top 25. Both Lehigh and Holy Cross take on No. 10 New Hampshire, while Lafayette plays at No. 11 North Dakota State, Lehigh hosts No. 22 Liberty and Holy Cross welcomes No. 25 Massachusetts to open the season on Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Lafayette will begin its 2011 campaign with the game at North Dakota State two days later.
The Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS Top 25 includes votes from sports information directors and media members covering FCS Football. For the full top 25 rankings, click here