Furman, Wofford in Top 20 FCS rankings

Sports

Clay Hendrix Practice

CHICAGO – Furman is ranked No. 15 and Wofford is No. 16 in the Stats Perform 2020 Preseason FCS Top 25, which was selected as if the fall season were moving forward without schedules being postponed or canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stats Perform will not conduct a weekly poll this fall.

The Citadel and Chattanooga also received votes in the poll, with the Bulldogs finishing as the third team out.

The Southern Conference announced on Aug. 13 that it was postponing fall conference competition with hopes to play in the spring, though schools were still able to schedule nonconference fall competition at their discretion.

Furman is coming off a 2019 campaign that saw it post an 8-5 overall record and a 6-2 SoCon slate en route to an at-large berth to the FCS playoffs. The Paladins, who will not compete this fall, were set to return 14 starters and 47 lettermen from that squad, which finished the season ranked inside the top 25 nationally.

Wofford went 8-4 overall last season and won its final seven SoCon contests to clinch its third straight SoCon title and make its fourth straight FCS playoff appearance. The Terriers, who also will not compete this fall, finished the 2019 season ranked inside the top 20 nationally.

The Citadel, which has four nonconference games scheduled for this fall, went 6-6 overall and 4-4 in league play last season, downing FBS Georgia Tech in overtime for the only FCS win over a Power 5 opponent last season and winning four straight SoCon games midway through its league schedule, including a 27-10 win at then-No. 8 Furman. The Bulldogs are scheduled to face South Florida, Clemson and Army West Point on the road this fall and will host Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 26.

Chattanooga, which has one nonconference game scheduled for this fall, is coming off a 6-6 season under first-year head coach Rusty Wright. UTC finished third in the SoCon with a 5-3 league tally and was in the race down to the final game of the season. The Mocs are slated to visit Western Kentucky on Oct. 24.

Three-time defending national champion North Dakota State, which has won an FCS-record 37 straight games, was the unanimous No. 1 pick in the poll.

A national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries select the Stats Perform FCS Top 25. A first-place vote is worth 25 points, a second-place vote 24 points, all the way down to one point for a 25th-place vote.

Stats Perform 2020 FCS Preseason Top 25 (Aug. 25)

1. North Dakota State (16-0, 8-0 Missouri Valley), 3,675 points (147 first-place votes)

2. James Madison (14-2, 8-0 CAA), 3,411

3. Northern Iowa (10-5, 6-2 Missouri Valley), 3,269

4. Weber State (11-4, 7-1 Big Sky), 3,198

5. South Dakota State (8-5, 5-3 Missouri Valley), 2,911

6. Montana State (11-4, 6-2 Big Sky), 2,884

7. Montana (10-4, 6-2 Big Sky), 2,753

8. Villanova (9-4, 5-3 CAA), 2,499

9. Illinois State (10-5, 5-3 Missouri Valley), 2,471

10. Kennesaw State (11-3, 5-1 Big South), 2,178

11 Central Arkansas (9-4, 7-2 Southland), 2,093

12. Sacramento State (9-4, 7-1 Big Sky), 2,085

13. Austin Peay (11-4, 7-1 Ohio Valley), 2,030

14. Nicholls (9-5, 7-2 Southland), 1,392

15. Furman (8-5, 6-2 Southern), 1,239

16. Wofford (8-4, 7-1 Southern), 1,089

17. Albany (9-5, 6-2 CAA), 825

18. Eastern Washington (7-5, 6-2 Big Sky), 817

19. North Carolina A&T (9-3, 6-2 MEAC), 809

20. New Hampshire (6-5, 5-3 CAA), 759

21. Southeastern Louisiana (8-5, 6-3 Southland), 652

22. Sam Houston State (7-5, 6-3 Southland), 597

23. Monmouth (11-3, 6-0 Big South), 577

24. Southern Illinois (7-5, 5-3 Missouri Valley), 568

25. Southeast Missouri (9-4, 7-1 Ohio Valley), 499

Other Vote Totals (schools listed on two or more ballots): Jacksonville State 357, Florida A&M 301, The Citadel 283, Central Connecticut State 200, Towson 199, Dartmouth 195, Delaware 193, Yale 193, Princeton 143, San Diego 104, North Dakota 66, South Carolina State 25, Alcorn State 22, Houston Baptist 19, Richmond 18, Chattanooga 16, Elon 15, Holy Cross 15, UIW 15, UT Martin 14, Portland State 12, Youngstown State 12, McNeese 10, UC Davis 9, Maine 7, Duquesne 5, Charleston Southern 4, Eastern Kentucky 2

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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