EIU Moves Up To No. 3 in FCS Polls


Published on October 15 2013 11:59 am
Last Updated on October 15 2013 11:59 am
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON, Ill. – Eastern Illinois moved up to number three in both FCS polls on Monday following the Panthers 63-7 victory over Austin Peay last Thursday in Clarksville.  EIU is now 5-1, 2-0 in the OVC as the Panthers host Southeast Missouri for homecoming this Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

The Panthers are promoting the game as a chance to help set the O’Brien Stadium record for attendance which is 12,600 set in November of 1980 when EIU beat Northern Iowa on Parent’s Weekend.  Already this season EIU has had back-to-back sell out crowds with 11,469 at the Panthers, 42-7, win over Eastern Kentucky.  That figure ranks as the eighth highest attendance figure in school history.

Tickets for the homecoming game are available by calling 217-581-2106 or online at www.eiupanthertickets.com   Ticket windows will open at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning at O’Brien Field.

EIU climbed to No. 3 in both the Sports Network and FCS Coaches poll.  North Dakota State was a unanimous No. 1 in both polls followed by Sam Houston State at No. 2 in both polls.  Coastal Carolina moved up to fourth in the FCS Coaches poll with Montana State ranked fifth.  Eastern Washington was fourth in the Sports Network rankings followed by Montana State in fifth.

Tennessee State was the only other Ohio Valley Conference school ranked in either poll with the Tigers No. 22 in the FCS Coaches poll and No. 24 in the Sports Network poll.  EIU and TSU play in Nashville on Oct. 26.  The Panthers currently have the nation’s top offensive unit while the Tigers boast the nation’s top defensive unit.

The remainder of the Sports Network Top 25 included Coastal Carolina sixth followed by Towson, Fordham, McNeese State and Montana in the top ten.  Northern Iowa was 11th followed by Villanova, Wofford, Maine, South Dakota State, Youngstown State, Bethune-Cookman, Lehigh, Northern Arizona and James Madison in the top twenty.  Central Arkansas, Samford, Georgia Southern, Tennessee State and New Hampshire rounded out the final five spots.

The remainder of the FCS Coaches Top 25 had Eastern Washington sixth followed by Towson, Fordham, Montana and McNeese State.  Villanova was 11th followed by Wofford, Northern Iowa, Bethune-Cookman, Youngstown State, Lehigh, Maine, South Dakota State, James Madison and Central Arkansas.  The final five schools in the FCS Coaches poll were Northern Arizona, Tennessee State, New Hampshire, Charleston Southern and Harvard.

Only five FCS teams are undefeated through seven weeks of the season; North Dakota State (6-0), Coastal Carolina (6-0), Fordham (7-0), Harvard (4-0) and Charleston Southern (7-0).