January 8, 2012

Golden Eagles 16th in final College Sports Madness poll

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Now that the Football Championship Subdivision has crowned its 2011 champion with North Dakota State's victory in the title game, the final polls are being conducted. The first one announced was Sunday by College Sports Madness.com, and Tennessee Tech has finished 16th.

The Golden Eagles finished the year as the highest ranked team in the Ohio Valley Conference in the poll, with Jacksonville State finishing 18th. Central Arkansas, the team that defeated Tech in the FCS playoffs, slipped one spot ahead of the Golden Eagles to finish 15th.

North Dakota State, a 17-6 winner over Sam Houston State on Saturday, claimed the top spot in the poll with a 14-1 final record. Sam Houston suffered its first loss of the season to the Bison and finished 14-1 and in second place.

Georgia Southern, Montana and Montana State rounded out the top five.

Northern Iowa was sixth, followed by Lehigh, Maine, Towson and Old Dominion in the top 10. The next five included Appalachian State, Wofford, New Hampshire, Harvard and Central Arkansas.

The Golden Eagles claimed a share of the Ohio Valley Conference and finished the season with a 7-4 overall mark.

College Sports Madness covered FCS football for the entire season, beginning with a preview of the Top 44 teams prior to the start of the season, players of the week for each conference, and an updated FCS Top 25 poll each week. The website also announced an FCS All American Teams and All-Conference Teams.

The other national poll are expected to announce their final charts in the next couple of days.

Rank Team Comments Prior
1  North Dakota State FCS College Football Logo North Dakota State NDSU survived the FCS Playoff gauntlet and shut down SHSU's explosive offense in the final to win the title.
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2 Sam Houston State Logo Sam Houston State Sam Houston State was 14-0, but then they ran into NDSU in the FCS Championship and found their first loss.
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3 Georgia Southern Logo Georgia Southern Georgia Southern had a nice run in the playoffs, knocking off ODU and Maine before falling to NDSU.
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4 Montana Logo
Montana Montana finished the regular season by beating MSU and parlayed that big win into a nice run to the semifinals.
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5 Montana State Logo Montana State MSU slipped past UNH in the second round of the playoffs, but they were not playing well at the end of the year.
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6 Northern Iowa Logo
Northern Iowa Northern Iowa had a couple close losses in the regular season, but they were dominated by Montana.
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7 Lehigh Logo
Lehigh Lehigh snuck past Towson in the first round of the playoffs, but NDSU put them back to reality with a 24-0 game.
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8 Maine Logo
Maine Maine had a fine year and capped it off by knocking Appalachian State out of the playoffs. GSU got them in the end.
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9 Towson Logo
Towson Towson lost a shootout to Lehigh in the second round of the FCS Playoffs to end their improbable season.
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10 Old Dominion Logo
Old Dominion ODU topped off their amazing season with a  playoff win over Norfolk State and gave GSU a pretty close game.
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11 Appalachian State Logo
Appalachian State By ASU standards finishing 8-4 overall and bowing out of the playoffs in their first game is a bad year.
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12 Wofford Logo
Wofford Wofford joined Appalachian State in losing their first game in the FCS Playoffs, but overall it was not a bad season.
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13 New Hampshire Logo
New Hampshire New Hampshire lost a heartbreaker to Montana State in the first round of the FCS Playoffs. They'll be back.
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14 Harvard Logo
Harvard
Harvard lost their first game of the year before winning their final nine, including a 45-7 blowout over Yale.
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15 Central Arkansas Logo
Central Arkansas Central Arkansas' big winning streak did not end until they had to go to Montana in the FCS Playoffs.
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16 Tennessee Tech Logo Tennessee Tech The OVC did not have a good experience in the playoffs, but Tennessee Tech had a nice season just to get there. 15
17 Delaware Logo
Delaware The Blue Hens were another possible playoff team that had to stay home. Inconsistent play will go away with age.
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18 Jacksonville State Logo
Jacksonville State Jacksonville State finished the season watching the playoffs from home, but they can build off their 2011 success.
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19 James Madison FCS College Football Logo James Madison James Madison snuck into the playoffs and beat EKU, but overall it was a relatively disappointing campaign.
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20 Stony Brook FCS College Football Logo
Stony Brook Back in the second round, Stony Brook nearly knocked off Sam Houston State. They'll look to make a run again.
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21 Illinois State Logo
Illinois State Illinois State was left out of the playoffs despite their 7-4 record in a good conference, but they'll be ready for '12.
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22 Furman Logo
Furman Furman was left out of the playoffs with a 6-5 mark, but they had a fine season with some big wins.
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23 Norfolk State Logo Norfolk State Norfolk State could not turn their fine regular season into playoff success, but getting to the playoffs was enough.
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24 Jackson State Logo Jackson State JSU had a superb 2011 campaign, finishing with an 8-2 record. They will look to ride that momentum into 2012.
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25 North Dakota FCS College Football Logo
North Dakota North Dakota had a strong 2011 season and should be looking towards the future with high hopes.
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