The NCAA recognizes two rankings for the Football Championship Subdivision. The first is the FCS Coaches Poll that came out earlier in the week. The Mocs were a preseason program best No. 16 in the nation according to that listing.
The other is The Sports Network FCS Top-25 that was released today. Chattanooga improved on its best preseason ranking by grabbing the No. 14 spot in that top-25.
The Mocs return 19 starters and 39 lettermen to last year’s 8-4 squad that won the Southern Conference title. Chattanooga was picked to win the league again by the conference coaches and media and is looking for its first trip to the FCS Playoffs since 1984.
North Dakota State has won the last three FCS titles, but Eastern Washington enters the 2014 season ranked No. 1 in The Sports Network FCS Top 25. The Eagles gained 82 of the 147 first-place votes and 3,589 points, while the No. 2 Bison collected 62 first-place votes and 3,540 points.
Defending Southland Conference champion Southeastern Louisiana, which gained two first-place votes, was picked third in the preseason poll after finishing 11-3 last season and reaching the national quarterfinals.
New Hampshire (10-5), the team which ended Southeastern Louisiana's season in the playoffs, was fourth in the poll, gaining one first-place vote. Perennial FCS power Montana rounds out the top-5.
Also voted to the Top 10 were No. 6 Jacksonville State (11-4) out of the Ohio Valley Conference, No. 7 Coastal Carolina (12-3) from the Big South Conference, No. 8 McNeese State (10-3) out of the Southland, and then two teams from the Missouri Valley, No. 9 Northern Iowa (7-5), which was unranked at the end of the 2013 season, and No. 10 South Dakota State (9-5).
The Mocs open the 2014 home schedule with a Sept. 4 visit from the sixth-ranked Gamecocks. Furman is the other SoCon team ranked, checking in at No. 21.
A national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries select the Top 25. In the voting, 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.
During the regular season, the Top 25 will be released every Monday afternoon, except for the final weekend of the regular season, when it will be released Sunday morning, Nov. 23, prior to the selection of the 24-team FCS playoff field.
Chattanooga holds its first scrimmage of training camp on Saturday, Aug. 9. Action begins at 2:30 p.m. at Finley Stadium and it is open to the public.
THE SPORTS NETWORK PRESEASON TOP-25
|2||North Dakota State||15-0||3540||1|
|10||South Dakota State||9-5||2154||13|
|17||Sam Houston State||9-5
|19||William & Mary||7-5