Southeastern ranked No. 3 in Sports Network poll

HAMMOND — After earning a No. 3 ranking in the Football Championship Subdivision Coaches’ Poll earlier this week, the Southeastern Louisiana football team received the same ranking in the Sports Network FCS Top 25, which was released Friday.

Just like the coaches’ poll, the only teams ahead of the Lions were the two teams that have won the last four national championships. However, the Sports Network voting panel consisting of the nation’s media and sports information directors selected a different order than the coaches, voting 2010 champion Eastern Washington to the top spot, while picking three-time defending national champion North Dakota State No. 2.

Southeastern, which received two first-place votes, was one of four teams in the nation to receive first-place nods, along with EWU, NDSU and New Hampshire. UNH, which is ranked No. 4, defeated the Lions in the FCS quarterfinals last season.

The Lions are one of three Southland Conference teams to earn top 25 billing. McNeese State, which visits Hammond on Nov. 15, is No. 8, while Sam Houston State enters the 2014 season ranked No. 17.

Three teams that will visit Strawberry Stadium received votes in the top 25. Southern Utah (Sept. 6), Central Arkansas (Oct. 18) and Northwestern State (Oct. 4) were all just outside the national rankings.

The Lions’ No. 3 rankings in both major polls is the highest ranking the program has earned in over 50 years. SLU cracked the top three in various polls in both the 1960 and 1961 seasons.

TSN FCS Poll

PHILADELPHIA — The top 25 teams in the preseason Sports Network Football Championship Subdivision poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, 2103 records, points and previous ranking:

Record Pts Pvs

1. Eastern Washington (82) 12-3 3589 3

2. North Dakota State (62) 15-0 3540 1

3. Southeastern Louisiana (2) 11-3 3300 6

4. New Hampshire (1) 10-5 3090 5

5. Montana 10-3 2817 8

6. Jacksonville State 11-4 2634 10

7. Coastal Carolina 12-3 2461 7

8. McNeese State 10-3 2277 11

9. Northern Iowa 7-5 2197 NR

10. South Dakota State 9-5 2154 13

11. Fordham 12-2 2139 9

12. Villanova 6-5 2072 NR

13. Towson 13-3 1999 2

14. Chattanooga 8-4 1647 23

15. Tennessee State 10-4 1448 17

16. Eastern Illinois 12-2 1375 4

17. Sam Houston State 9-5 1345 14

18. Montana State 7-5 1170 20

19. William & Mary 7-5 1151 NR

20. Richmond 6-6 963 NR

21. Furman 8-6 802 22

22. Bethune-Cookman 10-3 475 16

23. Northern Arizona 9-3 429 15

24. Youngstown State 8-4 405 18

25. Maine 10-3 330 12

Others receiving votes: Southern Illinois 305, Liberty 223, South Carolina State 219, Delaware 213, Wofford 186, James Madison 180, Samford 142, Cal Poly 112, Southern Utah 100, Princeton 81, Charleston Southern 53, Harvard 43, Central Arkansas 36, Alcorn State 34, Lehigh 25, Gardner-Webb 22, Sacred Heart 14, Lafayette 13, Southern 12, North Carolina A&T 7, Northwestern State 6, Illinois State 6, Alabama State 6, Western Illinois 5, Missouri State 5, Penn 5, Sacramento State 4, Eastern Kentucky 2, Stony Brook 2, Prairie View A&M 2, San Diego 1, Indiana State 1, Duquesne 1.