EIU Football Ranked For Third Time in Preseason Publication

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Published on June 26 2013 6:26 pm
Last Updated on June 26 2013 6:26 pm
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON, Ill. – Eastern Illinois football is ranked for the third time in a preseason publication as Athlon Sports has the Panthers No. 20 in its preseason poll.  EIU is one of two teams Ohio Valley Conference schools ranked by the online magazine with Tennessee State number 21.  The two schools meet in Nashville on Oct. 26.

The Panthers have been ranked in the top twenty by Sporting News and Lindy’s earlier this year with EIU also selected as the OVC preseason favorite in both publications.

EIU opens the regular season on August 31 at San Diego State.  The Panthers home opener is Sept. 14 against Illinois State in the Mid-America Classic.  Illinois State is ranked No. 24 in the preseason Athlon rankings.

Season tickets are now on sale by calling 217-581-2106 or online at www.eiupanthertickets.com

Two-time defending FCS National Champion North Dakota State was the preseason number one followed by Montana State, Georgia Southern, Sam Houston State and Villanova in the top five.  Appalachian State, Eastern Washington, Towson, Montana and South Dakota State round out the top ten.

New Hampshire is 11th followed by Central Arkansas, Richmond, Northern Colorado, Cal Poly, Northern Arizona, James Madison, Chattanooga, Wofford and Eastern Illinois in the top twenty.  Tennessee State, Delaware, Youngstown State, Illinois State and The Citadel round out the top twenty five.

This year the FCS playoffs expand to 24 teams with the top eight teams receiving a first round bye.  Appalachian State, Georgia Southern and Old Dominion are eligible to be ranked in the FCS Top 25 polls but are not eligible for the FCS playoffs as they are transitioning to the FBS level.