The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Sports

September 17, 2012

SAM HOUSTON FOOTBALL — Bearkats fall to No. 3 in FCS poll

Sam Houston sets program mark for 15th consecutive week in FCS Top 25

HUNTSVILLE — Following a 48-23 loss to Baylor, which plays in the Football Bowl Subdivision in the Big 12 Conference, on Saturday, Sam Houston State now ranks third in both major NCAA FCS national polls.

The Bearkats, with a 1-1 mark, own the No. 3 spot in The Sports Network FCS rankings. Sam Houston is tied for third in the NCAA FCS Coaches Poll.

Sam Houston’s national ranking this week marks the 15th consecutive week that the Bearkats have been a top 25 FCS squad. That is a record for the SHSU football program.

Unranked at the start of the 2011 season, Sam Houston cracked last year’s rankings after a 31-10 victory over Central Arkansas in the third week of the season. At that point, the Kats had not been ranked since 2007.

Sam Houston rolled to an 11-0 regular season record to earn the No. 1 ranking going into last year’s NCAA playoffs. SHSU finished No. 2 in the final poll after a loss to North Dakota State in the national championship game in Frisco.

The Bearkats were No. 1 in the Sports Network poll and No. 2 in FCS Coaches’ rankings at the start of the 2012 season.

Central Arkansas, this week’s Bearkat opponent in the Southland Conference opener for both teams in Conway Saturday afternoon, stands No. 21 in the FCS Coaches’ Poll and No. 25 in Sports Network’s rankings.

Saturday’s contest, which will be telecast live to a four-state audience on the Southland Television Network, marks the 22nd time Sam Houston has played an FCS opponent with both teams ranked in the polls. The Kats are 12-9 in games in which both SHSU and its opponent are ranked.

McNeese State, another Southland member, stands 17th in the FCS Coaches poll and No. 19 in the Sports Network ranking. Stephen F. Austin is receiving votes in both polls.

The Bearkats will take on Stephen F. Austin, which fell just short of The Sports Network top 25 poll, in the annual Battle of the Piney Woods at Reliant Stadium in Houston on Oct. 6.

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