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Courtesy: GoBearkats.com
Bearkats No. 2 In Coaches Poll
Courtesy: GoBearkats.com
Release: 08/24/2012
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The North Dakota State Bison finished the 2011 football season as the No. 1 team in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision Coaches Poll, and will begin their 2012 campaign in the same spot. The defending national champions received 19 of the 26 first-place votes to earn 640 points overall.

The Bison have 13 returning starters, led by All-America cornerback Marcus Williams. On offense, quarterback Brock Jensen and 1,100-yard running back Sam Ojuri highlight the returnees. The Bison finished 14-1 last season and defeated the Sam Houston State Bearkats in the 2011 NCAA Championship game.

Sam Houston State, who also finished 2011 with a 14-1 record, received six first-place votes (623 points) and will start the 2012 season where they left off, at No. 2.

The Bearkats already have been ranked No. 1 in the Sports Network national FCS poll, the oldest of the national rankings polls for the FCS.

Georgia Southern received one first-place vote after advancing to the national semifinals and begins the year ranked third. Montana State was tabbed fourth, while three-time champion Appalachian State rounded out the top five.

After finishing 10th last year, Old Dominion makes its first appearance in the preseason top 10 at No. 6. Northern Iowa, James Madison, Towson and Montana complete the top 10, respectively.

Ten conferences are represented in the poll. The Colonial Athletic Association has the most ranked teams with six, followed by the Missouri Valley with five teams. The Big Sky, Southern Conference and Southland all have three ranked teams. The MEAC, Ohio Valley, Big South, Patriot, and Ivy make up the remaining conferences. 

The FCS Coaches Poll is based exclusively on a voting panel of head coaches in the FCS under the cooperation of the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and is administered by the Southern Conference.

Preseason 2012 FCS Coaches Poll  (August 22, 2012)
Team (No. 1 Votes)    2011 Record  Points            
1. North Dakota State (19)   14-1       640      
2. Sam Houston State (6)    14-1     623 
3. Georgia Southern (1)    11-3    592 
4. Montana State    10-3     540        
5. Appalachian State   8-4      504       
6. Old Dominion    10-3    470    
7. Northern Iowa    10-3   466    
8. James Madison   8-5    456      
9. Towson    9-2     454     
10. Montana   11-3    425   
11. Lehigh  11-2    371    
12. New Hampshire     8-4    337   
13. Wofford   6-2     322       
14. Delaware  7-4    294 
15. Eastern Washington   6-5   248      
16. Maine   9-4     232       
17. Stony Brook   9-4     228     
18. Youngstown State  6-5    184     
19. Central Arkansas 9-4   157     
20. Illinois State  7-4    148 
21. Eastern Kentucky   7-5    127   
22. Harvard   9-1    113
23. Norfolk State    9-3  72        
24. Stephen F. Austin  6-5  69                          
25. Indiana State  6-5 66

Others Receiving Votes: Jacksonville State (54); Liberty (48); Murray State (32); Jackson State (30); Bethune-Cookman (21); Tennessee Tech (20); South Carolina State (15); Florida A&M (14); Grambling State (13); William & Mary (12); North Dakota (10); Albany (9); Northern Arizona (9); Cal Poly (8); Chattanooga (7); Portland State (7); Alabama A&M (3); Idaho State (3); Cornell (2); Pennsylvania (2); Alabama State (1); McNeese State (1); San Diego (1)

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