Sam Houston State's 38-9 victory at Southeastern Louisiana last Saturday combined with a loss by formerly No. 3 ranked Appalachian State has moved the Bearkats into the No. 3 spot in the November 7 edition of the Sports Network NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision national poll.

The announcement of today's rankings marks only the third time in Sam Houston's 24 years at the NCAA Division I has been stood No. 3 nationally. The 2004 Bearkats were No. 3 on November 8, 2004, following a 52-47 victory over McNeese State and No. 3 in the final poll on December 20, 2004 after an NCAA playoff semifinal appearance at Montana.

North Dakota State and Montana State remain No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the Sports Network rankings.

Sam Houston will be aiming for their first-ever undisputed Southland Conference football championship and a record-tying 12th consecutive victory Saturday when the Bearkats play host to Northwestern State at Elliott T. Bowers Stadium.

The contest, which will be telecast to a three-state network by Southland TV, will kickoff at 3:05 p.m. (a change from the previously announced 2 p.m. start due to television).

Long-time Bearkat fans will remember that Northwestern State was the team that knocked Sam Houston out of its first No. 3 national ranking, defeating Sam Houston 45-27 in Natchitoches, La., in 2004.

Saturday's contest with the Demons marks the final regular season home game for Sam Houston State. The Bearkats will close out the 2011 schedule in a road non-conference matchup with NCAA Division I FCS independent Texas State in San Marcos on November 19.

The Sports Network NCAA Division I FCS Poll (November 7, 2011)

1 North Dakota State (143) 9-0 4,004
2 Montana State (16) 9-1 3,847
3 SAM HOUSTON (1) 9-0 3,673
4 Georgia Southern  8-1 3,425
5 Northern Iowa 7-2 3,309
6 Lehigh 8-1 3,131
7 New Hampshire 7-2 2,957
8 Montana 8-2 2,785
9 Wofford 7-2 2,718
10 Appalachian State 6-3 2,572
11 Old Dominion 8-2 2,401
12 Towson 7-2 2,350
13 Maine 7-2 2,070
14 Illinois State 7-3 1,665
15 Delaware  5-4 1,342
16 Liberty 7-3 1,258
17 Furman 6-3 1,246
18 Harvard 7-1 1,090
19 Central Arkansas 7-3 1048
20 James Madison 5-4 895
21 Jackson State 7-2 526
22 Norfolk State 8-2 468
23 Alabama State 7-2 438
24 South Dakota 5-4 437
25 Eastern Kentucky 6-3 427

Others receiving votes: Indiana State 360, Brown 270, Jacksonville State 261, Portland State 217, Tennessee Tech 206, Alabama A&M 193, North Dakota 126, Georgetown 124, William & Mary 91, Stony Brook 55, San Diego 54, Southern Utah 53, Chattanooga 39, Cal Poly 34, Duquesne 24, Bethune-Cookman 24, Murray State 23, Massachusetts 11, Drake 11, Albany 9, Lafayette 9, Richmond 9, Florida A&M 8, Penn 6, Bryant 5, Samford 5, UT Martin 5, Grambling State 4, Texas State 3, The Citadel 1, Northwestern State 1, South Dakota State 1, Yale 1, Jacksonville 1.

Tickets for the Northwestern State game  on sale now online at or at the Sam Houston State athletic ticket office located in the Ron Mafrige Field House at Bowers Stadium.

The ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Telephone number for the ticket office is (936) 294-1729.

A special feature of Saturday's game will be a postgame autograph session with the players for Bearkat season ticket holders, members of the Junior Bearkat Club and other fans.

Pizza Hut in Huntsville offers Bearkat fans a great way to earn tickets to Sam Houston State's Southland Conference showdown with the Northwestern State Demons on Saturday, Nov. 12. Starting this week, any customer can call into the two Pizza Hut locations in Huntsville and received two tickets to the Nov. 12 game by ordering a large pizza for takeout or delivery. Customers must mention the Bearkat ticket offer during their order to receive the tickets. Huntsville area Pizza Hut locations are 3010 Highway 30 and 4030 Sam Houston Avenue. Telephone numbers for the locations are (936) 294-9191 and (936) 295-5586. The ticket offer is good through Nov. 11 or whenever the ticket supply runs out.

Texas Farm Bureau members will receive a complimentary general admission ticket just by showing a membership card or a recent billing statement at Saturday's game. The offer is a special benefit arranged by Texas Farm Bureau for its membership. The offer is only good for one ticket per member. Proof of membership will be requested at the time of ticket pick up.

Military, community service (fire department, emergency service and police) and Texas Department of Criminal Justice personnel will be able to purchase $15 tickets to any of the six Bearkat home football games this season for just $10 under the new "Hillcrest Heroes" discount. To receive the discount, personnel can present their military, TDCJ or community service identification at the box office. The discount applies to both current and retired personnel. The discount also will be available for home volleyball, men's and women's basketball, baseball and softball events at Sam Houston State University.

Students enrolled at Blinn Junior College and Lone Star College can received admission to Saturday's game by presenting their student ID at the main ticket office on the west side of Elliott T. Bowers Stadium Saturday. Also, incoming transfer students may receive admission to the game through the SHSU Admissions office.

With kickoff pushed back an hour to 3:05 p.m. Saturday, tailgate fun at Bearkat Alley will begin at 1 p.m. in the Bowers Stadium parking lot north of the scoreboard. The fun begins with the traditional "March to Bowers" by the Bearkat Marching Band.