Redbird Football Ranked No. 8 in Final Sports Network Poll
Jan. 7, 2013
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The Illinois State football team (9-4, 5-3 MVFC) advanced to the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs for just the fourth time in school history and advanced to the quarterfinals for the third time in 2012. For their efforts throughout the year, the Redbirds were ranked No. 8 in the final national top-25 poll by The Sports Network Monday.
The No. 8 ranking is the highest of the season for the Redbirds in The Sports Network FCS Top 25, one spot higher than a No. 9 national ranking in week five of the season. ISU appeared on every TSN poll this season and has been ranked in 20-consecutive polls by the organization dating back to the 2011 season.
ISU moved up eight spots in the poll from its No. 16 ranking by the organization on Nov. 19, prior to the start of the FCS playoffs. The Redbirds defeated perennial FCS contender and then No. 7 ranked Appalachian State on the road in overtime in the second round of the playoffs, after receiving a bye for the first round. ISU was then defeated by No. 4 Eastern Washington on the road in the quarterfinals to put an end to their season.
Back-to-back FCS National Champion and fellow Missouri Valley Football Conference member North Dakota State (14-1) was a unanimous No. 1 selection on all 142 ballots of The Sports Network FCS Top 25. The Bison came away with their second-straight national title after defeating Sam Houston State for the second-consecutive year Saturday in the championship game in Frisco, Texas. Sam Houston State (11-4) was voted second on 128 of the 142 ballots.
The other two teams to reach the national semifinals, Georgia Southern (10-4) and Eastern Washington (11-3), finished No. 3 and 4, respectively, in the final poll. The rest of the Top 10 was Montana State (11-2) in fifth, Old Dominion (11-2) in sixth, Wofford (9-4) at No. 7, ISU at No. 8, Appalachian State (8-4) at No. 9, and Central Arkansas (9-3) in tenth.
South Dakota State (9-4) was the only other MVFC member to finish in the final vote, with the Jackrabbits coming in at No. 14 following their first-round defeat of Eastern Illinois and their loss to eventual national champion NDSU in the second round of the FCS playoffs.
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