Towson ranked 11th in FCS preseason poll

August 15, 2013 | WNST Staff

Tigers Ranked In Top Ten By Two Other Publications

TOWSON, Md. – Coming off back-to-back Colonial Athletic Association championship seasons, the Towson University football team has been ranked 11th in the in the NCAA FCS Pre-Season Top 25 by The Sports Network.

The Tigers, who have been ranked among the NCAA FCS Top 25 by The Sports Network for 27 consecutive weeks, finished the 2012 season as the 17th-ranked team in the nation. The Tigers, who finished the season with a four-game winning streak, earned a share of the CAA championship with a 6-2 record.

Despite closing out the regular season with impressive wins over Villanova, Delaware, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, the Tigers did not earn a berth in the NCAA FCS Playoffs.

One of six CAA schools listed in The Sports Network’s poll, Towson has a veteran team. Coach Rob Ambrose enters his fifth season with a squad that returns eight starters on offense and seven starters on defense.

Senior tackles Eric Pike (Duval H.S./Lanham, Md.) and Randall Harris (DuVal H.S./Landover, Md.) return to lead the Tigers’ offensive line. Junior running back Terrance West (Northwestern H.S./Baltimore, Md.) also returns after rushing for 2,340 yards with 44 touchdowns in his first two seasons. He was named first team All-CAA as a freshman and sophomore and also earned All-American honors twice.

Senior linebacker Monte Gaddis (Cleveland Central Catholic H.S./Cleveland, Ohio) returns to lead the Tiger defense, along with senior cornerback Jordan Love (Deep Run H.S./Washington, D.C.) and junior cornerbackTye Smith (Wakefield H.S./Raleigh, N.C.).

Last season, the Tigers had the top-ranked defense in the CAA.

The Tigers were also selected among the Top 25 in pre-season rankings by Athlon College Football Magazine, Lindy’s College Football Magazine and The Sporting News College Football Magazine.

Towson was ranked eighth by Athlon College Football Magazine and Lindy’s College Football MagazineThe Sporting News College Football Magazine ranked Towson 13th in the nation in the pre-season.

Defending national champion North Dakota State (14-1) was ranked as the number one team in FCS in all four polls. Georgia Southern (10-4), Montana State (11-2) and Eastern Washington (11-3) also received pre-season accolades as the top teams in FCS football.

In the Athlon College Football Magazine pre-season poll, Towson was ranked behind North Dakota State, Montana State, Georgia Southern, Sam Houston State, Villanova, Appalachian State and Eastern Washington. In addition to Villanova and Towson, four other Colonial Athletic Association teams were ranked in the Top 25 by Athlon. No. 11 New Hampshire (8-4), No. 12 Richmond (8-3), No. 17 James Madison (7-4) and No. 22 Delaware (5-6) were also ranked.

No. 8 Towson was ranked behind North Dakota State, Georgia Southern, Montana State, South Dakota State, Wofford, Eastern Washington and Central Arkansas in Lindy’s College Football Magazine. Villanova was ninth while No. 11 New Hampshire, Mo. 14 Stony Brook (10-3) and No. 21 Richmond (8-3) were also ranked.

Towson was one of five CAA teams ranked in The Sporting News College Football Magazine’s Top 25.

The Tigers enter the 2013 season with the fourth-longest winning streak in FCS football. North Dakota State has won nine straight games while Arkansas-Pine Bluff has a seven-game winning streak. San Diego has won six straight contests while Towson, Richmond and North Carolina A&T have each won four consecutive games.

The Tigers will open the 2013 season on Thursday, August 29 at Connecticut.

The Sports Network 2013 FCS Pre-Season Poll

Team (First-place votes)                                 2012 Record          Points      Previous Rank

1.          North Dakota State Bison (127)               14-1                         3340         1

2.         Montana State Bobcats (1)                      11-2                         3079                     5

3.         Sam Houston State Bearkats (5)             11-4                         2941          2

4.         Eastern Washington Eagles                     11-3                         2873                     4

5.         Villanova Wildcats                                 8-4                         2334         15

6.         South Dakota State Jackrabbits              9-4                         2268         14

7.         Central Arkansas Bears                          9-3                         2244         10

8.         Wofford Terriers                                    9-4                         2089         7

9.         Georgia Southern Eagles (1)                    10-4                        2002         3

10.        New Hampshire Wildcats                       8-4                         1920          13

11.         Towson Tigers                                     7-4                         1871          17

12.        Appalachian State Mountaineers             8-4                         1696          9

13.        Illinois State Redbirds                            9-4                         1657          8

14.        Cal Poly Mustangs                                 9-3                         1646          12

15.        Richmond Spiders                                  8-3                         1384          18

16.        Stony Brook Seawolves                          10-3                        1178           11

17.        Northern Iowa Panthers                         5-6                         1106           NR

18.        Northern Arizona Lumberjacks               8-3                         988           20

19.        James Madison Dukes                            7-4                         964           19

20.       Montana Grizzlies                                  5-6                         813            NR

21.        Eastern Illinois Panthers                        7-5                         686           NR

22.       Lehigh Mountain Hawks                         10-1                         587           16

23.       Bethune-Cookman Wildcats                    9-3                         514            22

24.       Chattanooga Mocs                                 6-5                         505           NR

25.       Coastal Carolina Chanticleers                8-5                         489           24\