Last Modified: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 11:15 AM
Football Championship Subdivision coaches are expecting big things from McNeese State this season.
The Cowboys cracked the Top 10 in the FCS preseason coaches poll, which was released on Monday. McNeese checks in at No. 9 in the poll, one spot behind the Jacksonville State team that knocked it out of the playoffs last year.
Three-time defending national champion North Dakota State retains the belt as the top-ranked team in the country even though coach Craig Bohl left for a job at FBS Wyoming and the Bison graduated many stars from a senior-laden cast.
Eastern Washington follows at No. 2 in the poll, while Southland Conference favorite Southeastern Louisiana is ranked third.
Sam Houston State is the third and final Southland team in the Top 25, checking in at 14th. But like the Bison, the Bearkats lost their coach to an FBS program while seeing most of their top playmakers graduate.
Central Arkansas was the only other Southland program to receive votes outside the Top 25.
SLU is followed by No. 4 New Hampshire, No. 5 Montana, No. 6 Coastal Carolina and No. 7 Towson. South Dakota State nabbed the final spot in the preseason Top 10.
It should be noted that the preseason poll is often a reflection of what took place the year before than what is expected to happen in the year to come. Last year, five teams ranked in the preseason coaches Top 10 did not reach the FCS playoffs.