University of Delaware Football Earns No. 2 Final National Ranking by The Sports Network, FCS Coaches
January 12, 2011
Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware football team, which closed out one of the finest seasons in school history with a tough 20-19 setback to Eastern Washington in the NCAA Division I Football Championship game Friday night, was picked No. 2 in both the final Sports Network and FCS Coaches national Top 25 polls announced this week.
The Blue Hens, who finished the season with a 12-3 record while sharing the Colonial Athletic Association title for head coach K.C. Keeler, recorded their highest final ranking since ending the 2007 season as the No. 2 ranked team. Delaware was the consensus No. 1 team in the final polls of 2003 after capturing the national title with a 40-0 win over Colgate.
Delaware, whose three losses all came at the hands of teams ranked in the final Top 10 (Eastern Washington, Villanova, William & Mary), had entered the NCAA Tournament with a No. 5 ranking in both final regular season polls and moved up three spaces in the final rankings. The Blue Hens started the year ranked No. 16 by The Sports Network and No. 19 by the FCS Coaches but used a 7-0 start to race up the polls, eventually gaining a No. 1 national ranking in both polls by mid-November.
Eastern Washington (13-2), which entered the NCAA Tournament as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team, remained at the top spot as the Eagles rallied from a 19-point deficit late in the third quarter to down Delaware in the national championship game in Frisco, Texas.
Eastern Washington earned 121 of the 122 first place votes and posted 3,049 total points to outdistance Delaware for the top spot in The Sports Network media rankings. The Hens earned the other first place vote and had 2,928 points overall. Villanova (9-5) was third followed by Appalachian State (10-3), Georgia Southern (10-5), Wofford (10-3), New Hampshire (8-5), Stephen F. Austin (9-3), North Dakota State (9-5), William & Mary (8-4), Montana State (9-3), Jacksonville State (9-3), Southeast Missouri State (9-3), Lehigh (10-3), Bethune-Cookman (10-2), South Carolina State (9-3), Western Illinois (8-5), Penn (9-1), Northern Iowa (7-5), Montana (7-4), Liberty (8-3), Jacksonville (10-1), Grambling State (9-2), Cal Poly (7-4), and Dayton (10-1).
The Eagles were the unanimous No. 2 pick in the FCS Coaches poll, earning all 25 first place and 625 points overall. Delaware was at No. 2 followed by Villanova, Appalachian State, Wofford, Georgia Southern, New Hampshire, William & Mary, North Dakota State, Stephen F. Austin, Montana State, Jacksonville State, Southeast Missouri State, Lehigh, Bethune-Cookman, Penn, South Carolina State, Northern Iowa, Liberty, Western Illinois, Montana, Jacksonville, Cal Poly, Grambling State, and Dayton.
The Colonial Athletic Association placed four teams in the top 10 in both polls and had three other teams (Richmond, Massachusetts, James Madison) earn votes in the FCS Coaches poll and four others (Richmond, Massachusetts, James Madison, Rhode Island) earn mention in The Sports Network rankings.
Keeler, who was named both the AFCA and Liberty Mutual National Coach of the Year earlier this week, led a team that featured four All-Americans in senior QB Pat Devlin, freshman RB Andrew Pierce, senior CB Anthony Walters, and senior SS Anthony Bratton.