SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The University of New Hampshire football team is No. 9 in the preseason Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Coaches Poll, released on Monday. The Wildcats, who open the season Sept. 4 (12 p.m.) versus Central Connecticut State at Cowell Stadium, are one of a nation-leading six Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) teams ranked in the Top 25.
No. 1 Villanova received 22 of the 28 first-place votes and 667 overall points to top the charts. UNH, the only team to defeat 'Nova last season, accumulated 409 points following a 10-3 campaign that included a 49-13 triumph over McNeese State in the first round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship. New Hampshire ended last season ranked seventh in the Coaches Poll.
UNH faces four of the other five ranked CAA teams this year, entertaining No. 6 Richmond on Oct. 9; visiting No. 15 James Madison on Oct. 16; welcoming No. 4 William & Mary to Mooradian Field on Nov. 6 before traveling to No. 1 Villanova on Nov. 13. The only ranked CAA team not on the Wildcats' schedule is No. 19 Delaware.
Three other New Hampshire opponents received votes in the preseason poll: Central Connecticut State, Maine (Oct. 2/Alfond Stadium) and Massachusetts (Oct. 23/Gillette Stadium). In addition, the Wildcats will seek a sixth consecutive win over a FBS opponent when they visit Pittsburgh, the No. 15 team in the USA Today Top 25 Coaches' Poll.
The non-CAA portion of the top 10 consists of No. 2 Montana, No. 3 Appalachian State, No. 5 Southern Illinois, No. 7 Elon and No. 8 Stephen F. Austin.
The FCS Coaches Poll is based exclusively on a voting panel of head coaches in the FCS under the cooperation of the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and is administered by the Southern Conference.
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