McLEAN, Va. – The College Football Special Edition of USA Today Sports Weekly has ranked three-time defending national champions Appalachian State No. 1 in its 2008 NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision Preseason Top 25 National Rankings. The College Football Special Edition is available at newsstands throughout the month of July.

 

The Mountaineers return 14 starters (five offense, seven defense, two specialists) from its 2007 squad which defeated Delaware, 49-21, to win an unprecedented third consecutive FCS championship.

 

Joining Appalachian in the rankings are four other SoCon teams, including Elon at No. 8 and 2007 co-champion Wofford at No. 12. Elon sophomore quarterback Scott Riddle and junior wide receiver Terrell Hudgins also joined ASU’s Armanti Edwards on the 2008 USA Today Sports Weekly FCS Players to Watch list.

 

Georgia Southern and The Citadel, which finished in a four-way tie for third place in the SoCon in 2007, were rated 17th and 23rd, respectively, in the USA Today Sports Weekly rankings.

 

The Southern Conference’s five representatives equaled the Missouri Valley’s total and was just one shy of the six CAA teams included in the preseason rankings.

 

The 2008 SoCon football season kicks off on Thursday, Aug. 28 when Western Carolina hosts Shorter College and Samford entertains West Georgia in its first game as a SoCon member. Opening weekend action continues on Saturday, Aug. 30 as the seven remaining SoCon teams are in action, including a nationally-televised matchup of the 2007 FCS national champion and the 2007 BCS national champion when Appalachian State visits LSU at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN.

 

Other opening-weekend matchups include Presbyterian at Wofford, Georgia Southern at Georgia, Webber International at The Citadel, Richmond at Elon, Chattanooga at Oklahoma and Mars Hill at Furman.

 

 

2008 USA Today Sports Weekly FCS Preseason Top 25
1 – Appalachian State
2 – North Dakota State
3 – Montana
4 – James Madison
5 – Massachusetts
6 – Cal Poly
7 – Richmond
8 – Elon
9 – Northern Iowa
10 – Eastern Washington
11 – McNeese State
12 – Wofford
13 – Southern Illinois
14 – South Dakota State
15 – Youngstown State
16 – Villanova
17 – Georgia Southern
18 – Yale
19 – Delaware
20 – Northern Arizona
21 – Fordham
22 – New Hampshire
23 – The Citadel
24 – Harvard
25 – Sam Houston State
Compiled by Andy Gardiner

2008 USA Today Sports Weekly FCS Players to Watch
WR Ramses Barden, Sr., Cal Poly
WR Aaron Boyce, Jr., Eastern Washington
QB Liam Coen, Sr., Massachusetts
QB Armanti Edwards, Jr., Appalachian State
WR Terrell Hudgins, Jr., Elon
RB Mike McLeod, Sr., Yale
QB Scott Riddle, So., Elon
RB Tyler Roehl, Sr., North Dakota State
RB Jordan Scott, Sr., Colgate
K Jon Striefsky, Jr., Delaware