SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Appalachian State and Elon were ranked No. 3 and No. 7, respectively, in the FCS Preseason Coaches Poll, released August 23.  The Mountaineers, picked to finish first by the Southern Conference head coaches and media, garnered four first-place votes.  Elon came in seventh after finishing 9-3 a season ago.

Villanova was chosen as the preseason No. 1, as the Wildcats received 24 of the 30 first place votes and 667 points overall.

Villanova returns 15 starters from last year's team that went 14-1.  Seven of those starters return to a defense that ranked third in rushing defense (66.73 yards per game) and sixth in scoring defense (14.07 points per game) last season.  Senior wide receiver Matt Szczur, last year's championship game Most Outstanding Player, also returns for the Wildcats.

The national runners-up the past two seasons, Montana came in second place, receiving two first-place votes.  The Grizzlies held the No. 1 ranking for the final three weeks last season before falling to Villanova 23-21 in the title game.

William & Mary, which finished tied for third last season with Appalachian State, took fourth, with Southern Illinois completing the top five.

Richmond came in sixth after spending nine weeks at the top of the poll last season.  Rounding out the top 10 are Elon, Stephen F. Austin, New Hampshire and South Dakota State.

Eleven conferences are represented in the poll.  The Colonial Athletic Association leads the way with six teams, followed by the Big Sky with five ranked teams.  The Missouri Valley has three teams in the Top 25, and the Southern, Southland, Ohio Valley Conferences, along with the Patriot League, each have two representatives.  The remaining four conferences are the Mid-Eastern Atlantic, Big South, Southwestern and Great West.

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.

2010 FCS Coaches Preseason Poll (August 23, 2010)

Team (No. 1 Votes)                       2009 Record           Points              2009 Final Ranking
1.      Villanova  (22)                            14-1                     667                              1
2.      Montana  (2)                              14-1                     632                              2
3.      Appalachian State  (4)                11-3                     622                              T3
4.      William & Mary                          11-3                     587                              T3
5.      Southern Illinois                         11-2                     551                               6
6.      Richmond                                  11-2                     484                              5
7.      Elon                                           9-3                      474                             10
8.      Stephen F. Austin                      10-3                     413                              9
9.      New Hampshire                          10-3                     409                              7
10.     South Dakota State                    8-4                      403                              11
11.     McNeese State                          9-3                      376                              12
12.     South Carolina State                  10-2                     341                              8
13.     Northern Iowa                             7-4                      333                              18
14.     Eastern Washington                   8-4                      327                              13
15.     James Madison                          6-5                      290                              NR
16.     Eastern Illinois                            8-4                      236                              15
17.     Jacksonville State                       8-3                      208                              16
18.     Weber State                               7-5                     186                               17
19.     Delaware                                    6-5                     185                               NR
20.     Liberty                                        8-3                     171                              21
21.     Prairie View A&M                        9-1                     135                              19
22.     Colgate                                      9-2                      98                               20
23.     Northern Arizona                         5-6                      87                               NR
24.     Montana State                            7-4                      85                               NR
T25.   Cal-Poly                                     4-7                      66                               NR
T25.   Holy Cross                                 9-3                      66                               14

Others receiving votes (points in parentheses): Penn (60), Illinois State (54), Texas State (53), Florida A&M (44), Furman (36), Eastern Kentucky (35), Wofford (35), UC Davis (32), Massachusetts (24), Georgia Southern (23), Alabama A&M (22), Jackson State (19), Maine (19), Alcorn State (17), Southeastern Louisiana (16), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (16), Southern (15), Central Arkansas (14), Morgan State (14), Hampton (12), Bethune-Cookman (11), Harvard (10), Missouri State (10), Nicholls State (10), Sam Houston State (9), Grambling (8), Alabama State (6), Lehigh (8), Youngstown State (6), Texas Southern (5), Albany (4), Lafayette (4), Butler (3), Mississippi Valley State (3), Southern Utah (3), Central Connecticut State (2), Stony Brook (2), Chattanooga (1), Gardner-Webb (1)