Photo Courtesy of Villanova Media Relations

Villanova’s Matt Szczur (right) rushed for a career-high 159 yards, two touchdowns and also racked up 68 receiving yards. For his efforts, Szczur was named the championship game’s most outstanding player. It was Villanova’s first FCS title.

Contact Information: JoAnne Cannell - Media Relations Assistant - Southern Conference - 864-591-5100 - E-mail

Others receiving votes (points in parentheses): Montana State (38), Delaware (18), James Madison (14), Butler (6), Harvard (6), Grambling State (5), Northern Arizona (5), Alabama A&M (4), Illinois State (4), Central Connecticut State (2), Dayton (2), Tennessee Tech (2), Central Arkansas (1), Massachusetts (1), UC Davis (1). 

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – After winning its first Football Championship Subdivision title Friday night with a 23-21 win over Montana, the Villanova Wildcats were selected as the unanimous No. 1 in the final FCS Coaches Poll.  The Wildcats received all 28 first-place votes and 700 points overall.

 

It marked the first time in the three year history of the poll that Villanova earned the No. 1 ranking.  The Wildcats spent 13 weeks in the top five this season, dropping to No. 6 only once. Villanova downed Holy Cross, New Hampshire and William & Mary to reach the finale in Chattanooga, Tenn.

 

Matt Szczur, who was named the championship game’s most outstanding player, rushed for a career-high 159 yards, two touchdowns and also racked up 68 receiving yards for Villanova (14-1). Quarterback Chris Whitney threw for 142 yards, ran for another 102 and added a score.

 

National runner-up Montana (14-1) fell to No. 2 after spending the past three weeks at No. 1. The Grizzlies, which received the Big Sky Conference’s automatic bid, made their record-setting 17th-straight playoff appearance. Montana defeated South Dakota State, Stephen F. Austin and Appalachian State en route to its second consecutive trip to the championship game.

 

Semifinalists Appalachian State (11-3), the preseason No. 1, and William & Mary (11-3) finished the season tied at No. 3. The Mountaineers fell at Montana 24-17, while the Tribe lost 14-13 at Villanova.

 

Rounding out the top five was Richmond (11-2), which fell in the quarterfinals to Appalachian State by a score of 35-31.

 

Playoff participants completed the top 10 with Southern Illinois (11-2) at No. 6, followed by New Hampshire (10-3) at No. 7, South Carolina State (10-2) at No. 8, Stephen F. Austin (10-3) at No. 9 and Elon (9-3) at No. 10.

 

The six remaining playoff teams finished no lower than No. 19.

 

Dropping out of the poll was Montana State (7-4), which finished the season with a 33-19 loss to Montana.

 

The Colonial Athletic Association led the way with four ranked teams, which all placed in the top seven. The Big Sky, Missouri Valley and Southland Conferences, along with the Patriot League each had three ranked teams. The Mid-Eastern Athletic, Ohio Valley and Southern Conferences were each represented by two teams, while the Big South Conference, Ivy League and Southwest Athletic Conference each had one.

 

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.

Villanova Claims First Title, No. 1 Ranking

2009 FCS Coaches Poll

Final Poll

The 2009 NCAA Division I Football Championship will be held Friday, December 18 in Chattanooga, TN, at Finley Stadium. Complete information can be found at the official championship game website.

NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision

Wildcats Top Montana 23-21 in Championship Game

Team (No. 1 Votes)

 Record

Points

Previous Ranking

1. Villanova (28)

14-1

700

3

2. Montana

14-1

672

1

T3. Appalachian State

11-3

629

5

T3. William & Mary

11-3

629

6

5. Richmond

11-2

579

4

6. Southern Illinois

11-2

541

2

7. New Hampshire

10-3

515

10

8. South Carolina State

10-2

477

7

9. Stephen F. Austin

10-3

450

12

10. Elon

9-3

439

9

11. South Dakota State

8-4

413

11

12. McNeese State

9-3

375

8

13. Eastern Washington

8-4

345

14

14. Holy Cross

9-3

317

19

15. Eastern Illinois

8-4

272

17

16. Jacksonville State

8-3

258

13

17. Weber State

7-5

246

18

18. Northern Iowa

7-4

252

15

19. Prairie View A&M

9-1

223

16

20. Colgate

9-2

165

20

21. Liberty

8-3

155

22

22. Florida A&M

8-3

127

21

23. Pennsylvania

8-2

97

23

24. Texas State

7-4

59

T25

25. Lafayette

8-3

56

24