Aug 16, 2010, 5:38 PM EDT
For the third-straight season CAA Football will kickoff the year with four squads ranked among the nation’s Top 10. The league, which has claimed each of the last two Division I National Championships, has a total of six teams ranked in the preseason version of The Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS Top 25, released Monday afternoon.
Reigning National Champion Villanova, which was also picked to repeat as CAA Football Champions, garnered 104 of the poll’s 126 first-place votes to run away with the No. 1 spot. The Wildcats are slated to kickoff the 2010 season, Sept. 3, against Temple on ESPN3.com at 5 p.m.
William and Mary, which returns six starters to a defense which ranked among the Top-3 nationally last season, is third in the poll after logging 2,631 points and three first-place votes. Richmond, which will open the season, Sept. 4, at Virginia on ESPN3.com at 6 p.m., garnered one first-place vote and 2,317 points to come in at No. 6 in preseason poll. New Hampshire, picked to finish third in the league’s preseason poll, comes in at No. 10 in The Sports Network Poll after logging 1,837 points.
James Madison, winners of four-straight to close to the 2009 season, will begin 2010 at No. 15 after earning 1,237 points in the preseason rankings. Delaware, which returns as many as 17 starters from 2009, is No. 16 on the preseason Top 25. Maine and Massachusetts each logged votes in the preseason polling, but finished outside the initial Top 25.
The league’s four squads among the Top 10 each extend individual program streaks as Richmond has now been ranked 10th-or-better 35-straight weeks. Villanova has not fallen out of the Top 10 in 24-straight weeks, William and Mary has been above the 10th-spot 14-straight weeks and New Hampshire has been among the Top 10 three-straight weeks.
CAA Football makes up four of the Top 10, while both the Southern (Appalachian State and Elon) and Missouri Valley (Southern Illinois and South Dakota State) Conferences boast two in the Top 10. The Big Sky is represented in the Top 10 by Montana while Stephen F. Austin gives the Southland Conference representation in the group of 10.
The league has now had at least three teams ranked every week since The Sports Network’s poll began and two teams among the poll’s Top 10 in 70-straight weeks.
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