Cheney Free Press -


Eagles third in final FCS polls after historic year Eagles are third in final FCS polls after historic year

Eastern has top four finish for third time in four years


Paul Delaney

Ashton Clark gains yardage in the Eagles' playoff game against Towson.

After another run to the semifinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, the Eastern Washington University football team ended the season ranked third in a pair of final NCAA FCS polls announced Jan. 6.

The Eagles finished third in The Sports Network Top 25 Poll of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries. In the Coaches Poll, Eastern was also third. The only teams ahead of EWU were FCS champion North Dakota State and runner-up Towson.

Eastern, which ranked third in the final regular season TSN Poll and was seeded third in the playoffs, finished the 2013 campaign 12-3. It was the fifth season in school history with 11 or more wins and came on the heels of EWU's seventh Big Sky Conference championship in school history and first with a perfect 8-0 mark.

It was the third time in the last four years Eastern has finished ranked in the top four, including a No. 4 ranking to end the 2012 season. Eastern ended the 2010 season as the No. 1 team in FCS after winning the NCAA Division I title. In 1997, Eastern finished fourth in The Sports Network poll as well as the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. In 1997, 2012 and 2013, Eastern advanced to the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs.

Overall, this is the 11th time Eastern has finished the season nationally ranked, including seven times since 2004. The other seasons were in 1985, 1992, 1993, 1997, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012

In the FCS playoffs, Eastern defeated No. 13 South Dakota State and No. 10 Jacksonville State, but fell to Towson in the semifinals to help the Tigers catapult from fifth at the end of the regular season to second in the final poll. Eastern did not play Northern Arizona, which finished 15th in the final TSN poll.

Eastern made its 10th appearance in the playoffs in 2013, becoming the 16th team in FCS to have 10 or more appearances.



Reader Comments