SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Eastern Washington finished the 2010 football season as the No. 1 team in the FCS Coaches' Poll, and will begin their 2011 campaign in the same spot. The Eagles received 23 of the 28 first place votes to earn 687 points overall.

Preseason FCS Coaches' Poll Poll
Rank School Points
Complete Poll
1 Eastern Washington 687
2 Appalachian State 617
3 Georgia Southern 615
4 William & Mary 614
5 Delaware 559

Eastern Washington returns 15 starters that finished last season with a school record 13 wins and just two losses. Twelve Eagle players have garnered preseason honors, including six who received All-America honors at the NCAA FCS level.

Appalachian State, who finished the 2010 season at No. 4, earned one first place vote and a total of 617 points, placing the Mountaineers in the No. 2 spot.

Georgia Southern received three first place votes after making a run to the national semifinals and begins the 2011 season at No. 3. William & Mary took fourth for the second consecutive time in the preseason poll. Last year’s national runner-up, Delaware, rounds out the top five.

Montana State makes its first appearance in the preseason top 10 in the past two years at No. 6. Northern Iowa, Wofford, Jacksonville State, and New Hampshire complete the top 10, respectively.

Fourteen conferences are represented in the poll. The Colonial Athletic Association has the most ranked teams with six, followed by the Southern Conference with four teams. The Big Sky, Missouri Valley and Southland all have three ranked teams. The Mid-Eastern Atlantic, Ohio Valley, Big South, Patriot, and Ivy make up the remaining conferences. 

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.