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January 7, 2013

Football Earns No. 20 Ranking in Final Polls

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona football program was ranked 20th in both of the final Football Championship Subdivision polls released Monday. It is the eighth time in school history the Lumberjacks have been listed in a final poll and first time since the 2003 season.

The Lumberjacks finished 20th in The Sports Network Top 25 Poll of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters and writers. In the Coaches Poll, NAU was also 20th.

The Lumberjacks finished with an 8-3 overall record in 2012. After opening the season with a loss at Arizona State, the Lumberjacks won eight consecutive games for the first time since the 1958 season (11 games). NAU beat a NCAA FBS or I-A opponent for the first time since 1987 with its 17-14 victory on Sept. 8 over UNLV, snapping a 21-game losing streak to FBS opponents. The win at Montana on Sept. 22 was the first win for NAU over Montana since 1997 and the first win in Missoula since a 34-28 victory in 1986. The Lumberjacks also posted a 5-1 record on the road, tying the school record for road wins.

NAU was ranked for nine consecutive weeks to end the season. The No. 11 ranking before the Southern Utah game on Nov. 10 was the highest for the program since 2003 when the Lumberjacks were ranked as high as No. 10.

NAU opened league play with a 6-0 start for first time since 1996, tying the school record for consecutive Big Sky wins, before finishing in fourth place with a 6-2 league mark.

Overall, the Lumberjacks return 18 starters in 2013 and are scheduled to open the season at Arizona.

Northern Arizona's Season-Ending I-AA/FCS National Rankings

1978 – 7th (NCAA Division I-AA Poll)

1994 – 25th (The Sports Network)

1995 – 21st (The Sports Network)

1996 – 8th (The Sports Network)

1999 – 16th (The Sports Network)

2001 - 16th (The Sports Network), 15th (ESPN/USA Today)

2003 - 10th (The Sports Network), 9th (ESPN/USA Today)

2012 - 20th (The Sports Network), 20th (FCS Coaches' Poll)

2012 Sports Network Final Poll (January 7, 2013)

Team (No. 1 Votes) Record Points     

1. North Dakota State (142) 14-1 3,350

2. Sam Houston State 11-4 3,386

3. Georgia Southern 12-4 3,183

4. Eastern Washington 11-3 3,143

5. Montana State 11-2 2,949

6. Old Dominion 11-2 2,859

7. Wofford 9-4 2,673

8. Illinois State 9-4 2,289

9. Appalachian State 8-4 2,229

10. Central Arkansas 9-3 2,166

11. Stony Brook 10-3 2,158

12. Cal Poly 9-3 1,930

13. New Hampshire 8-4 1,839

14. South Dakota State 9-4 1,537

15. Villanova 8-4 1,354

16. Lehigh 10-1 1,346

17. Towson 7-4 1,147

18. Richmond 8-3 938

19. James Madison 7-4 894

20. Northern Arizona 736

21. Wagner 9-4 103

22. Bethune-Cookman 9-3 523

23. Eastern Kentucky 8-3 515

24. Coastal Carolina 8-5 495

25. Colgate 7-5 383

Others Receiving Votes: Eastern Illinois 349, Indiana State 306, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 138, Albany 120, UT Martin 102, Youngstown State 81, Harvard 56, Tennessee State 44, Samford 29, Montana 22, McNeese State 19, The Citadel 16, Penn 14, Drake 8, Sacramento State 5, Howard 5, South Carolina State 5, Southern Illinois 4, Northern Iowa 1, Maine 1

2012 FCS Coaches Final Poll (January 7, 2013)

Team (No. 1 Votes) Record Points     

1. North Dakota State (26) 14-1 650

2. Sam Houston State 11-4 618

3. Georgia Southern 12-4 579

4. Eastern Washington 11-3 572

5. Montana State 11-2 539

6. Old Dominion 11-2 527

7. Wofford 9-4 496

8. Appalachian State 8-4 434

9. Illinois State 9-4 408

10. Central Arkansas 9-3 401

11. Cal Poly 9-3 378

12. Stony Brook 10-3 366

13. New Hampshire 8-4 334

14. Lehigh 10-1 295

15. Towson 7-4 235

16. Villanova 8-4 227

17. South Dakota State 9-4 222

18. Richmond 8-3 188

19. Eastern Kentucky 8-3 163

20. Northern Arizona 8-2 142

21. James Madison 7-4 111

22. Wagner 9-4 103

23. Bethune-Cookman 9-3 89

24. Coastal Carolina 8-5 88

25. Eastern Illinois 7-5 75

Others Receiving Votes: Colgate (66), Harvard (60), Indiana State (32), Tennessee State (11), UT Martin (11), Youngstown State (9), Pennsylvania (7), The Citadel (5), Arkansas Pine-Bluff (3), Albany (3), San Diego (1), Chattanooga (1), Samford (1).