SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats enter the 2013 season at No. 23 in The Sports Network FCS Preseason Top 25, it was announced earlier this month by The Sports Network office in Philadelphia. This is the first time the Wildcats have been a member of the network’s preseason poll under head coach Brian Jenkins.
With Jenkins set to embark upon his fourth year at B-CU, the Wildcats finished the 2012 campaign ranked No. 22 after winning their second Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) title in three years with an overall record of 9-3 (8-0 MEAC).
B-CU advanced to the opening round of the FCS Playoffs, hosting the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers to Municipal Stadium – the third time the Wildcats had hosted a playoff game since 2003.
The Wildcats have been predicted to win the MEAC, voted on by head coaches and sports information directors around the league. Senior running back Isidore Jackson was voted Preseason Co-Offensive Player of the Year, while senior linebacker Jarkevis Fields was selected Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Sept. 1 game
The poll’s national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries confirmed North Dakota State as the preseason No. 1 by giving the Bison 127 of the 134 first-place votes and 3,340 points. North Dakota was followed by Montana State in second place; defending runners-up Sam Houston State at third; Eastern Washington in fourth; and Villanova rounds out the top five.
Bethune-Cookman opens the 2013 slate on Sept. 1 at Tennessee State as part of the John Merritt Classic at L.P. Field in Nashville, Tenn. The Tigers of TSU received 151 votes in the preseason poll, figuring them at No. 30, respectively.
During the regular season, the Top 25 will be released every Monday afternoon, except for the final weekend of the regular season, when it will be released Sunday morning, Nov. 17, prior to the selection of the FCS playoff field.
The Sports Network will release a final Top 25 following the FCS championship game, which will be held Jan. 4 in Frisco, Texas.