Catamount Football Cracks Top 25 Poll for First Time in Over a Decade

Riding a four-game winning streak that includes league victories over nationally-ranked Samford and a road win at Chattanooga, which ranked as high as 12th early in the season, Western Carolina football broke into the STATS FCS Poll this week, debuting at No. 22. The Catamounts spent four-consecutive weeks in the “others receiving votes” category before entering this week’s national rankings.

In the other major poll, WCU is the first team in the “others receiving votes” category in the FCS Coaches’ Poll, weighing in at 26th in the nation. WCU received a total of 26 votes, just four behind No. 25 Nicholls which was one of three teams receiving votes a week ago to enter this week’s tabulations.

Western Carolina is ranked for the first time since 2006 when the squad also cracked the top 25 at No. 22 in the media poll following a home upset-victory over then No. 19 Eastern Kentucky in Cullowhee. That win that season also pushed the Catamounts into the coaches’ poll at No. 23.

Three Southern Conference teams continue to be ranked inside both the coaches’ and media national top 25 with the two polls mirroring one another for the conference schools. Wofford ranks fifth in both polls with The Citadel (196) dropping to No. 17 and Samford (165) advancing to No. 20 this week.

Much like the last time the Catamounts earned a nationally ranking back during the 2006 season, this year’s schedule shakes out eerily similar. The Saturday following the 2006 ranking, WCU travelled to the Upstate of South Carolina to face No. 3 Furman. This week, WCU again hits the road to face a Top 10 league foe in South Carolina, visiting fifth-ranked Wofford in Spartanburg, S.C.

Since moving to the NCAA FCS level (previously NCAA Division I-AA), WCU’s highest ranking in a season was eighth back in 1993.