CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern was selected 16th in the 2017 Athlon Sports Preseason FCS Top-25 poll, released on Tuesday.
CSU's recognition marks the third straight year the Bucs have earned a spot in a preseason top-25 poll published by a national media outlet. The Bucs were tabbed sixth in last season's Athlon Poll, in addition to top-ten billings in the STATS FCS Preseason FCS Coaches polls. The Bucs first cracked the preseason polls in 2015 when they were picked 24th by Sporting News.
CSU captured its second consecutive Big South Conference championship and FCS playoff berth in 2016. The Bucs beat three ranked teams in the process, including convincing victories over Liberty and Kennesaw State to clinch the league crown. CSU landed a league-high 11 players on the All-Big South teams, headlined by the Defensive (Anthony Ellis) and Special Teams (Darius Hammond) Players of the Year.
CSU was ranked in the top-ten of at least one of the two polls for nine weeks last year. The program has now been ranked in the top 25 for 22 weeks in a row dating back to 2015. The Bucs finished 2016 at No. 14 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 15 in the STATS FCS Top 25, marking the second straight year and the third time in four years it has concluded the season among the nation's elite.
North Dakota State was selected as the preseason favorite, while defending national champion James Madison was picked second. South Dakota State, Sam Houston State, and North Dakota rounded out the top five in the poll.
The complete 2017 Athlon Sports Preseason FCS Top 25 poll can be found HERE.