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Football Ranked No. 22 in Consolidated FCS Listing
2011 FCS Consolidated Preseason Ranking
Using a point system to combine and average the major preseason FCS listings released so far in 2011, Liberty currently finds itself ranked No. 22 in the country in the listing consolidated by College Sporting News (CSN).
The three most respected preseason football listings released this summer have the Flames ranking from No. 20 down to No. 24.
Liberty was listed No. 20 according to both the Sporting News and Athlon preseason FCS list, while ranking tied for No. 24 along with Grambling State in the Lindy's preseason listing.
By taking the average of the three listings, Liberty is ranked No. 22 in the CSN FCS Consolidated Preseason Ranking. The Flames accumulated 13 points in the combined listing, finishing behind No. 21 UMass (14 points) and ahead of No. 23 Murray State (12 points).
Leading the listing was defending FCS national champion Eastern Washington with 72 points. Appalachian State, who won three FCS national championships from 2005 to 2007, was listed No. 2 with 69 points, followed by Georgia Southern and William & Mary, who tied for No. 3 with 68 points each. Montana State rounded out the Top 5 at No. 5 with 64 points.
Two of Liberty's three non-conference FCS opponents were included in the preseason listing. Lehigh, who the Flames will face on Sept. 24 in Bethlehem, Pa., is listed No. 13 with 30 points, while James Madison, who the Flames will host on Sept. 17, was listed No. 31 with seven points.
Liberty did garner two rankings inside the Top 20 in two other preseason FCS listings. AnyGivenSaturday.com had the Flames ranked No. 19, while SouthernPigskin.com has Liberty ranked the highest at No. 17.
Liberty is coming off its fourth-straight Big South championship season and the fourth year in a row the Flames have posted eight or more victories in a season. The Flames finished 2010 with an 8-3 record and a 5-1 mark in Big South play.
At season's end, Liberty found itself ranked No. 19 in the final FCS Coaches ranking and No. 21 in the last Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS Top 25 listing. Both organizations, who weekly release the official FCS rankings during the regular season, will issue their preseason listings during the middle of August.
The Flames will open up their 2011 slate in Raleigh, N.C., against N.C. State on Sept. 3, which will be televised on ESPN3.com. The following week, Liberty will host 2010 FCS playoff participant Robert Morris at Williams Stadium for the Flames' 2011 home opener on Sept. 10.