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Flames Ranked No. 18 in FCS Coaches Poll

August 23, 2011
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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FCS Coaches Poll - Preseason

The final preseason FCS poll has been released and it has provided the Flames with their highest 2011 ranking yet, with Liberty ranked No. 18 in the first FCS Coaches poll of the year.

The FCS Coaches poll provided the Flames with their highest final ranking in 2010, when Liberty was listed No. 19 in the last poll constructed by 28 FCS coaches from each conference around the country.

Liberty received 179 votes in the first FCS coaches poll of the year and is listed in between No. 17 Southern Illinois (181 votes) and No. 19 Richmond (177 votes).

Two of Liberty's four non-conference FCS opponents find themselves just above the Flames in the preseason list.

Lehigh, which will host Liberty in Bethlehem, Pa., on Sept. 24, is ranked No. 15 with 259 votes. James Madison, who Liberty will welcome to Williams Stadium on Sept. 17, was listed just behind the Mountain Hawks at No. 16 with 226 points.

Defending national champion Eastern Washington secured 23 of 28 first-place votes in the first poll and sits atop the overall poll at No. 1 with 687 votes.

Appalachian State is listed No. 2 with 617 votes, followed by No. 3 Georgia Southern (615 votes) and No. 4 William & Mary (614 votes). Delaware, who was last year's national runner-up, finished No. 5 with 559 votes.

Earlier this month, the Flames received a No. 22 preseason ranking in the first FCS poll released by the Sports Network.

The Flames will return to the practice field this afternoon at 3:45 p.m. after having Sunday off for Football Media Day and Monday for the University's first day of classes.

Liberty opens its 2011 season on the road in Raleigh, N.C., against N.C. State on Sept. 3, while the Flames will begin their home slate of games on Sept. 10 against Robert Morris.