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Flames Wrap Up Regular Season Ranked No. 22

November 23, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty finished the regular season ranked No. 22 in both the Sports Network and FCS Coaches polls.

Liberty finished the regular season ranked No. 22 in both the Sports Network and FCS Coaches polls.

Sports Network poll

FCS Coaches poll

Following their third-straight, eight-win season, the Liberty football program finished the 2009 regular season ranked No. 22 in the Sports Network and FCS Coaches polls, as announced by both organizations today.

Liberty dropped its season finale on the road on Saturday, as the Flames fell, 36-33, on a last-second touchdown from homestanding Stony Brook at LaValle Stadium. The loss snapped a Big South record 16-game conference winning streak for the Flames, which had dated back to the 2006 season.

Each teams finished the Big South season with identical 5-1 conference records, giving both squads a share of the conference crown. For Liberty, it was the Flames' third-straight Big South title, while it was the first for the Seawolves.

The season-ending loss dropped the Flames down in the final regular-season polls, as Liberty ranked No. 16 in the previous week's Sports Network listing and No. 17 in the prior FCS Coaches poll.

The Flames were ranked inside the Top 25 for the last six regular season polls and nine total weeks throughout the 2009 season. Dating back to last season, Liberty has now been ranked inside the Top 25 22 out of the last 28 weekly polls.

The Flames find themselves behind No. 21 Penn in the Sports Network poll and No. 21 Florida A&M in the FCS Coaches listing. The team's reversed positions below the Flames, as the Rattlers were ranked No. 23 in the Sport Network poll and the Quakers were No. 23 in the FCS Coaches ranking.

The national FCS media and FCS coaches differed at the top of their respective rankings. Southern Illinois, who finished the regular season with a 10-1 record, is the No. 1 ranked team in the final regular season Sports Network ranking, while unbeaten Montana, 11-0, was the top-ranked team in the FCS Coaches poll.

Both national listings will issue one final ranking following the NCAA FCS national championship game on Dec. 18.

Liberty's ranking is likely to remain unchanged, marking the second-straight year the Flames will finish a season ranked in the final Top 25 listing. Last year, Liberty's school-record 10-2 season helped Liberty grab the No. 14 ranking in the final Sports Network poll and the No. 15 spot in the last FCS Coaches poll.