Southeastern finishes 15th in final FCS Polls

Published 2:48 pm Monday, January 10, 2022

The Southeastern Louisiana University football team finished ranked 15th in the final 2021 Stats Perform FCS and AFCA FCA Coaches top 25 polls, which were released Monday.

Southeastern’s appearance in the final polls marks the third straight season in which the Lions ended among the nation’s top 25 programs. SLU is one of six FCS programs that has been ranked in the top 25 to end each of the past three seasons, along with North Dakota State, James Madison, South Dakota State, Villanova and Kennesaw State.

The No. 15 ranking also marks Southeastern’s highest under head coach Frank Scelfo and the program’s highest final billing since the 2014 season (14th – Stats Perform, then Sports Network; 12th – AFCA).

The 2021 Lions climbed as high as No. 6 in the national polls on the way to advancing to the NCAA FCS Playoffs for the fourth time in school history. In the postseason, Southeastern opened with a 35-14 home victory over Florida A&M, before falling at eventual national semifinalist James Madison in the second round.

The SLU offense led FCS in scoring offense (45.1 ppg), completion percentage (72.8) and first downs (376), while also ranking among the national top five in third-down conversion percentage (52.1, 2nd), fourth-down conversion percentage (70.0, 5th), passing offense (407.2 ypg, 2nd), passing efficiency (173.35, 2nd) and total offense (551.8 ypg, 2nd).

Behind a stalwart offensive line that featured five All-Southland Conference selections, consensus All-American and Southland Player of the Year Cole Kelley spread the ball around to a multitude of talented skill players highlighted by the all-conference quartet of Austin Mitchell, Nolan Givan, Gage Larvadain and Taron Jones.

The Southeastern defense finished eighth in the FCS with a Southland-high 17 interceptions. All-American Zy Alexander led SLU and finished eighth in FCS with six interceptions. The Lion secondary will feature three All-Americans in 2022 in Alexander, Ferlando Jordan and Brandon Barbee.

National champion North Dakota State was the unanimous No. 1 pick in both final polls. Southeastern and UIW (No. 12 – Stats Perform; No. 13 – AFCA) represented the Southland in both polls.

SLU will open spring practice on March 8. The Lions will open the 2022 season at UL Lafayette on Sept. 3.

Stats Perform FCS Top 25

Team (First-place votes)                   Record            Points  Prv.

  1. North Dakota State(50) 14-1                 1,250   3
  2. Montana State 12-3                 1,173   7
  3. James Madison 12-2                 1,165   2
  4. South Dakota State11-4                 1,051   11
  5. Sam Houston 11-1                 1,046   1
  6. Montana 10-3                 1,008   5
  7. Eastern Washington 10-3                 924      4
  8. Villanova 10-3                 919      6
  9. ETSU 11-2                 879      9
  10. Sacramento State9-3                   745      8
  11. Kennesaw State 11-2                 740      10
  12. UIW 10-3                 682      13
  13. UT Martin 10-3                 654      16
  14. Missouri State 8-4                   531      12
  15. Southeastern 9-4                   522      18
  16. Southern Illinois 8-5                   504      21
  17. UC Davis 8-4                   439      14
  18. South Dakota 7-5                   326      17
  19. Holy Cross 10-3                 319      24
  20. Dartmouth 9-1                   281      19
  21. Stephen F. Austin8-4                   268      20
  22. Jackson State 11-2                 259      15
  23. Northern Iowa 6-6                   132      NR
  24. Princeton 9-1                   116      23
  25. Florida A&M 9-3                   114      22

Others Receiving Votes: Mercer 76, South Carolina State 35, Rhode Island 23, Sacred Heart 23, Eastern Kentucky 15, Davidson 12, Harvard 8.

AFCS FCS Coaches Top 25

Team (First-place votes)                   Record            Points  Prv.

  1. North Dakota State(24) 14-1                 600      3
  2. Montana State 12-3                 571      9
  3. James Madison 12-2                 548      2
  4. Sam Houston 11-1                 520      1
  5. South Dakota State11-4                 471      11
  6. Montana 10-3                 470      5
  7. ETSU 11-2                 438      8
  8. Villanova 10-3                 435      7
  9. Eastern Washington 10-3                 416      6
  10. Kennesaw State 11-2                 399      4
  11. Sacramento State9-3                   358      12
  12. UT Martin 10-3                 307      13
  13. UIW 10-3                 297      15
  14. Missouri State 8-4                   276      10
  15. Southeastern 9-4                   248      17
  16. UC Davis 8-4                   205      16
  17. Southern Illinois 8-5                   203      23
  18. Stephen F. Austin8-4                   188      19
  19. Jackson State 11-2                 136      14
  20. South Dakota 7-5                   133      20
  21. Princeton 9-1                   130      18
  22. Holy Cross 10-3                 117      24
  23. Dartmouth 9-1                   89        20
  24. Florida A&M 9-3                   88        22
  25. Northern Iowa 6-6                   62        25

Others Receiving Votes: Davidson 20, Sacred Heart 18, South Carolina State 17, Eastern Kentucky 13, Mercer 9, Monmouth 6, Chattanooga 5, Harvard 4, Columbia 1, Elon 1, Rhode Island 1.

2021 opponents in bold italics

TICKETS
For ticket information, contact the Southeastern Athletics Ticket Office at (985) 549-5466 or visit www.LionSports.net. Southeastern will continue offering mobile ticketing as the primary source for securing tickets. All tickets will be available via e-mail or text message in a PDF format for fans to download on their phone or print at home. Tickets can also be downloaded to Apple Wallet.

SOCIAL MEDIA
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TOUCHDOWN CLUB/S CLUB

Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the football program are encouraged to join the Touchdown Club. Lion football alums are encouraged to join the exclusive S Club, which is restricted to Southeastern athletic letter winners.

All membership fees and donations to both the Touchdown Club and S Club (football) are available for the exclusive use of the Southeastern football program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at laa@southeastern.edu or (985) 549-5091 or visiting www.LionUp.com.

CLEAR BAG POLICY

Southeastern Athletics instituted a clear bag policy for all ticketed events, effective with the start of the 2018 football season. For more information on the clear bag policy, visit www.LionSports.net/clear.

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