Following a 48-23 loss to FBS Big 12 member Baylor Saturday, Sam Houston State now stands No. 3 in both major NCAA FCS national polls.
The Bearkats, with a 1-1 mark, own the number three spot in the Sports Network FCS rankings. Sam Houston is tied for third in the NCAA FCS Coaches Poll.
Sam Houston's national ranking this week marks the 15th consecutive week that the Bearkats have been a top 25 FCS squad. That is a record for the SHSU football program.
Unranked at the start of the 2011 season, Sam Houston cracked last year's rankings after a third week victory over Central Arkansas. At that point, the Kats had not been ranked since 2007.
Sam Houston rolled to an 11-0 regular season record to earn the No. 1 ranking going into last year's NCAA playoffs. SHSU finished No. 2 in the final poll after a loss to North Dakota State in the national championship game in Frisco.
The Bearkats were No. 1 in the Sports Network poll and No. 2 in FCS Coaches' rankings at the start of the 2012 season.
Central Arkansas, this week's Bearkat opponent in the Southland Conference opener for both teams in Conway Saturday afternoon, stands No. 21 in the FCS Coaches' Poll and No. 25 in Sports Network's rankings.
Saturday's contest, which will be telecast live to a four-state audience on the Southland Television Network, marks the 22nd time Sam Houston has played an FCS opponent with both teams ranked in the polls. The Kats are 12-9 in games in which both SHSU and its opponent are ranked.
McNeese State, another Southland member, stands 17th in the FCS Coaches poll and No. 19 in the Sports Network ranking. Stephen F. Austin is receiving votes in both polls.
The Bearkats will take on SFA in the annual "Battle of the Piney Woods" at Reliant Stadium in Houston on Saturday, Oct. 6.
Tickets for the "Battle of the Piney Woods" are available now online at www.gobearkats.com/tickets and at the SHSU athletic ticket office. Ticket office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The ticket office telephone is (936) 294-1729.