STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton moved up five spots in the latest national poll released by the American Football Coaches Association and are now the No. 16-ranked team in the country.
Tarleton improved to 5-0 for the first time since 2013 last Saturday night by topping Eastern New Mexico 48-28 in Stephenville. In addition to being the best start in five years, it is also the first time a Tarleton team has started 5-0 under head coach Todd Whitten.
The Texans are one of three Lone Star Conference teams ranked in the AFCA national poll, joining Texas A&M-Commerce at No. 7 and MSU Texas at No. 12. Commerce upended MSU Texas last weekend in a game that was delayed at halftime and moved to Apogee Stadium in Denton on Sunday afternoon. West Texas A&M has been receiving votes in each of the last two weeks.
This marks the fifth different season that Tarleton has been ranked under head coach Todd Whitten. The ninth-year leader of the Texans led Tarleton to its first national ranking in 2001 and took them as high as No. 6 in the nation during the 2002 season. This is the 89th week in Tarleton’s NCAA history the Texans have been ranked, including the third straight this year.
Tarleton will head to Commerce for its first AFCA Top 25 showdown since 2014 when the Texans take on the defending national champion Lions at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon. It will be the first time in the program’s NCAA history the Texans have played against the defending national champions the previous season.