Texan Football slotted 19th in 2024 FCS Preseason Top 25 Rankings


STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton State will become a fully-fledged NCAA Division I program next season after successfully completing their four-year reclassification period, and Texan Football is projected to be a championship contender right away in their first opportunity at the playoffs.

The Texans were ranked in the top-20 in a prominent FCS preseason poll, slotted No. 19 in Craig Haley’s 2024 FCS Football Preseason Top 25 Rankings on Opta Analyst.

Haley coordinates the Stats Perform national media poll that is used as one of two official rankings during the season. Projected to coordinate with 55 national voters next year, Haley will push this preseason poll for a basis in Stats Perform’s official preseason rankings poll before the 2024 season.

In February, Haley pegged Tarleton State as having “the best chance [to make the playoffs] among the schools that are seeking their first FCS playoff bid in 2024.”

Tarleton State has shined at the NCAA Division I level, posting four straight winning seasons and finishing with the third highest winning percentage in a reclassification period since 2004 at .610 (25-16). Among all Texas D1 and D2 programs since 2018, the Texans own the best winning percentage in the state at .727 (48-18).

Last season, the Texans went 8-3 overall, 4-2 in conference play, finishing tied-second in the United Athletic Conference. They likely would have received an FCS playoff at-large bid, if eligible. Head coach Todd Whitten was named the UAC Coach of the Year after Tarleton had it going across all three phases in 2023. Offensively, the Texans were ranked first in the conference in yards per play (6.4, 11th most nationally), first in rush yards per game (201.7, 12th nationally), first in rush touchdowns (25, 16th nationally), second in points per game (33.3, 13th nationally), second in yards per game (430.5, 14th nationally) and second in yards per rush (5.2, 17th nationally). Defensively, the Texans had the most defensive touchdowns in the conference (four, tied-fourth nationally), were first in fumbles recovered (11, tied-ninth nationally), first in yards per play (4.8, 17th nationally), first in sacks (26, tied-28th nationally), tied-third in takeaways (18, tied-36th nationally), tied-third in tackles for loss (65, tied-39th nationally), and fourth in scoring defense (24.5 points per game, tied-46th nationally). On special teams, Tarleton was first in kickoff return (24.3 yards per return, eighth nationally) and second in punt return (18.2 yards per return, fourth nationally).

Haley’s full 2024 FCS Football Preseason Top 25 rankings:
1. North Dakota State
2. South Dakota State
3. Montana
4. South Dakota
5. Montana State
6. Villanova
7. Sacramento State
8. Idaho
9. William & Mary
10. Central Arkansas
11. Chattanooga
12. Southern Illinois
13. UIW
14. Illinois State
15. Weber State
16. Furman
17. Lafayette
18. Elon
19. Tarleton State
20. Richmond
21. UAlbany
22. Nicholls
23. Western Carolina
24. Eastern Illinois
25(t). UT Martin
25(t). Youngstown State

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