The Skyhawk football team keeps climbing the I-AA national rankings and find themselves in the top ten for the first time in school history.
After the weekend’s Homecoming win over No. 14 Eastern Illinois, the Skyhawks rose from No. 12 to No. 10 in The Sports Network’s I-AA Football Poll.
The win over the Panthers was UTM’s seventh consecutive and now they stand atop the Ohio Valley Conference standings with a 4-0 mark and a 7-1 overall record.
The last time the Skyhawks won seven consecutive games was in 1988, the year they advanced to the Division II playoffs.
The Skyhawks are ranked as high as No. 9 in Don Hansen’s National Weekly Football Gazette and the CSN Coaches Poll lists them at No. 10.
Though a Top 10 ranking is unprecedented, three conference games still remain on the Skyhawks’ schedule and a loss will not only drop them in the rankings but more importantly put more pressure on them in the race for the conference title. Tennessee State is also unbeaten in conference play with a 4-0 record.
Perhaps the novelty of being a nationally ranked program has worn off slightly as the Skyhawks have been in the top 25 for five straight weeks.
When asked about the Skyhawks’ ranking, junior starting center Billy Krause said, “Top ten is great but we’re focused on where we’ll be at the end of the season. This is the highest we’ve been but this is still our most important week. Beating SEMO is all we care about, not where we’ll be ranked once we beat SEMO.”
The Skyhawks will continue to push toward an OVC championship when they travel to Cape Girardeau, Mo. to play Southeast Missouri State, Sat. Nov. 4.
The Skyhawks’ last regular season home game is against Eastern Kentucky Nov. 11.
They close out the regular season with a Nov. 18 game at familiar foe Murray State, coached by former Skyhawk head coach Matt Griffin.