With the return of quarterback John Robertson, the reigning Walter Payton Award-winner, and linebacker Don Cherry, the Buck Buchanan Award runner-up, Villanova leads the way among ASN-affiliated schools in Lindy's FCS Preseason Top 25 at No. 2.
The Wildcats, No. 4 in the Sporting News and No. 5 in Athlon, are one of five CAA and 12 ASN-affiliated teams to make the annual college football preview magazine’s list.
Villanova finished 11-3 overall and 7-1 in conference games last year, earning the No. 6 seed for the FCS playoffs and reaching the quarterfinals.
The other ranked ASN-affiliated teams by conference:
- CAA: New Hampshire at No. 9, Richmond at No. 12, James Madison at No. 17 and William & Mary at No. 21.
- Big South: Coastal Carolina at No. 7 and Liberty at No. 13.
- Ivy League: Harvard at No. 25.
- Ohio Valley: Jacksonville State at No. 6 and Eastern Kentucky at No. 18.
- Patriot: Fordham at No. 23.
- Southern: Chattanooga at No. 5
Lindy's FCS Preseason Top 25
- North Dakota State
- Sam Houston State
- Illinois State
- Jacksonville State
- Coastal Carolina
- Eastern Washington
- New Hampshire
- South Dakota State
- Montana State
- Northern Iowa
- Stephen F. Austin
- James Madison
- Eastern Kentucky
- South Carolina State
- Indiana State
- William & Mary
- Youngstown State
- McNeese State
On the cover: Villanova's John Robertson, the 2014 Walter Payton Award winner. (Courtesy Villanova Athletics)