UTC was ranked No. 8 at the end of last season that included its first ever appearance in the quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs. The Mocs are coming off a 10-4 record and return 42 letter winners and 16 starters. Chattanooga also grabbed a No. 8 ranking from Sporting News earlier in the month.
Athlon reinforced the significance of the Sept. 5 home opener by giving Jacksonville State a No. 4 listing. The Mocs and Gamecocks kick off at 6 p.m. (EDT) in Finley Stadium in the only regular season FCS game between outright conference champions. UTC lost last year's matchup with JSU, 26-23 in overtime.
Southern Conference member Western Carolina grabbed the No. 23 spot in Athlon's rankings. It is the first preseason ranking of any kind for the Catamounts since 1994. UTC hosts WCU on Oct. 31 as a part of a five-game home schedule.
Season tickets are on sale now on GoMocs.com or by calling the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627).
Athlon Sports Preseason FCS Top-25 1. North Dakota State 2. Illinois State 3. Sam Houston State 4. Jacksonville State 5. Villanova 6. Eastern Washington 7. Coastal Carolina 8. Chattanooga 9. New Hampshire 10. Youngstown State 11. Norther Iowa 12. Liberty13. Montana State 14. James Madison 15. Eastern Illinois 16. McNeese State 17. Montana 18. Idaho State 19. South Dakota State 20. Richmond 21. Eastern Kentucky 22. Harvard 23. Western Carolina 24. Cal Poly 25. Indiana State