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Eastern finishes fourth in final FCS poll

Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin is 66-24 in seven seasons with the Eagles. (Dan Pelle)
Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin is 66-24 in seven seasons with the Eagles. (Dan Pelle)

The Eastern Washington football season ended a bit sooner than usual, but the Eagles and their strength of schedule were rewarded Monday with a No. 4 ranking in the final Football Championship Subdivision poll.

Thanks to a schedule that included six top 25 teams - plus a narrow 59-52 loss at Washington - the Eagles (11-3) finished behind only FCS champion North Dakota State, runner-up Illinois State and semifinalist New Hampshire. It didn't hurt that Eastern won the Big Sky Conference title for the third straight year.

 

The Eagles (11-3) have been a regular lately in the final the final poll, which is sponsored by The Sports Network.

The 34 victories in the last three seasons represents by a landslide – by seven wins -- the best three-year stretch of success in the school's football history.  The 2008-2010 and 2009-11 teams won 27 games.

It's also the fourth-best in Big Sky Conference history, ranking only behind the 39 games Montana won between 2000-02 and 2007-09, and the 38 the Grizzlies won between 1994-96.

Next year, Eastern will play four teams ranked in the top 25, including non-conference games against Northern Iowa (#10) and Montana State (#20). The Eagles will play Big Sky Conference foes Montana (#13) and Idaho State (#25), as well as a non-league game at Oregon, which plays for the national title tonight in the NCAA Football Bowl Division Subdivision.



Jim Allen
Jim Allen joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently covers K-12 education and women's basketball.

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