Tarleton State continues its gradual climb in the national football polls this week, moving up to No. 14 in both the American Football Coaches Association and the D2football.com polls released Tuesday.
In the AFCA rankings, Tarleton again stepped up one spot, having cracked the top 15 last week. In the D2football poll it took a bigger step as the Texans moved forward two spots from No. 16.
The top of the polls saw no change as No.1-No.8 remained the same in both. Grand Valley State is still the consensus No. 1.
The Lone Star Conference is now tied for atop all leagues in the AFCA poll with four representatives in the rankings. All four are in the top 15, as No. 9 West Texas A&M, No. 12 Midwestern State and No. 15 Abilene Christian join the No. 14 Texans in the poll. The South Atlantic Conference also has four. WTAMU is No. 9 in the D2Football list with MSU and Tarleton at No. 12 and No.14 respectively, and ACU at No. 16.
Tarleton defended its home turf against Southwestern Oklahoma State last week, 43-19. Meanwhile, WTAMU dominated Texas A&M-Kingsville 36-3, MSU knocked off Angelo State 44-16 and ACU handed Eastern New Mexico its first loss, 45-20.
The Southwest is the only region to have three teams in the top 10, according to the AFCA. No. 3 Chadron State and No. 9 Northwest Missouri State join No. 10 WTAMU. In all eight teams from the region are in the top 25 with Pittsburg State holding the No. 16 spot and Mesa State joining the poll this week at No. 25.
Brad Keith is the sports editor at the Empire-Tribune. He can be reached at (254) 965-3124, ext. 241, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.