MURFREESBORO - Middle Tennessee ended the 2009 football season with its highest ranking in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Both polls unveiled their final rankings Friday morning.
The Blue Raiders received 12 votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, the most in school history, to end the year tied for 33rd nationally. The media gave Middle Tennessee four votes in the Associated Press Poll as the Blue Raiders finished 37th overall. Both rankings are the highest for the program in school history.
"Winning 10 games in college football, along with a bowl game, is very hard to do," said Head Coach Rick Stockstill. "The voters recognized that we were one of just 21 teams nationally to get 10 wins and that says a lot about our program and the success our players and coaches had this season."
Middle Tennessee, the first Sun Belt Conference team to ever win 10 games in a season, capped the 2009 campaign in dramatic fashion by capturing its first-ever FBS bowl victory. The Blue Raiders upset Southern Miss, 42-32, in the New Orleans Bowl as quarterback Dwight Dasher rushed for 201 yards and accounted for four touchdowns.
The Blue Raiders will put a close to the 2009 season on January 16 with their annual awards banquet. The event will take place at the Embassy Suites Hotel and will get underway at 5 PM. Fans wanting to attend can call 615-898-2926 by January 12 and reserve a seat for $40.