Albany State quarterback Stanley Jennings, left, looks for a receiver downfield during the Rams' preseason scrimmage Saturday. Jennings led ASU to an 11-1 record and No. 4 final ranking last season, and based on that past success, ASU starts the season ranked in the Top 10 in three different D-II polls.
ALBANY -- The preseason Top 25 rankings keep piling up, and the Albany State Rams just keep taking them in stride.
"It's nice," Rams coach Mike White said of ASU's latest preseason honor -- a No. 10 ranking in the D2Football.com Preseason Top 25 Poll that was released Tuesday. "There were a lot of years where we were not (in the Top 25), so it's nice to be there. I just want us to push to be there in the end."
The Rams have been ranked in every major Division II poll this preseason, including ninth in the AFCA Coaches' Poll, 13th in the Sporting News D2 Football Preview and 14th in the Lindy's Football Preview Preseason Top 25.
The defending SIAC and SBN Black College National Champions were also ranked on top of the Heritage Sports Radio Network Preseason HBCU Division II Top 10 Poll.
All of these honors come after the Rams finished 2010 with an 11-1 record and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Division II playoffs.
WHO: Albany State (0-0) vs. Savannah State (0-0).
WHAT: Season opener for both teams, annual Music City Classic.
WHEN: 5 p.m., Sept. 3.
And White and the ASU players are fully aware that these preseason rankings are based more on last season's results than anything else.
"Being on teams (growing up), I was always told not to worry about it because it was just last year's season," said senior receiver Octavius Staton, who was the lone Ram selected to the Boxtorow Preseason HBCU All-American Team. "It means something for what we did last year, but we have to show it this year to keep us up there.
"We still have a lot of work to do, but right now we are good. We are moving forward, and things are looking good."
White agreed that the Rams are beginning to put things together on the field as the preseason -- one that saw two top linemen ruled academically ineligible and two top running backs go down with serious knee injuries -- winds down.
"We had a good meeting (Monday), and a scrimmage over the weekend," White said. "I think some guys are getting the ABCs and 123s of the defense and offense down. I am proud of that, and we are just going to continue to work."
ASU opens its season Sept. 3 in Macon against Division I Savannah State in the Music City Classic.
Also ranked in theD2Football.com Preseason Top 25 Poll are Valdosta State (14th) and Wingate (19th) -- ASU's opponents on Sept. 10 and 17, respectively.