The Western Illinois Fighting Leathernecks Football Team is ranked 19 in the Athlon Sports Preseason FCS Top 25 Poll. Western is one of five teams in the Missouri Valley Football Conference to make the list. WIU is also the only university in the state of Illinois to crack the top 25, with Illinois State earning a spot in the "others to watch," category.
The Leathernecks went 6-5 (3-5 MVFC) last season, but lost four of their final five games. The team returns 18 starters in Charlie Fisher's second season at the helm of the program.