I am grateful to have a vote in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 poll. I will publish my Top 25 every week for everyone to see, and I’m sure rationally discuss with a clear lens.
Some notes at the bottom.
24. Jackson State
23. North Dakota
22. South Dakota
21. Missouri State
18. Weber State
17. Northern Iowa
16. UT Martin
14. Kennesaw State
13. UC Davis
12. Rhode Island
11. Southeastern Louisiana University
9. Montana State
7. James Madison
6. South Dakota State
4. Southern Illinois
3. Eastern Washington
2. North Dakota State
1. Sam Houston
The Top 3 were pretty easy for me. SHSU, who started out as my preseason No. 1, went from No. 2 last week to the top spot. SHSU still has the perfect recipe to win a national title — explosive, balanced offense, physical defense, and solid on special teams.
I put NDSU No. 2 after what its offense did against a good UNI defense. If the Bison get performances from Quincy Patterson like that (2 passing TDs, 2 rushing TDs), this Bison team is loaded for a run to Frisco. NDSU is playing at an elite level defensively, but injuries are starting to mount up on that side of the ball.
EWU may have a better on-paper resume than NDSU, but I’d still take the Bison in a head-to-head game. And I value “who would I pick to win” over “what’s on paper.” The Eagles are my No. 3 team, but are very much in the driver’s seat for a Top 2 playoff seed.
From there, it got tricky…
The reason for that is because it felt weird ranking SDSU No. 6 and JMU No. 7. Why? Well, because I still think SDSU is the most complete team in the FCS if it plays to its potential. The Jacks are just too inconsistent in-game with mental lapses, even in some of their blowout wins (which they could afford then, but it proved costly against SIU) to have me picking them against any of the Top 5 teams right now. That could change if they flip the switch. And JMU still has as good of a chance to make it to Frisco as anyone. The Dukes should not lose again in the regular season. And SDSU has multiple home games against ranked opponents still to come. Both JMU and SDSU could end up back in the Top 4 at some point.
I put SIU No. 4, a team I’ve been pretty high on all season and have had at No. 6 or No. 7 this year. Villanova is No. 5, a team who has really impressed me all year offensively and defensively, I was just waiting to see it against a quality FCS opponent. SIU and Nova are very balanced teams with a ton of talented players. They have tough games ahead of them, though, so they can’t afford emotional letdowns and need to keep this momentum going with teams right behind them in the rankings that are also deserving to be in the Top 5.
Montana and Montana State can climb the ranks, especially MSU with some big ranked games upcoming. The Bobcats have quietly been really, really good. But their strength of schedule hasn’t been great. With games against Weber and EWU looming, they can show they belong higher in the rankings. The Griz have a favorable schedule before hosting MSU in the Brawl of the Wild.
ETSU, SLU, and Rhody just keep winning. SLU’s offense is insanely good, and ETSU and Rhody are off to historic starters.
Kennesaw is slowly rising the rankings. Getting healthier, the Owls are 3-0 against FCS opponents and have looked good with decisive wins against Wofford, Jacksonville State, and Hampton.
Teams like UC Davis, Delaware, Missouri State, and UND dropped several spots after losses. Rhode Island rose pretty high and South Dakota entered the Top 25. I kept Mo State ahead of South Dakota with its head-to-head win, but Mo State’s loss this weekend to YSU was a head-scratcher.
The other team to enter my Top 25 is Jackson State, who obliterated Alabama A&M. With a win against FAMU and a near FBS win against Louisiana-Monroe, Jackson State is looking legit.
With Jackson State and South Dakota entering my ballot, the two teams that dropped were last week’s No. 24 SFA and No. 25 Duquesne. SFA lost to Jacksonville State, who I’m not ready to rank yet. And Duquesne barely beat Bryant. The Dukes have a good record at 4-1 with an FBS win, but I felt there were 25 more deserving teams to be ranked.
NEXT: Week 7 Resumes