The FCS poll that HERO Sports' Sam Herder and I vote in is the official media poll put out by Craig Haley and STATS. Below you'll find my weekly take on where I think teams should fit in, based on the final results of the weekend, etc etc. — as well as taking the entire season into account.
A precursor (so readers understand the reasoning) … if an FCS team lost to an FBS team, they won't drop massively (or at all) because of that loss — and if they took it down to the wire, I may even reward the FCS team if the circumstances allow for it. If an FCS beat up on a D-2 or NAIA team? I'll never vote for them to rise. An FBS win or a D-2/NAIA loss will always significantly affect my vote. I want my ballot to basically reflect FCS on FCS action, with an FBS win being a bonus, or a lower division loss being reason to drop a team several spots. I also will never drop a team and rarely will float a team up if they're idle that weekend. I'll wait for the next result.
[divider]MORE FCS FOOTBALL:
EXPLAIN YOUR WORK
(full ballot is below)
QUICK SUMMARY: Like last week, I'll keep this short since we dug into the playoff picture a few hours ago — but the top ten stays roughly the same, the upper crust of the FCS seems to be forming and solidfying, but there are still teams that are knocking on the door to get some Top 25 respect. I'm going to stick to my guns on the previous statement that roughly the Top 15 to maybe the mythical No. 35ish spot are rather interchangeable for many reasons. There are many arguments that can be made. Oh, and folks … I added the "SOS" column this week for strength of schedule, using the Massey rankings. It'll help people understand maybe a little better why I'm putting certain teams where they are.
THE FALL: I had to drop Central Arkansas hard after the Bears were blown out at home against an unranked SE Louisiana team that has had its ups and downs this year. I also dropped South Dakota State so that it was behind Illinois State after that result this past weekend, but SDSU still has two weeks — including this weekend's game with UNI — to improve its stock. Princeton and North Dakota are on the outside looking in, for now. And North Carolina A&T and New Hampshire are completely off my radar right now, so they're dropped completely.
STAYING STATIC: I'm going to be holding the Ivy League, MEAC leader and NEC leader steady probably through the end of the year. I did bump up the Pioneer League's leader, San Diego, a tad … but that'll probably be the extent of it. These programs deserve ranking love, but I'm not going to let them drift too highly in my poll ballot.
NEW BLOOD: SE Louisiana deserved to pop into this poll ballot, and highly. The Lions have had some impressive results this year, with a couple of hiccups. At this point though, the overall body of work is solid and they look like a potential at-large berth team. They'll have to take care of business the final week on a Thursday against Nicholls to truly be in consideration. Albany and Towson are two CAA bubble teams that could potentially hit 8-4 this year, and The Citadel also moves into the poll.
MORE DATA: You can see the teams in this category. We need some statement wins, folks. Badly. There are lots of interesting candidates for that No. 26 through No. 35 range, just aching to get into the national rankings.[divider]
B-MAC'S FCS POLL BALLOT
(LW – Last week's B-Mac ballot; SOS– Massey's FCS Strength of Schedule ratings)
|NO||WEEK 11 BALLOT||REC||STRK||LW||SOS||WEEK 11 RESULT||WEEK 11 NOTES|
|1||NDSU||10-0||W10||1||16||Won vs. WIU 57-21||Bison continue to roll|
|2||JMU||9-1||W8||2||22||Won vs. New Hamp. 54-16||Impressive showing once again|
|3||WEBER||8-2||W7||3||3||Won vs. North Dakota 30-27||Hangover game after Sac State?|
|4||UNI||7-3||W4||5||6||Won vs. Ind. State 17-9||Defense, Defense, Defense|
|5||SACRAMENTO ST.||7-3||W1||6||1||Won at NAU 38-24||Hangover game win after Weber St?|
|6||MONTANA||8-2||W3||7||5||Won vs. Idaho 42-17||Locked up a playoff spot today|
|7||ILLINOIS ST.||7-3||W1||8||18||Won at SDSU 27-18||Massive win – is this a seed now?|
|8||SDSU||7-3||L1||4||13||LOST TO Ill. State 27-18||QB injury – can D and run game win out?|
|9||FURMAN||7-3||W3||9||46||Won vs. VMI 60-21||Impressive showing|
|10||MONTANA ST.||7-3||W2||11||25||Won at No. Colo. 45-14||Very impressive road showing for 'Cats|
|11||WOFFORD||6-3||W1||12||58||Won at Mercer 41-7||Six straight FCS wins now|
|12||VILLANOVA||7-3||W1||13||31||Won vs. Richmond 35-28||Solidifies playoff potential|
|13||DARTMOUTH||8-0||W8||15||54||Won vs. Princeton 27-10||Grabs hold of the Ivy League now|
|14||SOUTHERN ILL.||6-4||W4||19||23||Won vs. Mo. State 37-14||Four straight wins. Playoff team?|
|15||SE LOUISIANA||6-3||W3||AC||48||Won at UCA 34-0||BIG shutout win on the road|
|16||UCA||7-3||L1||10||26||LOST VS. SE Louisiana 34-0||Head-scratching loss for Bears|
|17||MONMOUTH||8-2||W6||17||69||Won vs. No. Alabama 49-38||Won't move up after this win|
|18||AUSTIN PEAY||7-3||W3||23||74||Won vs. UT Martin 38-24||Could this be the best APSU team ever?|
|19||SEMO||7-3||W4||18||44||Won vs. EKU 38-31||Nine wins looks very doable now|
|20||FAMU||8-1||W8||20||88||IDLE||Don't move Idle teams|
|21||SAN DIEGO||7-2||W7||24||86||Won at Stetson 51-7||Cruising towards another Pioneer title|
|22||CCSU||9-1||W6||22||102||Won vs. St Francis 38-31 (OT)||Hold steady – no bump up this week|
|23||ALBANY||6-4||W1||OUT||41||Won at Delaware 21-17||Tied for 2nd in the CAA right now|
|24||TOWSON||6-4||W2||AC||15||Won at Stony Brook 31-14||Could Tigers climb back into playoff pic?|
|25||THE CITADEL||6-4||W3||AC||53||IDLE||Don't drop Idle teams|
|ALSO CONSIDERED (AC)|
|AC||PRINCETON||7-1||L1||14||64||LOST VS. Dartmouth 27-10||First loss in 17 games|
|AC||NORTH DAKOTA||5-4||L1||16||7||LOST AT Weber St. 30-27||Should wrap season 7-4. Where to rank?|
|AC||YALE||7-1||W4||AC||55||Won at Brown 59-35||Keeping an eye on Bulldogs|
|AC||SAM HOUSTON ST.||6-4||W1||OUT||60||Won at Abilene Chr. 24-10||Two winnable games ahead for 8-4|
|AC||UC DAVIS||5-5||W1||OUT||2||Won at Portland State 45-28||SOS may make UC Davis a factor|
|AC||NICHOLLS||6-4||W2||OUT||40||Won vs. HBU 48-27||If Colonels win out – 8-2 vs. FCS|
|AC||TENN. TECH||6-4||W2||OUT||68||Won vs. Jacksonville St. 37-27||Golden Eagles can hit 8-4. Eye on them.|
|AC||MAINE||5-5||W3||OUT||21||Won at Elon 31-17||Bears are hot, 2 FBS losses – good SOS|
|DRP||NC A&T||6-3||L1||21||LOST AT Morgan St. 22-16||Must drop from poll now|
|DRP||NEW HAMP.||5-4||L1||25||LOST AT JMU 54-16||Must drop from poll now|
|DRP||ALCORN ST.||6-3||L1||AC||LOST AT Grambling 19-16||Now what?|
|DRP||UT MARTIN||6-4||L1||AC||LOST AT Austin Peay 38-24||Has Tenn. St. and then SEC team left|
|DRP||RICHMOND||5-5||L1||AC||LOST AT Villanova 35-28||Drop|
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