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.
A precursor (so readers understand the reasoning) … if an FCS team lost to an FBS team, they'll never drop because of a 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 their next result.
[divider]MORE FCS FOOTBALL:
EXPLAIN YOUR WORK
(full ballot is below)
QUICK SUMMARY: I really didn't have a whole lot of movement on my ballot this week. This was because I felt like some of the wins by my ranked teams weren't impressive enough to bump the team up much, though certainly I'm not going to drop them either. There were also several Idle teams and teams playing FBS teams. I will say that I felt like Saturday solidified my stance on the James Madison-NDSU discussion — my ballot having JMU No. 1 since June. I feel like we saw some questions arise with the Bison this weekend, and I think JMU is playing like a machine — and again, any FCS team that outrushes West Virginia 172 to 34 yards and 1.4 yards per carry? That's a pretty darned good FCS team.
THE RISE: The two really notable ones were Villanova and Furman. I just really wanted my poll ballot vote to reflect those two programs and their big wins. 'Nova is now 4-0 and Furman is 2-2 and is just a tick off of 4-0 with two FBS wins (Paladins led in the second half in both). Nobody else made massive moves upwards.
THE FALL: Eastern Washington had to drop out of the poll after falling to Idaho. It would appear the Eags are rebuilding a bit more than we all anticipated, but this program will be back. Because I'm not quite ready to consider ranking Idaho (maybe after another win or two? The Vandals did push Wyoming too), I can't put EWU in. I did drop Towson, but really not that much (4th to 8th). There's no reason the Tigers, who have had some impressive results this year, should drop 10 or more spots for an overtime loss to a team as strong as Villanova. Towson is still going to be a massive FCS Playoff factor.
STAYING STATIC: I think one notable team I "kept static" or "steady" was UC Davis. I just refuse to mindlessly drop a team that went to Fargo and played North Dakota State so tough. So tough so that late in that game, we at HERO Sports were trying to figure out how exactly to play this upset on our website. The Aggies really played tough, so I kept them at No. 5 despite the loss. Several key teams were Idle this week, and this is just about the last week of FBS games, so as usual I don't really budge FCS teams that fall to FBS teams, unless it was a down-to-the-wire affair and in that instance I may even bump a team up a tad.
NEW BLOOD: On my ballot, that would be Princeton. The Tigers were up 42-0 at the half on Butler. Not too shabby a start for the season, as the Ivy League didn't crank up until this past weekend. That makes 11 wins in a row for Princeton as it attempts to repeat as Ivy champs.
MORE DATA: I added Portland State to this list because the Vikings have been intriguing through four games. They've played two FBS teams, falling at the SEC's Arkansas by only seven points, which I find rather impressive. They also have two lower level blowout wins. I'm adding them to the list of schools to keep an eye on moving forward.
B-MAC'S FCS POLL BALLOT
|RK||WEEK 4 BALLOT||WEEK 4 RESULT||WEEK 4 NOTES|
|1||JMU||Beat Chattanooga 37-14||Big win on the road|
|2||NDSU||Beat UC Davis 27-16||Bison were challenged|
|3||SDSU||Beat Southern Utah 43-7||Continue to roll – MVFC next|
|4||VILLANOVA||Beat Towson in OT||Wildcats looking solid|
|5||UC DAVIS||Lost at NDSU 27-16||No way UC Davis drops|
|6||FURMAN||Beat Mercer 45-10||A true riser on my ballot|
|7||ILLLINOIS ST.||Beat NAU 40-27||Solid win – steady|
|8||TOWSON||Lost in OT to Villanova 52-45||Tough loss, not the end of TU|
|9||UCA||LOST TO FBS Hawaii 35-16||Don't drop FBS loss teams|
|10||NICHOLLS||Beat SFA 48-30||Clock is ticking here – 1 more wk|
|11||UNI||Beat Idaho St. 13-6||Quality Big Sky win – steady|
|12||WEBER||IDLE||Don't drop idle teams|
|13||MONTANA ST.||Beat Norfolk St. 56-21||Solid win – steady|
|14||YALE||Beat Holy Cross 23-10||Solid win – steady|
|15||MONTANA||Beat Monmouth 47-27||Solid win – steady|
|16||MAINE||Beat Colgate 35-21||Keeping steady|
|17||YOUNGSTOWN||IDLE||Don't drop idle teams|
|18||KSU||Beat Missouri St. 35-24||Still keeping steady|
|19||NC A&T||IDLE||Don't drop idle teams|
|20||ELON||LOST TO P5 Wake Forest 49-7||Don't drop P5 loss teams|
|21||THE CITADEL||Beat Char. Southern 22-13||A win – steady for now|
|22||SE LOUISIANA||Beat Lamar 45-34||Proving it's worth|
|23||JACKSONVILLE ST.||Beat No. Alabama 30-12||3 home non-conf wins in row|
|24||SACRAMENTO ST.||LOST TO FBS FRESNO ST. 34-20||Don't drop FBS loss teams|
|25||PRINCETON||Beat Butler 49-7||Up 42-0 at half – um, wow|
|AC||SEMO||Beat West Va. State 56-10||Don't bump up D2 wins|
|AC||SIU||LOST TO FBS ARK. STATE 41-28||Really pushed Ark St – may rk|
|AC||WILLIAM & MARY||LOST TO FBS EAST CAR. 19-7||Gave ECU fits –|
|AC||PORTLAND ST.||Beat D2 Eastern Oregon 59-6||P5 loss to Arkansas – only by 7|
|DRP||EWU||LOST TO IDAHO 35-27||Not rankable – for now|
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