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 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: Man oh man that last couple of spots was truly a circular-firing-squad-crap-shoot on who to put in. It truly took me an hour to sift through the candidates for that No. 23 to No. 25 section and it made me dizzy. So I took some Advil, turned on the Tampa Bay Bucs game with the Saints and realized … this will probably make it worse, so maybe I should finish voting. At any rate, we have a gaggle of schools that aren't quite rankable … but are right on the cusp and just need one, maybe two more wins in a row to erase some early season bad memories. This happens every year about this time.
THE RISE: North Dakota State jumps ahead of James Madison this week based on the Bison win over Illinois State. Who are we kidding, that was an impressive win on the road in Illinois. Meanwhile, James Madison needed overtime to knock off a strong Stony Brook team, but really the switch was more because NDSU finally got that convincing win (and let's face it, the UC Davis win diminishes in "optics value" each week based on the Aggies' struggles at this point). But NDSU doesn't need to hang its hat on the UC Davis win anymore, it has the Illinois State win and several other monster matchups coming up to build the resume. JMU also has games lying ahead to do the same, including the Villanova game this weekend. My take? This may not be the only time these two programs swap spots.
Also, Montana moves from No. 7 to No. 4 based on its play the past few weeks. I also bumped UNI from No. 16 to No. 10 while also keeping in mind the Panthers obviously need to be behind Weber State, who they fell to. Lower in the poll, a large contingent moved up because they kept their resume's clean and several others dropped down (or out) of the poll ballot, and these clean-resume teams were rewarded.
THE FALL: UC Davis, SE Louisiana and Southern Illinois had to drop from the ballot based on losses or who they lost to. Of course they can all rebound and jump back in later.
STAYING STATIC: I refused to drop Stony Brook after its overtime loss to James Madison, and honestly the Seawolves drifted upwards a bit because of the plethora of teams who lost and dropped. Also, I really feel like Yale, North Carolina A&T and Kennesaw State need to stay in the middle of the poll, at least for now, until we see data that requires a rise. They certainly belong in the poll, but I don't think they should drift too highly.
NEW BLOOD: I put New Hampshire, North Dakota and Sam Houston State into the final three spots, but these three spots had me hunting for an hour as mentioned above. I think cases could be made for several schools in these spots. For instance, there are some OVC and Southland schools that might have an argument in a week or two, also.
MORE DATA: I looked for schools that have won several games in a row after maybe dropping an early one — and a school like Wofford came to mind because the Terriers truly still have a chance to do some special things going forward. It remains to be seen if this will happen, but QB Joe Newman is certainly the kind of guy who could pull that off. Also, Dartmouth is 3-0 and 20-3 the past 2.5 seasons. We'll be keeping an eye on the Ivys going forward.[divider]
B-MAC'S FCS POLL BALLOT
|NO||WEEK 6 BALLOT||REC||WEEK 6 RESULT||WEEK 6 NOTES|
|1||NDSU||5-0||Beat Illinois St. 37-3||Impressive statement result|
|2||JMU||5-1||Beat Stony Brook 45-38 (OT)||Survives in OT|
|3||SDSU||4-1||Beat SIU 28-10||Solid effort against good team|
|4||MONTANA||5-1||Beat Idaho St. 59-20||Griz are rocking it right now|
|5||FURMAN||4-2||Beat Samford 58-14||4-0 vs FCS – two near FBS wins|
|6||VILLANOVA||6-0||Beat William & Mary 35-28||Cats survive on the road|
|7||MONTANA ST.||5-1||Beat Cal Poly 34-28 (OT)||Cats go on the road and win|
|8||WEBER||3-2||Beat Idaho 41-35||Survives on road, hold steady|
|9||TOWSON||3-2||IDLE||Keep idle teams steady|
|10||UNI||3-2||Beat Youngstown St. 21-14||Impressive statement result|
|11||NICHOLLS||3-2||Beat Cent. Arkansas 34-14||Statement win at home|
|12||ILLLINOIS ST.||3-2||LOST TO NDSU 37-3||A true statement result|
|13||YOUNGSTOWN||4-1||LOST TO UNI 21-14||Tight road loss to good UNI team|
|14||YALE||3-0||Beat Fordham 48-24||Solid win – keep steady|
|15||NC A&T||4-1||Beat Norfolk State 58-19||Looking solid once again|
|16||KSU||4-1||IDLE||Keep idle teams steady|
|17||UCA||3-2||LOST TO NICHOLLS 34-14||Have to drop some|
|18||SACRAMENTO ST.||3-2||Beat EWU 48-27||Big win, both losses to FBS teams|
|19||PRINCETON||3-0||Beat Columbia 21-10||Another solid Ivy win|
|20||SEMO||3-2||Beat Tenn Tech in OT||Beat a 4-2 team …|
|21||DELAWARE||3-2||IDLE||Keep idle teams steady|
|22||STONY BROOK||4-2||LOST TO JMU 45-38 (OT)||Refuse to drop SB this week|
|23||NEW HAMPSHIRE||3-2||Beat Elon 26-10||Recovering after slow start|
|24||NORTH DAKOTA||3-2||Beat UC Davis 38-36||Still need more data here|
|25||SAM HOUSTON ST.||4-2||Beat SFA 31-20||Three straight since UND loss|
|AC||WOFFORD||3-2||Beat ETSU 35-17||Three straight wins after 0-2|
|AC||DARTMOUTH||3-0||Beat Penn 28-15||Now 20-3 the past 3 yrs|
|AC||FAMU||4-1||Beat No. Car. Cent. 28-21||Four straight wins – 1 FBS loss|
|AC||CCSU||4-1||Beat Sacred Heart 28-3||A play away from 5-0 w/FBS win|
|AC||MAINE||2-3||IDLE||Keep idle teams steady|
|DRP||UC DAVIS||2-4||LOST TO UND 38-36||Must drop now|
|DRP||SE LOUISIANA||3-2||LOST TO MCNEESE||Must drop now|
|DRP||SIU||2-3||LOST TO SDSU 28-10||Tough loss for scrappy team|
NEXT: FCS Playoff Predictions After Week 6
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