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 you understand my 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 made 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.
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EXPLAIN YOUR WORK
(full ballot is below)
QUICK SUMMARY: Talk about a migraine headache kind of weekend. This one was tough. Some weekends you just slide teams into place and it's not all that difficult. Then there are other weekends you want to take a Tylenol or seven. Well, I took Tylenol this weekend.
THE RISE: There was a bit of an avalanche effect at the top of my poll ballot with the losses of Top 10s Maine and Eastern Washington, shifting a lot of schools up a spot. Even idle teams like UNI and Yale shifted upwards because of what happened above them. It happens sometimes. Towson was a big riser, from No. 7 to No. 4 on my ballot, as were Illinois State, Villanova and Montana State — and even though Furman fell to Virginia Tech, the Paladins gave the Hokies and Ga. State hell in back-to-back weeks and I can't help but move them up two spots. Furman is going to be a force in the FCS and is now clearly my top choice for SoCon frontrunner status.
THE FALL: Obviously Maine and Eastern Washington fell, and Alcorn, Eastern Kentucky and Sam Houston fell out of the poll for now. Obviously that can all change soon. UC Davis bumped down a spot, but that was more because of Towson's win than anything the Aggies did wrong.
STAYING STATIC: The top three teams didn't move. They've all been impressive but are to hit the gauntlet of their conferences pretty soon — then we'll know more about them. Central Arkansas has survived the past two weeks after a decisive win over FBS Western Kentucky. Nicholls is a similar situation. I really want to see more out of these two Southland teams before moving them up more, and if they have more nailbiters I may have to consider a slight drop in my poll ballot — even if they're wins.
NEW BLOOD: The SE Louisiana, Jacksonville State, Eastern Washington gaggle is one that had to be acknowledged in this poll. The Lions beat Jacksonville State, who in turn has won two in a row since that loss and beat highly ranked Eastern Washington this past weekend. All three of them are in the poll, albeit low, until they begin to distance themselves from this first three weeks of results. The bottom line is, you can't rank Jacksonville State unless you rank SE Louisiana, and the Lions gave Ole Miss fits this weekend too. The other newbie is 2-1 Sacramento State, who pummeled Northern Colorado by 50 and gave Arizona State all it wanted in Week Two. Keep an eye on the Hornets.
MORE DATA: Nicholls is a team that I feel needs to show us more to maintain its lofty spot in my ballot. I feel strongly this program is good, and the past couple of years back that up. But the Colonels need a signature win fast, and they nearly fell to Prairie View A&M. I kept them in their spot from last week, but will drop if there are more close wins against teams they probably should handle more decisively. In the "also considering" category, I have five teams I'd like to see bust through with one more solid performance before we consider a Top 25 vote. Check them out below:
B-MAC'S FCS POLL BALLOT
|NO||WEEK 3 BALLOT||WEEK 3 RESULT||WEEK 3 NOTES|
|1||JMU||Beat Morgan St. 63-12||NO MOVEMENT|
|2||NDSU||Beat Delaware 47-22||NO MOVEMENT|
|3||SDSU||Beat Drake 38-10||NO MOVEMENT|
|4||TOWSON||Beat Maine 45-23||Needed to move up|
|5||UC DAVIS||Beat Lehigh 41-13||Towson more impressive|
|6||ILLLINOIS ST.||Beat Eastern Illinois 21-3||Stongest showing|
|7||VILLANOVA||Beat Bucknell 45-10||Very strong looking|
|8||UCA||Beat Abilene Chr. 31-30||FBS win, finds a way|
|9||FURMAN||LOST AT P5 VA TECH 24-17||2 NEAR FBS WINS – UP|
|10||NICHOLLS||Beat Prairie View 42-35||Needs to show more, soon|
|11||UNI||IDLE||Don't drop idle teams|
|12||WEBER||LOST AT FBS NEVADA 19-13||Don't drop FBS loss teams|
|13||MONTANA ST.||Beat Western Illinois 23-14||Will go 3-0 vs FCS non-conf|
|14||YALE||IDLE||Don't drop idle teams|
|15||MONTANA||LOST TO OREGON 35-3||Don't drop FBS loss teams|
|16||MAINE||LOST VS. TOWSON 45-23||Still quality program|
|17||YOUNGSTOWN||Beat Duquesne 34-14||Will go 4-0 in FCS non-conf|
|18||KSU||Beat Alabama St. 42-7||Is there a reg. season test?|
|19||NC A&T||Beat Char. South. 27-21||Went 2-0 in FCS non-conf|
|20||ELON||Beat Richmond 42-20||Gaining momentum now|
|21||THE CITADEL||Beat P5 Ga. Tech 27-24 (OT)||How good can this team be?|
|22||SE LOUISIANA||LOST AT P5 OLE MISS 40-29||Down 5 in the 4th Q|
|23||JACKSONVILLE ST.||Beat EWU 49-45||Big time win at home|
|24||EWU||LOST AT JVILLE STATE 49-45||No strong showing yet|
|25||SACRAMENTO ST.||Beat No Colorado 50-0||P5 loss to Az St was close|
|AC||SEMO||LOST TO P5 MIZZOU||Need more data|
|AC||SIU||Beat UT Martin 28-14||One more key FCS win – in|
|AC||WILLIAM & MARY||Beat Colgate 38-10||A win or two away from poll|
|AC||AUSTIN PEAY||Beat Mercer 48-34||Need more data|
|AC||MCNEESE||Beat Alcorn St. 17-14||Two HBCU wins, 1 P5 loss|
|DROPPED (FOR NOW)|
|DRP||ALCORN||LOST AT MCNEESE 17-14|
|DRP||EKU||LOST AT INDIANA ST. 19-7|
|DRP||SAM HST||LOST AT NORTH DAKOTA 27-23|
NEXT: Playoff Field Predictions
RELATED: Sam's Top 15 National Title Favorites
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