Top 25 rankings are made up of “what have you done for me lately” votes. If you lose, you drop. And it’s tough to rise if the teams in front of you keep winning.
MAILBAG: Sam Answers Week 2 Questions
The HERO Sports FCS Playoff Power Poll looks at the entire body of work to decide what the top eight seeds should be if the college football season ended today. Strength of schedule, Division I wins, FBS wins, wins against ranked FCS opponents and results against common opponents are some of the criteria taken into consideration.
Teams will slide up and down, appear and disappear, as their resumes strengthen or weaken throughout the season. After one week of action, here is what FCS writers Brian McLaughlin and Sam Herder believe the playoff seeds should look like today.
Note: Brian is sitting out this week as he deals with the hurricanes down south.
Sam Herder's seeds
1. James Madison (2-0) – The defending champs look really good. Plain and simple. JMU has outscored its opponents 86-24. One of those came against an FBS opponent, which makes the Dukes able to afford a loss somewhere in the CAA. But that may not happen. Because while the Dukes look really good, they aren't playing close to their full potential yet. Look out.
2. North Dakota State (2-0) – The Bison made a statement on Saturday. Eastern Washington may not turn out to be a Top 10 team in the country, but NDSU blasting the Eagles 40-13 opens eyes. And if your eyes can open any wider, here's this: NDSU held all-American quarterback Gage Gubrud to 10-30 passing for 134 yards and two interceptions without its two best defensive players. Depth, depth, depth.
3. South Dakota State (2-0) – The Jackrabbits move up with an impressive win at Montana State. The Bobcats may not be a power program like they once were, but Bozeman isn't an easy place to play. SDSU should handle Drake this weekend and will be rolling heading into the conference season as it looks to defend the MVFC crown.
4. Sam Houston State (2-0) – SHSU had another big offensive game in Week 2 with 44 points. But giving up 31 points to Prairie View A&M makes the win less impressive. The Bearkats do have a ranked win under their belt against Richmond. But they have a ways to go to impress enough to slide into the top two seeds.
5. New Hampshire (2-0) – UNH has quickly slid into the conversation as JMU's biggest threat in the CAA. We always know the Wildcats are a solid, consistent playoff program. But their 22-12 win against FBS Georgia Southern to improve to 2-0 might remind people that they were a semifinal team not too long ago.
6. South Dakota (2-0) – A majority of USD's losses last season were by a touchdown or less. With quarterback Chris Streveler and a lot of experience returning, we figured this is the year the Coyotes break through. So far, they are 2-0 with an FBS win against Bowling Green. We'll figure out even more about them when No. 10 North Dakota visits this weekend.
7. Jacksonville State (1-1) – The Gamecocks' impressive opening-week win against ranked Chattanooga along with a solid first-half performance against Georgia Tech keeps them in the top eight. JSU is likely again to fly through the conference schedule, so next weekend's game against Liberty is huge.
8. Youngstown State (1-1) – Since being down 21-0 at halftime to Pittsburg in game 1, the Penguins have outscored its opponents 51-7. They were an overtime away from being 2-0 with an FBS win. YSU will continue to gain experience with the newcomers, making the national runner-ups a scary team in November.