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FCS Football: Predictions for the Best 10 Games in Week 6

FCS Football: Predictions for the Best 10 Games in Week 6

FCS Football: Predictions for the Best 10 Games in Week 6

If you're missing those game shows that air in prime time during the summer, we're here to tell you the truth.

We're even going to press our luck with predictions.

It's October, so it's time to separate the pretenders from the contenders. Included in this week's best FCS games are some teams either barely in or sitting just outside the Athlon FCS Power Poll (that's shameless cross-promotion, like a good TV executive).

Here’s a countdown of the 10 best games of Week 6:

Note: All times ET. Rank in front of team refers to the FCS Power Poll.

10. Stephen F. Austin (1-4, 1-1 Southland) at Sam Houston State (3-2, 2-0)

4 p.m. in Houston, Saturday

The "Battle of the Piney Woods" is fast becoming the Sam Houston Invitational with the Bearkats on an eight-game winning streak over SFA. If the Lumberjacks are saying eight is enough, this may get back to being a good rivalry.

The Pick: Sam Houston State

9. Dartmouth (2-0, 0-0 Ivy) at Penn (1-1, 0-0)

7 p.m., Friday

The visiting Big Green must not be happy they ranked second in the FCS in scoring defense last season, allowing 12 points per game. Through two games, they've allowed an FCS-low nine points. But this week, they're facing Penn workhorse Karekin Brooks, who's averaging an FCS-high 180 rushing yards per game.

The Pick: Dartmouth

8. Central Connecticut State (3-1, 0-0 Northeast) at Sacred Heart (3-1, 1-0)

2 p.m., Saturday

Players in the NEC were brought up properly — they've been taught to share. There's been an outright conference champion only twice this decade. Make no mistake, though, the winner of this pivotal game doesn't plan to look back. Unless, you're CCSU — the Blue Devils are still looking back at the blocked punt that blew an FBS win at Eastern Michigan.

The Pick: Central Connecticut State

7. Idaho State (2-2, 1-0 Big Sky) at No. 9 Montana (4-1, 1-0)

3 p.m., Saturday

The Griz are coming off a rout of UC Davis for their best win in four years and it would be just like them to fall at home to Idaho State in their 100th all-time Homecoming game. Actually, something seems different about this year's team. Oh yeah, they're no longer blowing games in the fourth quarter. Advantage, Griz.

The Pick: Montana

6. No. 19 Eastern Washington (2-3, 1-0 Big Sky) at Sacramento State (2-2, 0-0)

9 p.m., Saturday

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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Well, Sacramento weather isn't quite the same as what they had in Cheney, Wash., last Saturday. With quarterback Kevin Thomson and the Sac State offense rested from a bye week, this road trip may snowball on Eastern Washington, the Big Sky preseason favorite.

The Pick: Sacramento State

5. No. 2 James Madison (4-1, 1-0 CAA) at No. 25 Stony Brook (4-1, 1-0)

6 p.m., Saturday

Dartmouth, Sacramento State, and Sam Houston State are the first three teams outside the power poll and Stony Brook is the last team in. Um, not for long, the Dukes are in town.

The Pick: James Madison

4. No. 17 Youngstown State (4-0, 0-0 Missouri Valley) at No. 11 Northern Iowa (2-2, 0-0)

5 p.m., Saturday

The Penguins are playing their first true road game of the season and head coach Bo Pelini is going for his 99th career win. They have their running game going and UNI doesn't heading into this defensive struggle.

The Pick: Youngstown State

3. No. 7 Furman (3-2, 2-0 Southern) at Samford (3-2, 2-0)

3 p.m. Saturday

The season-opening FCS Kickoff matchup of Youngstown State versus Samford looks better by the week after featuring not one unranked team for the first time but two. The Bulldogs are the only SoCon team to hold a series lead over Furman (11-10). Coming off a 61-55 win over The Citadel in four overtimes, they’ll find Furman’s defense, which has allowed 20 points in two SoCon games, much more formidable.

The Pick: Furman

2. No. 12 Central Arkansas (3-1, 1-0 Southland) at No. 20 Nicholls (2-2, 1-0)

4 p.m., Saturday

This key Southland matchup could have been No. 1 if Nicholls had gotten the job done in the second half at Texas State last week because UCA already owns an FBS win (Western Kentucky). The Bearkats have come from behind in all three of their wins, so Breylin Smith and Co. won’t be fazed if the conference’s preseason favorite has a lead.

The Pick: Central Arkansas

1. No. 1 North Dakota State (4-0, 0-0 Missouri Valley) at No. 8 Illinois State (3-1, 0-0)

1 p.m., Saturday

Our Illinois State upset pick in last year's matchup stirred up the Bison faithful more than a Montana fan being told Montana State is better. We're not making the same mistake this year even if we think Brock Spack's mustache is better than yours.

The Pick: North Dakota State

Last Week’s Record: 9-1 (.900)

Season Record: 35-15 (.700)

— Written by Craig Haley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Haley has covered the FCS level since 1999 and is the national writer for www.fcs.football. He appears frequently on radio shows and podcasts to discuss everything FCS. Follow him on Twitter @CraigHaley.

(Photo courtesy of Illinois State Athletics)