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FCS Rankings: Top 25 Power Poll Following Week 10

FCS Rankings: Top 25 Power Poll Following Week 10

FCS Rankings: Top 25 Power Poll Following Week 10

“If the playoffs started today...” is a familiar phrase across the FCS because everybody speculates about the 24-team field.

FCS

While there has been a lot of “ifs” all season, there’s no pondering the status of North Dakota State and Colgate — they claimed the first two automatic bids in a strong Week 10. Also, James Madison took an unexpected tumble in the crowded CAA and defending champ Wofford fell from first in the Southern Conference.

Here’s the Athlon FCS Power Poll for games through Nov. 3:

1. North Dakota State

(9-0, 6-0 Missouri Valley)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 1

Last Week’s Result: 17-7 over Youngstown State

The Bison were tied after three quarters, but pulled away in the fourth to clinch at least a share of their record eighth straight MVFC title as well as the automatic bid to the FCS playoffs.

Next Opponent: at Missouri State (Nov. 10)

2. Kennesaw State

(8-1, 4-0 Big South)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 2

Last Week’s Result: 49-0 over Campbell

On Senior Day, the Owls honored 22 players, including 17 who were part of their first recruiting class. Their very first signee, QB Chandler Burks, accounted for five touchdowns, including four on the ground to hit 50 for his career.

Next Opponent: at Monmouth (Nov. 10)

3. South Dakota State

(6-2, 4-2 Missouri Valley)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 4

Last Week’s Result: 59-7 win over Missouri State

The Jackrabbits’ four first scoring drives went a combined 237 yards yet they needed only nine plays. QB Taryn Christion ended the game with 10,551 career passing yards, leaving him 40 shy of the MVFC record.

Next Opponent: at Southern Illinois (Nov. 10)

4. UC Davis

(8-1, 6-0 Big Sky)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 5

Last Week’s Result: 42-20 win over Northern Arizona

The Aggies might have to make practice tougher this week — their 42 points against NAU were a season low. Well, it should be tougher — they’re going to Eastern Washington for their biggest game of the season.

Next Opponent: at Eastern Washington (Nov. 10)

5. Weber State

(7-2, 5-1 Big Sky)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 6

Last Week’s Result: Sacramento State

With Jake Constantine having settled the quarterback position, the Wildcats are gearing up for the playoffs. They’d like to gain some more games at Stewart Stadium because they’re 5-0 there this season and 18-3 over the last four years.

Next Opponent: at Southern Utah (Nov. 10)

6. Eastern Washington

(7-2, 4-1 Big Sky)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 7

Last Week’s Result: 48-13 win over Northern Colorado

The Eagles totaled six sacks and three interceptions in a superb defensive effort. None of their six Big Sky opponents has scored more than 17 points.

Next Opponent: UC Davis (Nov. 10)

7. Elon

(6-2, 4-1 CAA)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 8

Last Week’s Result: 24-21 win over Rhode Island

Lightning strikes: In the final two minutes of the first half, Jaylan Thomas rushed for an 86-yard touchdown and Warren Messer scored on an 86-yard interception return.

Next Opponent: Towson (Nov. 10)

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8. Colgate

(8-0, 5-0 Patriot)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 10

Last Week’s Result: 41-0 win over Fordham

The Raiders’ fifth shutout tied the FCS single-season record, first set by South Carolina State in 1978. But it’s not a Colgate school record because the 1935 team blanked seven opponents.

Next Opponent: at Lehigh (Nov. 10)

9. Delaware

(7-2, 5-1 CAA)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 11

Last Week’s Result: 21-16 win over Albany

Kani Kane’s 4-yard TD run with 18 seconds left lifted the Blue Hens, who have their first five-game winning streak since 2010. That's when they last appeared in the playoffs and were the national runners-up.

Next Opponent: at Stony Brook (Nov. 10)

10. James Madison

(6-3, 4-2 CAA)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 2

Last Week’s Result: 35-24 loss to New Hampshire

Yes, it’s a big drop for the Dukes, who need to regroup after a brutal loss — six turnovers, QB Ben DiNucci gets pulled out — and win at least one of their final two games to qualify for the playoffs.  

Next Opponent: Rhode Island (Nov. 10)

11. Maine (6-3, 5-1 CAA)

12. Stony Brook (6-3, 4-2 CAA)

13. Jacksonville State (7-2, 6-1 Ohio Valley)

14. Princeton (8-0, 5-0 Ivy)

15. UNI (5-4, 4-2 Missouri Valley)

16. Southeast Missouri(7-2, 5-1 Ohio Valley)

17. Wofford (6-3, 5-2 Southern)

18. ETSU (8-2, 6-1 Southern)

19. Idaho State (6-3, 5-1 Big Sky)

20. Nicholls (6-3, 5-2 Southland)

21. Towson (6-3, 4-2 CAA)

22. Samford(5-4, 4-2 Southern)

23. North Carolina A&T (7-2, 4-1 MEAC)

24. Western Illinois (5-4, 4-2 Missouri Valley)

25. McNeese(6-3, 5-2 Southland)

FCS Conference Rankings

1. Missouri Valley Football Conference – UNI, Western Illinois putting together playoff resumes.

2. CAA Football – Flip-flop back to No. 2 with James Madison’s fall in the rankings.

3. Big Sky Conference – UC Davis, Weber State and Eastern Washington are all unbeaten at home.

4. Southern Conference – The outlook has improved — The SoCon could gain three playoff bids.

5. Ivy League – Princeton’s 14-9 win over previously unbeaten Dartmouth lived up to the expectations.

6. Southland Conference – The outlook has worsened — could the Southland be a one-bid conference?

7. Ohio Valley Conference – Some disappointing teams with Austin Peay, Eastern Illinois and UT Martin.

8. Big South Conference – It’s the game everybody’s waited for: Kennesaw State at Monmouth.

9. Northeast Conference – Two big matchups this week: Sacred Heart at Duquesne and Central Connecticut State at Saint Francis.

10. Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference – Despite loss, Florida A&M still in driver’s seat over North Carolina A&T.

11. Patriot League – The average margin of win in three league games this past week was 32.

12. FCS Independents – With loss at Idaho, North Dakota might have blown a playoff bid.

13. Southwestern Athletic Conference – West Division title hinges on the Bayou Classic (Grambling State versus Southern) on Nov. 24.

14. Pioneer Football League – How did Butler (3-6, 1-5) beat Youngstown State in Week 1?

— 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 Robert Casey/Weber State Athletics)