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FCS Rankings: Power Poll for Week 10

Illinois State RB James Robinson

OK, there’s no sugar-coating it anymore: Once you move beyond, say, the first 10 teams of the Athlon Sports FCS Power Poll, you’re on your own.

FCS

Week after week all season, many of the top subdivision teams have dropped like flies trying to survive the fall chill. While only one of last week’s top 12 teams lost (No. 8 Western Illinois, which was matched against No. 7 South Dakota State), nine of the next 13 teams went splat this past weekend.

Here is the Athlon FCS Power Poll heading into Week 10 of the regular season:

1. James Madison

(8-0, 5-0 CAA)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 1

Last Week’s Result: 21-0 win over New Hampshire

Of Note: In JMU’s Division I-high 20th straight win, quarterback Bryan Schor set the Dukes’ career record for touchdown passes (53).

Next Opponent: at Rhode Island (Nov. 4)

2. North Dakota State

(8-0, 5-0 Missouri Valley)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 2

Last Week’s Result: 30-14 win over then-No. 13 Northern Iowa

Of Note: Junior linebacker Levi Jordheim tied both the school and MVFC single-game records with three fumble recoveries.

Next Opponent: at No. 7 South Dakota State (Nov. 4)

3. Jacksonville State

(7-1, 5-0 Ohio Valley)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 3

Last Week’s Result: 23-7 win over Southeast Missouri State

Of Note: Members of the Gamecocks’ 1992 Division II national championship squad were on hand to watch this year’s team make it 29 straight wins in the OVC.

Next Opponent: Murray State (Nov. 4)

4. South Dakota

(7-1, 4-1 Missouri Valley)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 4

Last Week’s Result: 42-0 win over Southern Illinois

Of Note: Senior quarterback Chris Streveler was knocked from the game early with a shoulder injury, but he’s expected to be fine for the Coyotes’ stretch run.

Next Opponent: at No. 19 Northern Iowa (Nov. 4)

5. Central Arkansas

(7-1, 6-0 Southland)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 5

Last Week’s Result: 47-17 win over then-No. 22 McNeese

Of Note: Hayden Hildebrand threw two touchdowns each to Brandon Cox and Lester Wells.

Next Opponent: at Lamar (Nov. 4)

6. Sam Houston State

(7-1, 5-1 Southland)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 6

Last Week’s Result: 33-23 win over Southeastern Louisiana

Of Note: On the rare occasion that Sam Houston State ran the ball 48 times compared to just 26 pass attempts, Corey Avery rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns.

Next Opponent: Incarnate Word (Nov. 4)

7. South Dakota State

(6-2, 3-2 Missouri Valley)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 7

Last Week’s Result: 52-24 win over then-No. 8 Western Illinois

Of Note: Jackrabbits quarterback Taryn Christion accounted for six touchdowns, including three to wide receiver Jake Wieneke, who raised his career total to 54 – good for No. 3 in FCS history.

Next Opponent: No. 2 North Dakota State (Nov. 4)

8. Elon

(7-1, 5-0 CAA)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 9

Last Week’s Result: 19-14 win over then-No. 18 Villanova

Of Note: Kortez Weeks had 11 receptions for 205 yards in the Phoenix’s seventh straight victory. They’ve come by a combined 28 points.

Next Opponent: Towson (Nov. 4)

9. Wofford

(7-1, 5-1 Southern)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 10

Last Week’s Result: 31-24 win over ETSU

Of Note: Another week, another tight Wofford game. Seven of the eight have been decided by seven points or less.

Next Opponent: Chattanooga (Nov. 4)

10. Northern Arizona

(6-2, 5-0 Big Sky)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 11

Last Week’s Result: 37-17 win over Sacramento State

Of Note: Quarterback Case Cookus completed 35-of-57 passes for 407 yards and one touchdown, while the defense produced two scores off interceptions.

Next Opponent: at Montana (Nov. 4)

11. Southern Utah

(6-2, 4-1 Big Sky)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 12

Last Week’s Result: 27-14 win over Northern Colorado

Of Note: The Thunderbirds have clinched a third straight winning season for the first time.

Next Opponent: North Dakota (Nov. 4)

12. Eastern Washington

(5-3, 4-1 Big Sky)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 14

Last Week’s Result: Bye

Of Note: A year after losing three 1,000-yard receivers, Nic Sblendorio (576) and Nsimba Webster (562) lead the Eagles in receiving yards.

Next Opponent: No. 15 Weber State (Nov. 4)

13. Illinois State

(6-2, 4-1 Missouri Valley)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 24

Last Week’s Result: 35-0 win over then-No. 21 Youngstown State

Of Note: The Redbirds racked up 299 rushing yards behind Markel Smith (124 yards, one touchdown) and James Robinson (117 yards, three touchdowns).

Next Opponent: No. 14 Western Illinois (Nov. 4)

14. Western Illinois

(5-3, 2-3 Missouri Valley)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 8

Last Week’s Result: 52-24 loss to No. 7 South Dakota State

Of Note: The Leathernecks have dropped two straight games and don’t want to match some of their late-season collapses in recent years. They also started 5-1 last season, finishing 6-5.

Next Opponent: at No. 13 Illinois State (Nov. 4)

15. Weber State

(6-2, 4-1 Big Sky)

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Last Week’s Ranking: Unranked

Last Week’s Result: 41-27 win over then-No. 19 Montana

Of Note: The Wildcats jumped to a 31-0 first-half lead in handling Montana. The scored 21 points off the Griz’s five turnovers.

Next Opponent: at Eastern Washington (Nov. 4)

16. North Carolina A&T

(8-0, 5-0 MEAC)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 20

Last Week’s Result: Bye

Of Note: A win over Norfolk State would give head coach Rod Broadway’s squad its first-ever 9-0 start and a fourth straight season of at least nine wins for the first time.

Next Opponent: at Norfolk State (Nov. 4)

17. Furman

(6-3, 5-1 Southern)

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Last Week’s Ranking: Unranked

Last Week Result: 28-6 win over then-No. 15 Western Carolina

Of Note: Antonio Wilcox (202 yards, TD) and Kealand Dirks (119 yards, 2 TDs) fueled a 363-yard ground assault at Western Carolina. The Paladins’ three losses are to teams that are a combined 20-4.

Next Opponent: The Citadel (Nov. 11)

18. Stony Brook

(6-2, 5-1 CAA)

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Last Week’s Ranking: Unranked

Last Week’s Result: 27-24 win over then-No. 23 Richmond

Of Note: The Seawolves never trailed against Richmond. Wide receiver Ray Bolden came up huge with 13 receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns.

Next Opponent: Albany (Nov. 4)

19. Northern Iowa

(4-4, 3-2 Missouri Valley)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 13

Last Week’s Result: 30-14 win over No. 2 North Dakota State

Of Note: The Panthers turned the ball over five times and managed only 157 net yards with quarterback Eli Dunne getting sacked six times.

Next Opponent: No. 4 South Dakota (Nov. 4)

20. Nicholls

(6-2, 5-1 Southland)

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Last Week’s Ranking: Unranked

Last Week’s Result: 38-31 win over Incarnate Word

Of Note: Chase Fourcade passed for a career-high 358 yards as well as three touchdowns, including two to Dai’Jean Dixon.                   

Next Opponent: Houston Baptist (Nov. 4)

21. Western Carolina

(6-3, 4-2 Southern)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 15

Last Week’s Result: 28-6 loss to Furman

Of Note: Standout quarterback Tyrie Adams was injured as the Catamounts fell from a tie for first place in the SoCon. Redshirt freshman Ray Smith replaced Adams.

Next Opponent: at The Citadel (Nov. 4)

22. Samford

(5-3, 3-2 Southern)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 16

Last Week’s Result: 23-21 loss to Chattanooga

Of Note: In a game with 11 turnovers, Samford committed seven of them. Star quarterback Devlin Hodges threw three interceptions and lost two fumbles.

Next Opponent: at Mercer (Nov. 4)

23. Grambling State

(7-1, 4-0 SWAC)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 25

Last Week’s Result: 50-24 win over Texas Southern

Of Note: Quarterback Devante Kincade had a hand in Grambling’s first four touchdowns.

Next Opponent: at Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Nov. 4)

24. Delaware

(5-3, 3-2 CAA)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 18

Last Week’s Result: 18-17 loss to Towson

Of Note: Once again, the Blue Hens struggled to get the passing game going in an utterly disappointing loss to struggling Towson.

Next Opponent: at Maine (Nov. 4)

25. Richmond

(4-4, 2-3 CAA)

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Last Week’s Ranking: 23

Last Week’s Result: 27-24 loss to Stony Brook

Of Note: The majority of the statistics favored the Spiders against Stony Brook except the most important one on the scoreboard.

Next Opponent: at Villanova (Nov. 4)

Power Poll Possibilities: Kennesaw State (7-1, 3-0 Big South); Monmouth (7-1, 2-0 Big South); New Hampshire (5-3, 3-2 CAA)

— 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 Illinois State Athletics)