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FCS Rankings: Power Poll for Week 5

Outside the top five teams, who knows anymore?

FCS Power Poll RankingsWe’ve brought in the FCS leader in punting average, Southern Illinois’ Lane Reazin, for the sole reason of booting teams from the Athlon Sports FCS Power Poll.

 

Three more teams are departing via Reazin’s foot this week as change continues to swirl toward the bottom of the rankings.

 

Thankfully, teams like Richmond and Villanova bring stability to the top 10 of the power poll.

 

Oops, Reazin kicked them downfield, too.

 

Here is the Athlon FCS Power Poll heading into Week 5 of the regular season:

 

1. James Madison

(4-0, 1-0 CAA)

Last Week’s Ranking: 1

Last Week’s Result: 28-10 win over then-No. 22 Maine

Of Note: Once again, Bryan Schor played to his 2016 CAA offensive player of the year level, passing for touchdowns to four different players, as the Dukes won their conference opener.

Next Opponent: at Delaware (Sept. 30)

 

2. North Dakota State

(3-0, 0-0 Missouri Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 2

Last Week’s Result: 56-0 win over Robert Morris

Of Note: How about this statistical line: NDSU junior Lance Dunn scores on all four touches, three carries for 111 yards and three touchdowns, and one reception for a 10-yard touchdown.

Next Opponent: Missouri State (Sept. 30)

 

3. South Dakota State

(3-0, 0-0 Missouri Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 3

Last Week’s Result: Idle

Of Note: The Jackrabbbits’ FBS-level offense is averaging 471 yards per game yet has lacked explosive plays, instead going the longer-drive route for scores.

Next Opponent: at No. 6 Youngstown State (Sept. 30)

 

4. Sam Houston State

(3-0, 1-0 Southland)

Last Week’s Ranking: 4

Last Week’s Result: 66-17 win over Nicholls

Of Note: Like last year, the Bearkats have an all-out assault on opponents in the first half. They’re averaging 36.3 points by halftime.

Next Opponent: at No. 10 Central Arkansas (Sept. 30)

 

5. Jacksonville State

(2-1, 0-0 Ohio Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 5

Last Week’s Result: 31-10 win over then-No. 12 Liberty

Of Note: It’s off to the OVC, where the Gamecocks have won 24 straight contests, but what an impressive finish to the non-conference schedule.

Next Opponent: at Tennessee Tech (Sept. 30)

 

6. Youngstown State

(2-1, 0-0 Missouri Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 7

Last Week’s Result: Idle

Of Note: The Penguins are trying to keep the ongoing courtroom saga of Ma’lik Richmond from being a distraction to the team.

Next Opponent: No. 3 South Dakota State (Sept. 30)

 

7. South Dakota

(3-0, 0-0 Missouri Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 9

Last Week’s Result: Idle

Of Note: A week off is usually welcomed, but the Coyotes hope it doesn’t kill the momentum of one of the best starts to the FCS season.

Next Opponent: at No. 9 Western Illinois (Sept. 30)

 

8. Eastern Washington

(2-2, 1-0 Big Sky)

Last Week’s Ranking: 11

Last Week’s Result: 48-41 win over Montana

Of Note: Incomparable quarterback Gage Gubrud finished with school records for passing yards (549) and total yards (560) while rallying the Eagles from a 24-6 halftime deficit at Montana.

Next Opponent: Sacramento State (Sept. 30)

 

9. Western Illinois

(3-0, 0-0 Missouri Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 13

Last Week’s Result: 52-10 win over Coastal Carolina

Of Note: Quarterback Sean McGuire’s three touchdowns passes powered the ninth win by an FCS team over an FBS program this season.

Next Opponent: No. 7 South Dakota (Sept. 30)

 

10. Central Arkansas

(2-1, 0-0 Southland)

Last Week’s Ranking: 14

Last Week’s Result: Idle

Of Note: Showdown day in the Southland comes early this season. Sam Houston State quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe riddled UCA for seven touchdown passes in last year’s championship battle.

Next Opponent: No. 4 Sam Houston State (Sept. 30)

 

11. Wofford

(3-0, 2-0 Southern)

Last Week’s Ranking: 10

Last Week’s Result: 27-24 win over Gardner-Webb

Of Note: The Terriers are living off last year’s credentials, having won three games by a combined five points. But it’s lifted 30th-year head coach Mike Ayers to 200 career wins in Spartanburg, S.C.

Next Opponent: at Presbyterian (Sept. 30)

 

12. Illinois State

(3-0, 1-0 Missouri Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 15

Last Week’s Result: 34-9 win over Missouri State

Of Note: In the season’s first Missouri Valley game, the Redbirds scored 28 points in the third quarter to separate themselves from a deadlocked first half. Quarterback Jake Kolbe finished with 312 passing yards and had both a touchdown pass and run.

Next Opponent: Indiana State (Sept. 30)

 

13. Richmond

(2-2, 0-1 CAA)

Last Week’s Ranking: 6

Last Week’s Result: 36-33 loss to Elon

Of Note: Despite quarterback Kyle Lauletta’s 497 yards and three touchdowns through the air, the Spiders suffered an inexcusable loss. Did they get caught looking ahead to... a bye week? 

Next Opponent: Albany (Oct. 7)

 

14. UT Martin

(3-1, 1-0 Ohio Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 20

Last Week’s Result: 31-16 win over then-No. 19 Tennessee State

Of Note: Offensive yards were tough to come by (a combined 499) as the Skyhawks continued their impressive start to the season. Safety Tae Martin didn’t have a takeaway for the first time, but he posted a game-high 13 tackles.

Next Opponent: at Austin Peay (Sept. 30)

 

15. Villanova

(2-2, 0-1 CAA)

Last Week’s Ranking: 8

Last Week’s Result: 19-10 overtime loss to Albany

Of Note: It’s never good when a defense has four players registering double digits in tackles, but the Wildcats did against Albany.

Next Opponent: at Towson (Sept. 30)

 

16. New Hampshire

(3-1, 2-0 CAA)

Last Week’s Ranking: 16

Last Week’s Result: 28-14 win over Rhode Island

Of Note: The Rhodies had no answer for UNH quarterback Trevor Knight (420 yards, three touchdowns) and wide receiver Neil O’Connor (11 receptions, 232 yards, one TD).

Next Opponent: Bryant (Sept. 30)

 

17. Liberty

(3-1)

Last Week’s Ranking: 12

Last Week’s Result: 31-10 loss to No. 5 Jacksonville State

Of Note: The Flames wouldn’t win the Ohio Valley Conference title, losing to Jacksonville State by a combined 50 points in non-conference games the last two seasons.

Next Opponent: Saint Francis (Sept. 30)

 

18. The Citadel

(3-0, 1-0 Southern)

Last Week’s Ranking: 18

Last Week’s Result: Idle

Of Note: The Bulldogs are converting an FCS-leading 61.5 percent of third downs (30 of 49) and keeping opponents at a mere 26.7 percent (8 of 30).

Next Opponent: at No. 24 Samford (Sept. 30)

 

19. Albany

(3-1, 1-0 CAA)

Last Week’s Ranking: Unranked

Last Week’s Result: Beat Villanova 19-10 in OT

Of Note: Teams don’t often win by nine points in overtime, but after an Albany field goal, Eli Mencer had an 80-yard scoop and score to finish off Villanova.

Next Opponent: at No. 21 Elon (Sept. 30)

 

20. North Carolina A&T

(4-0, 1-0 MEAC)

Last Week’s Ranking: 25

Last Week’s Result: 49-17 win over Morgan State

Of Note: The trip to South Carolina State will be the Aggies’ toughest remaining game before the regular season finale against rival North Carolina Central.

Next Opponent: at South Carolina State (Sept. 30)

 

21. Elon

(3-1, 1-0 CAA)

Last Week’s Ranking: Unranked

Last Week’s Result: 36-33 win over then-No. 6 Richmond

Of Note: Surprise! Before the season, nobody would have guessed the two Power Poll teams meeting in the CAA in Week 5 would be Albany and Elon.

Next Opponent: No. 19 Albany (Sept. 30)

 

22. Weber State

(3-1, 1-0 Big Sky)

Last Week’s Ranking: Unranked

Last Week’s Result: 41-3 win over UC Davis

Of Note: In the wild and wacky Big Sky, last year’s third-place squad must like its title chances. The Wildcats had 13 tackles for a loss, five sacks and forced three turnovers against UC Davis.

Next Opponent: at Montana State (Sept. 30)

 

23. Northern Iowa

(1-2, 0-0 Missouri Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 24

Last Week’s Result: Idle

Of Note: Senior linebacker Jared Farley, son of veteran head coach Mark Farley, is off to a flying start with 37 tackles in three games.

Next Opponent: at Southern Illinois (Sept. 30)

 

24. Samford

(2-2, 0-1 Southern)

Last Week’s Ranking: 21

Last Week’s Result: 38-34 loss to Western Carolina

Of Note: Bulldogs quarterback Devlin Hodges threw for 516 yards and four touchdowns, but his pass on the game’s last play was denied in Western Carolina’s upset.

Next Opponent: No. 18 The Citadel (Sept. 30)

 

25. Tennessee State

(3-1, 0-1 Ohio Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 19

Last Week’s Result: 31-16 loss to then-No. 20 UT Martin

Of Note: The Tigers are one of the more penalty-laden teams in the FCS, with 42 penalties going for 419 yards.

Next Opponent: Eastern Illinois (Sept. 30)

 

— 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 Elon Athletics)

Event Date: 
Sunday, September 24, 2017 - 08:06

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