FCS Rankings: Top 25 Power Poll Following Week 10

We're here to save the playoff selection committee some time with their rankings

The Athlon FCS Power Poll is ready to offer its services to the Division I Football Championship Committee, which on Wednesday night will release an FCS top-10 ranking just under three weeks out from Selection Sunday (Nov. 24).

 

It's been a dizzying last few weeks with top teams getting picked off regularly in conference play, so the decisions aren't easy. If the committee members want to consult us, our fees are low.

 

Ivy League teams don't participate in the playoffs, so unbeatens Dartmouth and Princeton, who square off on Saturday, won't be in the committee rankings. Just go with our 1-9 and then bump up Montana State to No. 10.

 

Wait, we just gave it all away for free.

 

Here's the Athlon FCS Power Poll following Week 10 games:

 

1. North Dakota State

(9-0, 5-0 Missouri Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 1

Last Week’s Result: 56-17 win over Youngstown State

Notable: Yup, only freshmen: Trey Lance accounted for four total touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) and Kobe Johnson had 241 all-purpose yards, scoring on a 75-yard run and a 94-yard kickoff return.

Next Game: Western Illinois (Nov. 9)

 

2. James Madison

(8-1, 5-0 CAA)

Last Week’s Ranking: 2

Last Week’s Result: Bye

Notable: The Dukes have gotten a big lift from Penn State transfer Brandon Polk, who leads the team in receptions (44), receiving yards (680) and TD receptions (six). He’s coming off a career-best game against Towson.

Next Game: New Hampshire (Nov. 9)

 

3. Weber State

(7-2, 5-0 Big Sky)

Last Week’s Ranking: 3

Last Week’s Result: 36-17 win over Sacramento State

Notable: Jake Constantine (177 passing yards, 2 TDs) and Josh Davis (177 rushing yards, TD) helped the Wildcats grab sole possession of first place in the Big Sky.

Next Game: North Dakota (Nov. 9)

 

4. South Dakota State

(7-2, 4-1 Missouri Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 4

Last Week’s Result: 35-14 win over Missouri State

Notable: Running back Pierre Strong Jr. rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown and tossed a pitch to Cade Johnson that the wide receiver turned into an 89-yard score. Keaton Heide made his first career start with quarterback J’Bore Gibbs lost to a season-ending knee injury.

Next Game: Illinois State (Nov. 9)

 

5. Sacramento State

(6-3, 4-1 Big Sky)

Last Week’s Ranking: 5

Last Week’s Result: 36-17 loss to Weber State

Notable: After star quarterback Kevin Thomson was knocked out, his replacement, Jake Dunniway threw interceptions on his last pass of the first half and first pass of the second half.

Next Game: at Northern Arizona (Nov. 9)

 

6. Montana

(7-2, 4-1 Big Sky)

Last Week’s Ranking: 6

Last Week’s Result: 38-23 win over Portland State

Notable: Quarterback Camron Humphrey made like the injured Dalton Sneed, completing 21 of 28 pass attempts for 335 yards and four touchdowns.

Next Game: Idaho (Nov. 9)

 

7. Central Arkansas

(7-2, 5-1 Southland)

Last Week’s Ranking: 9

Last Week’s Result: 45-17 win over Lamar

Notable: Breylin Smith set a career-high in passing yards (434) for the second straight week, going 30-for-37 with four touchdowns, including three to freshman Tyler Hudson. Smith also scored on a 1-yard run.

Next Game: Southeastern Louisiana (Nov. 9)

 

8. Northern Iowa

(6-3, 4-1 Missouri Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 8

Last Week’s Result: 27-10 win over Illinois State

Notable: Will McElvain passed for three touchdowns and the Panthers forced four turnovers in their road win.

Next Game: Indiana State (Nov. 9)

 

9. Furman

(6-3, 5-1 Southern)

Last Week’s Ranking: 10

Last Week’s Result: 35-20 win over Chattanooga

Notable: Devin Abrams rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns as the Paladins moved a half-game ahead of Wofford atop the SoCon standings.

Next Game: VMI (Nov. 9)

 

10. Dartmouth

(7-0, 4-0 Ivy)

Last Week’s Ranking: 12

Last Week’s Result: 9-6 win over Harvard

Notable: How to set up a battle of the unbeatens? There was no more stunning way than the Big Green doing it on Derek Kyler’s 43-yard, Hail Mary TD pass to Masaki Aerts — off a tip, no less — to end a win at Harvard.

Next Game: Princeton in New York (Nov. 9)

 

11. Princeton

(7-0, 4-0 Ivy)

Last Week’s Ranking: 14

Last Week’s Result: 21-7 win over Cornell

Notable: Not as dominant as last season, the Tigers still have their winning streak up to 17. Collin Eaddy rushed for two touchdowns and linebacker Jeremiah Tyler had 11 tackles, including 4.5 for a loss and 1.5 sacks.

Next Game: Dartmouth in New York (Nov. 9)

 

12. Montana State

(6-3, 3-2 Big Sky)

Last Week’s Ranking: 17

Last Week’s Result: 42-7 win over Southern Utah

Notable: Lane Sumner rushed for the game’s first two touchdowns as the Bobcats built a 42-0 halftime lead.

Next Game: at Northern Colorado (Nov. 9)

 

13. North Carolina A&T

(6-2, 4-1 MEAC)

Last Week’s Ranking: 15

Last Week’s Result: 22-20 win over South Carolina State

Notable: SCSU scored the first 10 points and the last 10 points, but the Aggies did enough in between to move into a first-place tie with Bethune-Cookman. QB Kylil Carter had 340 yards of total offense and a TD pass.

Next Game: at Morgan State (Nov. 9)

 

14. New Hampshire

(5-3, 4-1 CAA)

Last Week’s Ranking: N/R

Last Week’s Result: 28-20 win over Villanova

Notable: Max Brosmer threw three TD passes and UNH picked off three passes. It was a season-high point total for the defense-led squad.

Next Game: at James Madison (Nov. 9)

 

15. North Dakota

(5-3 Independent)

Last Week’s Ranking: 16

Last Week’s Result: Bye

Notable: The Fighting Hawks are 4-0 at home and 1-3 on the road. After the difficult trip to Weber State, they finish the regular season with home games against Northern Colorado and Southern Utah, who are a combined 4-15.

Next Game: at Weber State (Nov. 9)

 

16. Austin Peay

(6-3, 4-1 Ohio Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 21

Last Week’s Result: 28-21 OT win over Eastern Kentucky

Notable: JaVaughn Craig connected on a game-winning, 25-yard pass to Kentel Williams to open overtime, and the defense stymied EKU on its possession.

Next Game: UT Martin (Nov. 9)

 

17. Illinois State

(6-3, 3-2 Missouri Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 11

Last Week’s Result: 27-10 loss to Northern Iowa

Notable: James Robinson carried the ball 16 times for only 39 yards. In the All-American’s career, the Redbirds are 4-10 when he is below 50 yards.

Next Game: at South Dakota State (Nov. 9)

 

18. Villanova

(6-3, 3-3 CAA)

Last Week’s Ranking: 13

Last Week’s Result: 28-20 loss to New Hampshire

Notable: The slumping Wildcats were outscored 21-0 in the second half, making them a negative-47 (68-21) after halftime during their three-game losing streak.

Next Game: Richmond (Nov. 9)

 

19. Florida A&M

(8-1, 6-0 MEAC)

Last Week’s Ranking: 20

Last Week’s Result: 52-30 win over Delaware State

Notable: Xavier Smith hauled in four touchdown passes and had 184 receiving yards — his fifth game over 100 this season.

Next Game: Howard (Nov. 16)

 

20. Southeast Missouri

(6-3, 5-1 Ohio Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 22

Last Week’s Result: 32-13 win over Tennessee State

Notable: Geno Hess rushed for 156 yards and two touchdowns in the Redhawks’ third straight win.

Next Game: Eastern Kentucky (Nov. 9)

 

21. Sam Houston State

(5-4, 4-2 Southland)

Last Week’s Ranking: 19

Last Week’s Result: Bye

Notable: With a sub-Division I win (Panhandle State), the Bearkats need to sweep their final three games to get to the seven victories that are preferred by the playoff selection committee.

Next Game: at Abilene Christian (Nov. 9)

 

22. Nicholls

(5-4, 4-2 Southland)

Last Week’s Ranking: 23

Last Week’s Result: 27-23 win over UIW

Notable: In a matchup of last year’s Southland co-champs, Julien Gums rushed for a career-high 178 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner with 3:27 left to play.

Next Game: Houston Baptist (Nov. 9)

 

23. Monmouth

(7-2, 4-0 Big South)

Last Week’s Ranking: N/R

Last Week’s Result: 45-21 win over Kennesaw State

Notable: The Hawks had lost by a combined 175-65 in their first four meetings with Kennesaw State, but they posted a blowout behind quarterback Kenji Bahar’s career-high 424 yards of total offense and two touchdowns (one pass, one rush).

Next Game: North Alabama (Nov. 9)

 

24. The Citadel

(6-4, 4-2 Southern)

Last Week’s Ranking: 25

Last Week’s Result: 31-27 win over ETSU

Notable: QB Brandon Rainey rushed for two touchdowns and was 4 of 6 for 154 yards and a score through the air.

Next Game: at Chattanooga (Nov. 16)

 

25. Kennesaw State

(7-2, 2-1 Big South)

Last Week’s Ranking: 7

Last Week’s Result: 45-21 loss to Monmouth

Notable: Even with three more wins, the Owls’ strength of schedule may be borderline when it comes to an at-large playoff bid. Two of their wins are against NAIA programs.

Next Game: at Campbell (Nov. 9)

 

Just Missing: Central Connecticut State (8-1, 4-0 Northeast) and Towson (5-4, 2-3 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 of Ric Kruszynski/NDSU Athletics)

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