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FCS Football: Top 25 Power Poll Following Week 2

Jacksonville State wide receiver Damond Philyaw-Johnson, rear, nears the goal line for his game-winning, 59-yard touchdown on the final play of a 20-17 win at Florida State on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021

Jacksonville State's breathtaking win over Florida State reflects strength across the FCS

If you’re still surprised by the strength of FCS teams this season, it's time to not be anymore.

With super seniors taking advantage of the extra year of NCAA eligibility given for the 2020-21 school year, FCS teams are loaded with talent. The top-10 teams are especially deep, and the eight wins over FBS programs through the first two full weeks of the season are the most since 2017, and there are 41 matchups to go.

Here’s the Athlon FCS Power Poll following Week 2 games:

1. James Madison

(2-0, 1-0 CAA)
Previous Ranking: 1
Week 2 Result: 55-7 win over Maine
Next Game: Sept. 18 at No. 10 Weber State

2. South Dakota State

(2-0, 0-0 Missouri Valley)
Previous Ranking: 2
Week 2 Result: 52-7 win over Lindenwood
Next Game: Sept. 25 at Indiana State

3. North Dakota State

(2-0, 0-0 Missouri Valley)
Previous Ranking: 3
Week 2 Result: 64-0 win over Valparaiso
Next Game: Sept. 18 at Towson

4. Sam Houston

(2-0, 0-0 AQ7)
Previous Ranking: 4
Week 2 Result: 52-14 win over Southeast Missouri
Next Game: Sept. 25 at Central Arkansas

5. Montana

(2-0, 0-0 Big Sky)
Previous Ranking: 5
Week 2 Result: 42-7 win over Western Illinois
Next Game: Sept. 25 vs. Cal Poly

6. Montana State

(1-1, 0-0 Big Sky)
Previous Ranking: 9
Week 2 Result: 45-7 win over Drake
Next Game: Sept. 18 vs. San Diego

7. Delaware

(2-0, 1-0 CAA)
Previous Ranking: 7
Week 2 Result: 27-10 win over Saint Francis
Next Game: Sept. 18 at Rutgers

8. Villanova

(2-0, 0-0 CAA)
Previous Ranking: 11
Week 2 Result: 55-3 win over Bucknell
Next Game: Sept. 18 vs. No. 24 Richmond

9. Southern Illinois

(1-1, 0-0 Missouri Valley)
Previous Ranking: 8
Week 2 Result: 31-23 loss at Kansas State
Next Game: Sept. 18 vs. Dayton

10. Weber State

(1-1, 0-0 Big Sky)
Previous Ranking: 10
Week 2 Result: 41-3 win at Dixie State
Next Game: Sept. 18 vs. No. 1 James Madison

11. UC Davis

(2-0, 0-0 Big Sky)
Previous Ranking: 12
Week 2 Result: 53-7 win at San Diego
Next Game: Sept. 18 vs. Dixie State

Team of the Week

12. Jacksonville State

(1-1, 0-0 AQ7)
Previous Ranking: 21
Week 2 Result: 20-17 win at Florida State

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The Gamecocks rebounded from a season-opening, shutout loss to UAB to stun Florida State on the last play – a Damond Philyaw-Johnson 59-yard touchdown pass from Zerrick Cooper (242 yards, two TDs). It marked the second consecutive season head coach John Grass’ squad has posted a win over an FBS foe. Overall, the Gamecocks have seven in their Division I history.

Next Game: Sept. 18 vs. North Alabama

13. Eastern Washington

(2-0, 0-0 Big Sky)
Previous Ranking: 13
Week 2 Result: 63-14 win over Central Washington
Next Game: Sept. 18 at Western Illinois

14. North Dakota

(1-1, 0-0 Missouri Valley)
Previous Ranking: 6
Week 2 Result: 48-24 loss at Utah State
Next Game: Sept. 18 vs. Drake

15. Northern Iowa

(1-1, 0-0 Missouri Valley)
Previous Ranking: 16
Week 2 Result: 34-16 win at Sacramento State
Next Game: Sept. 18 vs. St. Thomas

16. Missouri State

(1-1, 0-0 Missouri Valley)
Previous Ranking: 22
Week 2 Result: 43-34 win over Central Arkansas
Next Game: Sept. 25 vs. South Dakota

17. Southeastern Louisiana

(1-1, 0-0 Southland)
Previous Ranking: 15
Week 2 Result: 45-42 loss at Louisiana Tech
Next Game: Sept. 18 at Central Connecticut State

18. Monmouth

(1-1, 0-0 Big South)
Previous Ranking: 19
Week 2 Result: 26-23 win at Fordham
Next Game: Sept. 18 at Charleston Southern

19. New Hampshire

(2-0, 2-0 CAA)
Previous Ranking: 20
Week 2 Result: 26-14 win over Towson
Next Game: Sept. 18 at Lafayette

20. Central Arkansas

(0-2, 0-0 AQ7)
Previous Ranking: 14
Week 2 Result: 43-34 loss at Missouri State
Next Game: Sept. 18 vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff

21. Austin Peay

(1-1, 0-0 Ohio Valley)
Previous Ranking: 17
Week 2 Result: 54-17 loss at Ole Miss
Next Game: Sept. 18 vs. Morehead State

22. ETSU

(2-0, 0-0 Southern)
Previous Ranking: 23
Week 2 Result: 45-14 win over UVA Wise
Next Game: Sept. 18 vs. Delaware State

23. Furman

(2-0, 0-0 Southern)
Previous Ranking: 24
Week 2 Result: 26-0 win at Tennessee Tech
Next Game: Sept. 18 at NC State

24. Richmond

(2-0, 0-0 CAA)
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked
Week 2 Result: 31-3 win over Lehigh
Next Game: Sept. 18 at No. 8 Villanova

25. Rhode Island

(2-0, 1-0 CAA)
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked
Week 2 Result: 16-14 win at Albany
Next Game: Sept. 18 at Brown

On the Cusp: VMI (1-1, 0-0 Southern)

— 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.TheAnalyst.com. He appears frequently on radio, TV and podcasts to discuss everything FCS. Follow him on Twitter @CraigHaley.