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FCS Football: Top 25 Power Poll Following Week 3

Kris Thornton, James Madison Dukes Football vs. Weber State Wildcats

James Madison is the Team of the Week in addition to remaining at No. 1 after the Dukes' 37-24 road win over Weber State

What’s stirred great conversation with FCS college football this month is five teams seemingly have a legitimate case to be the top-ranked team.

While Sam Houston, South Dakota State and Montana had byes in the third full week of the season, James Madison and North Dakota State – two programs that know a lot about being No. 1 – made serious statements with road victories.

The spotlight is reversed in Week 4, when JMU and NDSU will be off while Sam Houston, South Dakota State and Montana play their conference openers.

Here’s the Athlon FCS Power Poll following Week 3 games:

Team of the Week

1. James Madison
(3-0, 1-0 CAA)
Previous Ranking: 1
Week 3 Result: 37-24 win at Weber State

Head coach Curt Cignetti’s squad led by as much as 37-10 at Weber State, making a highly anticipated showdown one-sided. Quarterback Cole Johnson accounted for three touchdowns and safety Josh Sarratt scored on an 88-yard fumble return in the Dukes’ 19th straight regular-season win.

Next Game: Oct. 2 at New Hampshire

2. South Dakota State
(2-0, 0-0 Missouri Valley)
Previous Ranking: 2
Week 3 Result: Open week
Next Game: Sept. 25 at Indiana State

3. North Dakota State
(3-0, 0-0 Missouri Valley)
Previous Ranking: 3
Week 3 Result: 35-7 win at Towson
Next Game: Oct. 2 at No. 12 North Dakota

4. Sam Houston
(2-0, 0-0 AQ7)
Previous Ranking: 4
Week 3 Result: Open week
Next Game: Sept. 25 at No. 20 Central Arkansas

5. Montana
(2-0, 0-0 Big Sky)
Previous Ranking: 5
Week 3 Result: Open week
Next Game: Sept. 25 vs. Cal Poly

6. Montana State
(2-1, 0-0 Big Sky)
Previous Ranking: 6
Week 3 Result: 52-10 win over San Diego
Next Game: Sept. 25 at Portland State

7. Southern Illinois
(2-1, 0-0 Missouri Valley)
Previous Ranking: 9
Week 3 Result: 55-3 win over Dayton
Next Game: Illinois State at Southern Illinois

8. Villanova
(3-0, 1-0 CAA)
Previous Ranking: 8
Week 3 Result: 34-27 win over Richmond
Next Game: Sept. 25 at Penn State

9. Delaware
(2-1, 1-0 CAA)
Previous Ranking: 7
Week 3 Result: 45-13 loss at Rutgers
Next Game: Oct. 2 vs. UAlbany

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10. UC Davis
(3-0, 0-0 Big Sky)
Previous Ranking: 11
Week 3 Result: 60-27 win over Dixie State
Next Game: Sept. 25 at No. 15 Weber State

11. Eastern Washington
(3-0, 0-0 Big Sky)
Previous Ranking: 13
Week 3 Result: 62-56 win at Western Illinois
Next Game: Sept. 25 at Southern Utah

12. North Dakota
(2-1, 0-0 Missouri Valley)
Previous Ranking: 14
Week 3 Result: 38-0 win over Drake
Next Game: Oct. 2 vs. No. 3 North Dakota State

13. Northern Iowa
(2-1, 0-0 Missouri Valley)
Previous Ranking: 15
Week 3 Result: 44-3 win over St. Thomas
Next Game: Oct. 2 vs. Youngstown State

14. Jacksonville State
(2-1, 0-0 AQ7)
Previous Ranking: 12
Week 3 Result: 27-24 win over North Alabama
Next Game: Sept. 25 vs. UT Martin

15. Weber State
(1-2, 0-0 Big Sky)
Previous Ranking: 10
Week 3 Result: 37-24 loss to James Madison
Next Game: Sept. 25 vs. No. 10 UC Davis

16. Missouri State
(1-1, 0-0 Missouri Valley)
Previous Ranking: 16
Week 3 Result: Open week
Next Game: Sept. 25 vs. South Dakota

17. Southeastern Louisiana
(2-1, 0-0 Southland)
Previous Ranking: 17
Week 3 Result: 56-10 win at Central Connecticut State
Next Game: Oct. 2 at McNeese

18. Monmouth
(2-1, 1-0 Big South)
Previous Ranking: 18
Week 3 Result: 41-14 win at Charleston Southern
Next Game: Sept. 25 vs. Holy Cross

19. New Hampshire
(3-0, 2-0 CAA)
Previous Ranking: 19
Week 3 Result: 19-13 win at Lafayette
Next Game: Sept. 25 at Pittsburgh

20. Central Arkansas
(1-2, 0-0 AQ7)
Previous Ranking: 20
Week 3 Result: 45-23 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Next Game: Sept. 25 vs. No. 4 Sam Houston

21. Austin Peay
(2-1, 0-0 Ohio Valley)
Previous Ranking: 21
Week 3 Result: 59-35 win over Morehead State
Next Game: Sept. 25 at Eastern Kentucky

22. ETSU
(3-0, 0-0 Southern)
Previous Ranking: 22
Week 3 Result: 38-6 win over Delaware State
Next Game: Sept. 25 at Samford

23. Kennesaw State
(2-1, 0-0 Big South)
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked
Week 3 Result: 31-10 win at Wofford
Next Game: Oct. 2 vs. Jacksonville State

24. Rhode Island
(3-0, 1-0 CAA)
Previous Ranking: 25
Week 3 Result: 45-24 win at Brown
Next Game: Oct. 2 vs. Stony Brook

25. VMI
(2-1, 0-0 Southern)
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked
Week 3 Result:
Next Game: Sept. 25 vs. Wofford

— 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.