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FCS Football: Top 25 Power Poll Following Week 9

No. 1 South Dakota State fending off a strong group; Princeton is the Team of the Week.
Andrei Iosivas, Princeton Tigers Football

Princeton's Andrei Iosivas posted his second game of the season with at least 10 receptions and 150 receiving yards in a 35-9 win over Cornell.

Everybody wants to exalt, "We’re No. 1!" But heading into the FCS playoffs, a team will gladly settle for the No. 2 seed because the top two are guaranteed home-field advantage through the semifinals.

South Dakota State (8-1) has built a No. 1 resume with just two games remaining over the final three full weeks of the regular season. Unbeaten Sacramento State would probably grab the second seed if the playoffs began this week, but Montana State, Weber State and North Dakota State are in the picture as well.

November could change it a lot.

Here’s the Athlon FCS Top 25 Power Poll following Week 9 games:

1. South Dakota State Jackrabbits

(8-1, 6-0 Missouri Valley)
Previous Ranking: 1
Week 9 Result: 49-7 win over Indiana State
Next Game: at Northern Iowa (Nov. 5)

2. North Dakota State Bison

(6-2, 4-1 Missouri Valley)
Previous Ranking: 2
Week 9 Result: 24-7 win over Illinois State
Next Game: at Western Illinois (Nov. 5)

3. Montana State Bobcats

(7-1, 5-0 Big Sky)
Previous Ranking: 3
Week 9 Result: No game
Next Game: at Northern Arizona (Nov. 5)

4. Sacramento State Hornets

(8-0, 5-0 Big Sky)
Previous Ranking: 4
Week 8 Result: 31-28 win over Idaho
Next Game: at Weber State (Nov. 5)

5. Weber State Wildcats

(7-1, 4-1 Big Sky)
Previous Ranking: 5
Week 9 Result: 24-21 win over Montana
Next Game: Sacramento State (Nov. 5)

6. UIW Cardinals

(8-1, 3-1 Southland)
Previous Ranking: 6
Week 9 Result: 35-7 win at Texas A&M-Commerce
Next Game: Houston Christian (Nov. 5)

7. Holy Cross Crusaders

(8-0, 4-0 Patriot)
Previous Ranking: 8
Week 9 Result: 53-52 OT win over Fordham
Next Game: Lehigh (Nov. 5)

8. William & Mary Tribe

(7-1, 4-1 CAA)
Previous Ranking: 9
Week 9 Result: 31-30 win over Rhode Island
Next Game: at Hampton (Nov. 5)

9. Jackson State Tigers

(8-0, 5-0 SWAC)
Previous Ranking: 14
Week 9 Result: 35-0 win over Southern
Next Game: at Texas Southern (Nov. 5)

10. Samford Bulldogs

(7-1, 5-0 Southern)
Previous Ranking: 15
Week 9 Result: 38-3 win over The Citadel
Next Game: VMI (Nov. 5)

11. Idaho Vandals

(5-3, 4-1 Big Sky)
Previous Ranking: 12
Week 9 Result: 31-28 loss at Sacramento State
Next Game: Eastern Washington (Nov. 5)

12. Furman Paladins

(7-2, 5-1 Southern)
Previous Ranking: 22
Week 9 Result: 24-20 win over Chattanooga
Next Game: at Mercer (Nov. 12)

13. Chattanooga Mocs

(6-2, 4-1 Southern)
Previous Ranking: 7
Week 9 Result: 24-20 loss at Furman
Next Game: at The Citadel (Nov. 5)

14. Mercer Bears

(7-2, 5-1 Southern)
Previous Ranking: 16
Week 9 Result: 55-14 win at VMI
Next Game: Furman (Nov. 12)

15. Montana Grizzlies

(5-3, 2-3 Big Sky)
Previous Ranking: 13
Week 9 Result: 24-21 loss at Weber State
Next Game: Cal Poly (Nov. 5)

16. North Dakota Fighting Hawks

(5-3, 3-2 Missouri Valley)
Previous Ranking: 21
Week 9 Result: 34-31 win over Abilene Christian
Next Game: at Indiana State (Nov. 5)

17. New Hampshire Wildcats

(6-2, 5-0 CAA)
Previous Ranking: 18
Week 9 Result: No game
Next Game: at Richmond (Nov. 5)

18. Richmond Spiders

(6-2, 4-1 CAA)
Previous Ranking: 19
Week 9 Result: 31-21 win at Maine
Next Game: New Hampshire (Nov. 5)

19. Southeastern Louisiana Lions

(5-3, 2-1 Southland)
Previous Ranking: 20
Week 9 Result: 28-27 win at McNeese
Next Game: at Lamar (Nov. 5)

20. Elon Phoenix

(6-3, 4-2 CAA)
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked
Week 9 Result: 27-7 win over Delaware
Next Game: UAlbany (Nov. 5)

Team of the Week

21. Princeton Tigers

(7-0, 4-0 Ivy)
Previous Ranking: 25 (tie)
Week 9 Result: 35-9 win over Cornell

NFL wide receiver prospect Andrei Iosivas caught 10 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns, and the Tigers – one of four unbeaten FCS teams – forced five turnovers. They haven’t lost a game in September or October since 2017.

Next Game: Dartmouth (Nov. 5)

22. UC Davis Aggies

(4-4, 3-2 Big Sky)
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked
Week 9 Result: 59-17 win over Cal Poly
Next Game: Idaho State (Nov. 5)

23. Delaware Blue Hens

(6-2, 3-2 CAA)
Previous Ranking: 10
Week 9 Result: 27-7 loss at Elon
Next Game: Monmouth (Nov. 5)

24. UT Martin Skyhawks

(5-3, 3-0 Ohio Valley)
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked
Week 9 Result: 52-28 win at Houston Christian
Next Game: Kennesaw State (Nov. 5)

25 (tie). Eastern Kentucky Colonels

(5-3, 5-1 ASUN-WAC)
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked
Week 9 Result: 28-23 win over Southeast Missouri
Next Game: Central Arkansas (Nov. 5)

25 (tie). Southeast Missouri Redhawks

(6-2, 2-1 Ohio Valley)
Previous Ranking: 11
Week 9 Result: 28-23 loss to Eastern Kentucky
Next Game: at Tennessee State (Nov. 5)

On the Cusp: Northern Iowa Panthers (5-4, 4-2 Missouri Valley) Fordham Rams (6-2, 2-1 Patriot); Rhode Island Rams (5-3, 3-2 CAA); Southern Illinois Salukis (5-4, 4-2 Missouri Valley)

— 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 has a weekly guest segment on “FCS All-In” and appears frequently on radio, TV and podcasts to discuss everything FCS. Follow him on Twitter @CraigHaley.