Top 25 matchups add to conference showdowns

11:58 AM, Oct 8, 2012   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Take a close look at The Sports Network FCS Top 25 because it should be quite different next week.

Saturday's schedule has five conference games matching Top 25 squads. Included are four of the top seven teams squaring off: No. 2 Montana State hosting No. 6 Eastern Washington in the Big Sky and No. 5 Wofford visiting No. 7 Georgia Southern in the Southern Conference.

Few, however, are talking about change atop the Top 25.

Monday's new rankings saw North Dakota State solidify its hold on No. 1, which wasn't surprising after the Bison routed then-No. 3 Youngstown State, 48-7, in Missouri Valley Conference action this past Saturday. The defending national champions, who have a 5-0 record, received 164 of the 167 first-place votes - 98.2 percent - and 4,171 points in the poll.

The other three first-place votes went to Montana State (6-0), the two-time reigning Big Sky co-champion. The Bobcats have won their last two meetings with Eastern Washington, although they shared the conference title two years ago. Both teams have won their first three conference games this season.

With Youngstown State falling five spots in the new poll, CAA Football co- leaders Old Dominion (5-0) and James Madison (4-1) rose one spot each to No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. While ODU was idle this past weekend, JMU rallied to a win over defending CAA champion Towson.

No. 5 Wofford (5-0) holds the lead in a bunched SoCon race, although a win at Georgia Southern (4-1) would provide some separation for the Terriers. Both squads run triple options, and Wofford leads the FCS in rushing yards per game (448.8) and Georgia Southern ranks second (437).

After Eastern Washington (4-1) and Georgia Southern (4-1), Youngstown State (4-1) settled in at No. 8, followed by No. 9 Sam Houston State (3-2) and No. 10 Lehigh (6-0), which travels to Georgetown for a key Patriot League game on Saturday.

Stony Brook (5-1) has followed the path of new Big South all-time rushing leader Miguel Maysonet to No. 11 - the highest ranking in program history.

Then it's the two programs with the longest active streak of FCS playoff appearances, New Hampshire (4-2) at No. 12 and Appalachian State (4-2) at No. 13.

They are followed by No. 14 Illinois State (5-1), which hosts Youngstown State in a Top 25 matchup on Saturday; No. 15 Cal Poly (5-0); No. 16 Northern Arizona (4-1); No. 17 Towson (2-3); No. 18 Tennessee State (6-0), the Ohio Valley Conference leader which is in the rankings for the first time since Nov. 17, 2008; No. 19 McNeese State (4-1); and No. 20 South Dakota State (4-1).

Rounding out the poll are No. 21 Central Arkansas (4-2), which visits McNeese State in a Top 25 game among Southland Conference teams Saturday; No. 22 Harvard (4-0), whose 13 straight wins are the FCS high; No. 23 Eastern Kentucky (4-2); No. 24 Delaware (4-2); and No. 25 Samford (5-1), which is appearing in the rankings for the first time since Oct. 13, 1993.

Samford also is part of a Top 25 matchup Saturday, hosting Appalachian State in the SoCon.

The CAA has the most Top 25 teams with five, while the Big Sky, Missouri Valley and SoCon have four each.

The Citadel and Northern Iowa, which are both on three-game losing streaks, fell out of the Top 25.

A national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries select the Top 25. A first-place vote is worth 25 points, a second-place vote 24 points, all the way down to one point for a 25th-place vote.

During the regular season, the Top 25 is released every Monday afternoon, except for the final weekend of the regular season, when it will be released Sunday morning, Nov. 18, prior to the selection of the FCS playoff field.

The Sports Network will release a final Top 25 following the FCS championship game, which will be held Jan. 5 in Frisco, Texas.

The Sports Network

Most Watched Videos