Newcomers Earn Way into STATS FCS Top 25; Four Big Sky teams ranked


CHICAGO – Sept. 24, 2018 –– Teams that weren’t ranked in the STATS FCS Top 25 in the preseason have gone out and earned their way into it.

The latest were No. 20 Chattanooga (4-0), No. 24 Colgate (3-0) and No. 25 Towson (2-1) on Monday.

In joining No. 16 Maine (2-1), No. 19 UC Davis (3-1) and No. 22 Rhode Island (2-1), the six newcomers have a combined 16-4 record. All but Patriot League member Colgate is coming off a losing record last year.

But play well and it will reflect in the national media poll. Illinois State is an example, moving up seven spots to No. 9 after it beat Colorado State 35-19 on Saturday for its second win over an FBS opponent in three years.

This week, Illinois State will begin its Missouri Valley Football Conference schedule, where No. 1 North Dakota State has set the standard with seven straight titles. The Bison (3-0) received 152 of the 155 first-place votes and 3,872 points following a 38-10 rout of Delaware. They will host No. 3 South Dakota State (2-0) on Saturday in one of the regular season’s biggest games.

James Madison (3-1) remained at No. 2, one of the season-high seven CAA Football teams in the Top 25.

Four Big Sky Conference teams are ranked in the most recently poll, led by No. 5 Eastern Washington and No. 6 Weber State. EWU blasted Cal Poly 70-17 behind 441 yards rushing. Weber State sat tied 21-21 with Northern Colorado at halftime, but a 100-yard kickoff return to open the second half to spark a 45-28 victory.

After a convincing 44-21 win over Idaho, UC Davis is now 3-1 and up to No. 19 in the poll. Montana moved up two spots to No. 17 following Saturday’s 41-34 victory over Sacramento State.

A national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries select the STATS FCS 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.

The STATS FCS Top 25 for Sept. 24:

  1. North Dakota State(3-0), 3,872 points – 152 first-place votes

Previous Ranking: 1; Last Week’s Result: 38-10 win over Delaware

  1. James Madison(3-1), 3,708 – 3 first-place votes

Previous Ranking: 2; Last Week’s Result: 51-0 win over William & Mary

  1. South Dakota State(2-0), 3,516

Previous Ranking: 3; Last Week’s Result: Bye

  1. Kennesaw State(3-1), 3,261

Previous Ranking: 5; Last Week’s Result: 70-13 win over Clark Atlanta

  1. Eastern Washington(3-1), 3,187

Previous Ranking: 6; Last Week’s Result: 70-17 win over Cal Poly 

  1. Weber State(3-1), 3,027

Previous Ranking: 7; Last Week’s Result: 45-28 win over Northern Colorado 

  1. Wofford(2-1), 2,836

Previous Ranking: 8; Last Week’s Result: Bye

  1. Jacksonville State(2-1), 2,471

Previous Ranking: 10; Last Week’s Result: 48-20 win over Tennessee Tech

  1. Illinois State(3-0), 2,447

Previous Ranking: 16; Last Week’s Result: 35-19 win over Colorado State

  1. McNeese(3-1), 2,279

Previous Ranking: 9; Last Week’s Result: 30-3 loss to BYU 

  1. Elon(2-1), 2,249

Previous Ranking: 12; Last Week’s Result: 31-22 win over Charleston Southern

  1. North Carolina A&T(3-1), 2,091

Previous Ranking: 4; Last Week’s Result: 16-13 loss to Morgan State

13(T). Central Arkansas (2-1), 1,814

Previous Ranking: 14; Last Week’s Result: Bye

13(T). Villanova (3-1), 1,814

Previous Ranking: 15; Last Week’s Result: 49-7 win over Bucknell 

  1. Nicholls(2-2), 1,759

Previous Ranking: 18; Last Week’s Result: 27-7 win over Sam Houston State 

  1. Maine(2-1), 1,701

Previous Ranking: 13; Last Week’s Result: 17-5 loss to Central Michigan 

  1. Montana(3-1), 1,321

Previous Ranking: 19; Last Week’s Result: 41-34 win over Sacramento State 

  1. Stony Brook(3-1), 1,214

Previous Ranking: 20; Last Week’s Result: 36-10 win over Richmond 

  1. UC Davis(3-1), 1,154

Previous Ranking: 21; Last Week’s Result: 44-21 win over Idaho

  1. Chattanooga(4-0), 913

Previous Ranking: NR; Last Week’s Result: 27-20 win over Samford

  1. Sam Houston State(1-2), 861

Previous Ranking: 11; Last Week’s Result: 27-7 loss to Nicholls

  1. Rhode Island(2-1), 685

Previous Ranking: 23; Last Week’s Result: Bye

  1. Northern Iowa(1-2), 413

Previous Ranking: 25; Last Week’s Result: 44-0 win over Hampton

  1. Colgate(3-0), 403

Previous Ranking: NR; Last Week’s Result: 45-0 win over Lafayette

  1. Towson(2-1), 284

Previous Ranking: NR; Last Week’s Result: Bye

Dropped Out: Samford, North Dakota, Austin Peay

Others Receiving Votes: Montana State 229, South Dakota 203, Samford 171, Princeton 88, North Dakota 61, Missouri State 56, Western Illinois 49, Harvard 30, Idaho State 28, Sacramento State 26, Tennessee State 25, Dartmouth 22, Northern Arizona 22, Delaware 21, Austin Peay 14, Yale 13, Richmond 7, East Tennessee State 6, Mercer 5, Southeastern Louisiana 5, Prairie View A&M 4, Sacred Heart 4, Western Carolina 3, Howard 2, Eastern Kentucky 1

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

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