UNI climbs to No. 5 in STATS FCS Top 25; Four Big Sky teams in Top 12


CHICAGO – Nov. 4, 2019 – Northern Iowa tends to play its best when the postseason is nearing, and voters in the STATS FCS Top 25 liked how the Panthers opened November action this past Saturday.

On Monday, UNI rose four spots to No. 5 in the national media poll – the Panthers’ highest ranking since being No. 3 on Sept. 5, 2016. It comes after a 27-10 road win over then-No. 7 Illinois State, which raised the Panthers (6-3) to 57-10 in November games during coach Mark Farley’s 19 seasons.

UNI’s big move gives the Missouri Valley Football Conference three teams in the top five spots, along with No. 1 North Dakota State and No. 4 South Dakota State. UNI’s only FCS losses are to NDSU and No. 3 Weber State and it also fell in triple overtime to Power-5 program Iowa State.

The other Top 5 team, No. 2 James Madison, was on a bye this past weekend.

With three weeks left in the regular season, the Big Sky Conference has four teams ranked in the top 12 of the STATS FCS and AFCA FCS Coaches’ Top 25 polls.

Weber State (7-2) picked up a huge win and its fifth straight after a 36-17 victory at then-No. 6 Sacramento State. Weber State remains in the No. 3 spot in the STATS FCS and AFCA FCS Coaches’ polls, as it’s the lone undefeated team left in conference play. The Wildcats will host No. 22 North Dakota (5-3) on Saturday in Ogden.

Montana (7-2) earned a 38-23 road win at Portland State on Saturday. The victory helped the Griz crack the top 5 in the AFCA Coaches’ Poll and has them slated No. 6. In the STATS FCS Poll.  Montana will host Idaho (4-5) on Saturday in the Big Sky ROOT SPORTS Game of the Week.

Sacramento State (6-3) fell to No. 3 Weber State at home last weekend. The loss was the first on conference play this season for the Hornets. Sacramento State dropped two spots to No. 8 in the STATS FCS and AFCA Coaches’ polls. The Hornets will play at Northern Arizona (4-5) on Saturday.

Montana State (6-3) recorded a dominate 42-7 win over Southern Utah at home. The win improved the Bobcats position to No. 12 in the STATS FCS Poll and No. 14 in the AFCA FCS Coaches’ Poll. Montana State will travel to Northern Colorado (2-7) to face the Bears this weekend.

UC Davis (4-5), who is coming off a bye week, received 61 votes in the STATS FCS Poll.

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.

STATS FCS Top 25 (Nov. 4)

1. North Dakota State (9-0), 3,899 points (155 first-place votes)

Previous Ranking: 1; Last Week’s Result: 56-17 win over Youngstown State

2. James Madison (8-1), 3,731 (1 first-place vote)

Previous Ranking: 2; Last Week’s Result: Bye

3. Weber State (7-2), 3,559

Previous Ranking: 3; Last Week’s Result: 36-17 win over Sacramento State

4. South Dakota State (7-2), 3,452

Previous Ranking: 4; Last Week’s Result: 35-14 win over Missouri State

5. Northern Iowa (6-3), 3,079

Previous Ranking: 9; Last Week’s Result: 27-10 win over Illinois State

6. Montana (7-2), 3,074

Previous Ranking: 8; Last Week’s Result: 38-23 win over Portland State

7. Central Arkansas (7-2), 2,851

Previous Ranking: 10; Last Week’s Result: 45-17 win over Lamar

8. Sacramento State (6-3), 2,715

Previous Ranking: 6; Last Week’s Result: 36-17 loss to Weber State

9. Furman (6-3), 2,333

Previous Ranking: 13; Last Week’s Result: 35-20 win over Chattanooga

10. Princeton (7-0), 2,274

Previous Ranking: 12; Last Week’s Result: 21-7 win over Cornell

11. Illinois State (6-3), 2,272

Previous Ranking: 7; Last Week’s Result: 27-10 loss to Northern Iowa

12. Montana State (6-3), 1,994

Previous Ranking: 14; Last Week’s Result: 42-7 win over Southern Utah

13. Dartmouth (7-0), 1,685

Previous Ranking: 15; Last Week’s Result: 9-6 win over Harvard

14. North Carolina A&T (6-2), 1,529

Previous Ranking: 16; Last Week’s Result: 22-20 win over South Carolina State

15. Kennesaw State (7-2), 1,453

Previous Ranking: 5; Last Week’s Result: 45-21 loss to Monmouth

16. Florida A&M (8-1), 1,412

Previous Ranking: 17; Last Week’s Result: 52-30 win over Delaware State

17. Southeast Missouri (6-3), 1,259

Previous Ranking: 18; Last Week’s Result: 32-13 win over Tennessee State

18. Villanova (6-3), 1,244

Previous Ranking: 11; Last Week’s Result: 28-20 loss to Villanova

19. Monmouth (7-2), 1,126

Previous Ranking: N/R; Last Week’s Result: 45-21 win over Kennesaw State

20. Central Connecticut State (8-1), 1,071

Previous Ranking: 19; Last Week’s Result: 27-13 win over Wagner

21. Towson (5-4), 761

Previous Ranking: 21; Last Week’s Result: 31-24 win over Delaware

22. North Dakota (5-3), 675

Previous Ranking: 24; Last Week’s Result: Bye

23. New Hampshire (5-3), 647

Previous Ranking: N/R; Last Week’s Result: 28-20 win over Villanova

24. Wofford (5-3), 529

Previous Ranking: 23; Last Week’s Result: 59-14 loss to Clemson

25. Nicholls (5-4), 401

Previous Ranking: 25; Last Week’s Result: 27-23 win over UIW

Dropped Out: Stony Brook (20), Jacksonville State (22)

Others Receiving Votes: Austin Peay 354, UT Martin 287, Sam Houston State 224, Alcorn State 215, The Citadel 129, Richmond 78, Southern Illinois 74, Yale 71, UC Davis 61, Southeastern Louisiana 55, Stony Brook 49, Jacksonville State 34, Delaware 17, Youngstown State 16, San Diego 6, Elon 3, Abilene Christian 1, Campbell 1, McNeese 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.

Recommended for you