Jacksonville State Closes Regular Season As No. 1 Ranked Team In FCS

Jackonville State 2015Special to College Sports Journal

 

MISSOULA, MT. — It didn’t come as a surprise when Jacksonville State finished the regular season as the top-seeded team in the NCAA Division Football Championship playoffs and it was less of a surprise to see the Gamecocks voted as the No. 1 team in the final Any Given Saturday FCS Top-25 poll this week.

 

After a heartbreaking loss at Auburn in its season opener — a game where the Gamecocks outplayed the SEC Tigers for most of the contest — JSU cruised through its schedule with 10 consecutive wins to finish 10-1 and captured the Ohio Valley Conference championship.

 

Jacksonville State earned 71 of 75 first-place votes to earn the top spot after beating Murray State, 42-20, in its final OVC game at home.

 

North Dakota State remained second in the poll and picked up the four remaining first-place ballots. The Bison (9-2) closed in impressive fashion with their 55-0 Missouri Valley Conference home victory over Missouri State.

 

NDSU won the automatic bid from the MVFC with the win, even though it tied Illinois State for the league championship. Those two teams did not face each other in unbalanced conference scheduling for the second straight season.

 

This is the first time in four years that NDSU has not been ranked No. 1 in the final regular season poll for AGS. The Bison have won four consecutive national titles in the Football Championship Subdivision, but haven’t had more than two regular-season losses since 2010.

 

McNeese State, the only undefeated team in FCS this season placed third after its 20-14 triumph at home against Lamar to wrap up the Southland Conference title. 

 

The Cowboys finished 10-0 after a scheduled game with LSU was cancelled because of bad weather at the start of the season.

 

Illinois State moved up one slot to No.4 following a 46-0 blanking of South Dakota at home during a blizzard to earn the Redbirds their share of the MVFC crown.

 

There was some shuffling in the rest of the top 10, with Portland State (9-2) coming in at No. 5 with the Vikings’ 34-31 road win over then-No. 24 Eastern Washington (6-5). The Eagles fell out of the top 25 with the Big Sky Conference loss.

 

James Madison, Charleston Southern, South Dakota State, Richmond and Northern Iowa completed the top 10.

 

South Dakota State (8-3) dropped from fourth to eighth after a 30-24 double-overtime loss in the snow at No. 25 Western Illinois (6-5).

 

Charleston Southern (9-2) actually gained one spot, from eighth to seventh, following its 56-6 loss to Alabama.

 

Richmond (8-3) moved back into the top-10 at No. 9 by beating William & Mary at home, 20-9, to win the Colonial Athletic Association title. 

 

The Spiders had lost their previous two games, but earned a CAA co-championship with William & Mary and James Madison to vault up seven places in the poll.

 

JMU (9-2) moved from No. 11 to No. 6 by holding off No. 26 Villanova (6-5), 38-29, while William & Mary (8-3) fell from sixth to 12th.

 

Northern Iowa (7-4) beat rival Southern Illinois at home in MVFC play, to jump from 12th to 10th.

The Citadel took a significant leap from 19th to 14th with its 23-22 win at FBS South Carolina.

 

Dayton (10-1) saw its chances of an undefeated regular season crushed by a Pioneer Football League defeat at Drake, 27-17, and fell from 25th to 37th in balloting. The Flyers had already wrapped up the PFL automatic bid to the playoffs.

 

The fan-based and moderated AGS poll has been widely recognized as the most accurate in FCS since its debut as a fan-based voting service over a decade ago.

 

Readers can read more about the poll and other FCS topics at www.anygivensaturday.com.

 

 

AGS Poll Results – WEEK 12 – 2015

Results for 11/22/2015 AGS Poll:

1

Jacksonville State Gamecocks (71)

1,870

2

North Dakota State Bison (4)

1,773

3

McNeese State Cowboys

1,711

4

Illinois State Redbirds

1,676

5

Portland State Vikings

1,533

6

James Madison Dukes

1,307

7

Charleston Southern Buccaneers

1,277

8

South Dakota State Jackrabbits

1,255

9

Richmond Spiders

1,203

10

Northern Iowa Panthers

1,180

11

Chattanooga Mocs

1,124

12

William & Mary Tribe

1,074

13

Southern Utah Thunderbirds

1,035

14

The Citadel Bulldogs

985

15

Sam Houston State Bearkats

927

16

Montana Grizzlies

686

17

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

679

18

Fordham Rams

594

19

Harvard Crimson

335

20

New Hampshire Wildcats

319

21

Eastern Illinois Panthers

285

22

North Dakota

275

23

Dartmouth Big Green

257

24

Northern Arizona Lumberjacks

251

25

Western Illinois Leathernecks

162

Most Significant Win:

The Citadel Bulldogs

Most Significant Loss:

South Dakota State Jackrabbits

26

Towson Tigers

160

27

North Carolina A&T Aggies

82

28

Bethune-Cookman Wildcats

66

29

Central Arkansas Bears

52

30

Colgate Raiders

38

31

Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks

36

32

Western Carolina Catamounts

33

33

Pennsylvania Quakers

29

34

Grambling State Tigers

21

35

Villanova Wildcats

20

36

Eastern Washington Eagles

18

37

Dayton Flyers

17

38

Youngstown State Penguins

15

39

North Carolina Central Eagles

7

40

Indiana State Sycamores

6

41

Eastern Kentucky Colonels

2

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