Weber State showed it’s the best team in the Big Sky, and may be the best team in the country with its 19 point win over Sacramento State. Weber has showed its strength on both sides of the ball while not losing to an FCS opponent all season. Top ranked North Dakota State blitzed another opponent going up 42 points in the first half against Youngstown State. The CAA, SoCOn and Southland continue to cannibalize themselves, calling into question how many playoff teams they actually have. With three weeks left, its time to see who the best 24 teams are.
- North Dakota State Bison (9-0)
Another week, another beat down by the Bison. They’re the clear top team in the country.
- James Madison Dukes (8-1)
The Dukes come off the bye to play the two teams right behind them in the conference standings – New Hampshire and Richmond – and they get them both at home.
- Weber State Wildcats (7-2)
Weber State asserted itself as a top three (or better) team in the country with their surprisingly easy win over Sacramento State.
- South Dakota State Jackrabbits (7-2)
J’Bore Gibbs is out for the year. It didn’t matter against Missouri State. Will it matter down the road?
- Northern Iowa Panthers (6-3)
The Panthers picked up a huge road win over Illinois State. To earn a seed, they’ll have to beat South Dakota State on the road in a couple weeks.
- Sacramento State Hornets (6-3)
The Hornets were never really in the game against Weber State and lost their quarterback to injury. How they rebound from this adversity will determine whether the Hornets will make the FCS Playoffs.
- Montana Grizzlies (7-2)
The Grizzlies are solidly a playoff team. If they can win out, they will earn a seed to the FCS Playoffs.
- Princeton Tigers (7-0)
Princeton did what they needed to do against Cornell. This week they face off against the Ivy’s other unbeaten, Dartmouth.
- Furman Paladins (6-3)
The Paladins whipped Chattanooga. They finish with VMI and Wofford. The game against Wofford will most likely determine the conference champion.
- Central Arkansas Bears (7-2)
Central Arkansas quietly keeps winning games. With an FBS win on their resume, they are a great candidate for a seed if they can keep navigating the tricky Southland without losing.
- Illinois State Redbirds (6-3)
The Redbirds lost a home game to a tough Northern Iowa team. They have to stop the losing streak at one in order to keep the thoughts of the past couple years from creeping back into people’s minds.
- Montana State Bobcats (6-3)
The Bobcats picked up a win last week. But they’re probably going to need to win the Brawl of the Wild vs. Treasure State rivals Montana to make the playoffs.
- Dartmouth Big Green (7-0)
Dartmouth needed a last minute Hail Mary against Harvard to keep their matchup of unbeatens vs. Princeton alive.
- Florida A&M Rattlers (8-1)
The Rattlers keep winning easily. The Florida Classic is shaping up to be an excellent game coming up in a few weeks.
- Villanova Wildcats (6-3)
Three straight losses have the Wildcats reeling. Luckily for them, they finish with three home games.
- North Carolina A&T Aggies (6-2)
The Aggies showed character winning a road game against a tough South Carolina State team.
- Wofford Terriers (5-3)
A loss to Clemson doesn’t hurt the Terriers. They’re in line to make the playoffs and win the conference if they win out.
- Southeast Missouri State Redhawks (6-3)
The Redhawks should win their last three games on their schedule. That will get them into the playoffs, and depending on what happens around them in the OVC, they could win the conference.
- Monmouth Hawks (7-2)
Monmouth is the favorite for the Big South title after thoroughly beating Kennesaw on the road. The Hawks have only lost to Montana and FBS Western Michigan.
- North Dakota Fighting Hawks (5-3)
The Fighting Hawks come off their bye to travel to Weber State. They’re a playoff bubble team, but a win this week will solidify their standing.
- Kennesaw State Owls (7-2)
The Owls played a quality opponent and lost big. They may find themselves going from potential seed to no playoffs.
- Austin Peay Governors (6-3)
The Governors survived an overtime test from Eastern Kentucky. A win this week gives them the inside track to the OVC title.
- New Hampshire Wildcats (5-3)
The Wildcats control their own destiny in the CAA race. This week, they get conference leader James Madison on the road. A win there locks them into the playoffs.
- Central Connecticut State Blue Devils (8-1)
Central Connecticut should get past St Francis this week before the closing stretch which will determine the NEC champion.
- UT Martin Skyhawks (6-3)
The Skyhawks are the surprising leader of the Ohio Valley. They are going to need to beat Austin Peay this weekend because an at large will not come their way.
Others Receiving Votes: Chattanooga, Yale, The Citadel, Alcorn State, Towson, Nicholl, San Diego, Southern Illinois, Richmond
Voter Panel: Charles Burton, Kent Schmidt, Jamie Williams, Preston Adams, Ben Schleiger, Ray Maloney
Jamie is a proud 2002 graduate of James Madison University. He’s witnessed the growth of the program from no one in the stands in 1998, to the hiring of Mickey Matthews, to the 2004 National Championship, to the 2008 team, to the struggles in the early 2010s, and finally the rebuild under Mike Houston. He also allegedly really enjoys Washington, DC-based Stanley Cup winners.
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