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My FCS Top 25, 10/10/2011

Below the flip, see my Top 25 for this week.

1: Georgia Southern Eagles
2: Northern Iowa Panthers
3: North Dakota State Bison
4: Wofford Terriers
5: New Hampshire Wildcats
6: Montana State Bobcats
7: Lehigh Mountain Hawks
8: Sam Houston State Bearkats
9: Maine Black Bears
10: Montana Grizzlies
11: Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens
12: Appalachian State Mountaineers
13: Jacksonville State Gamecocks
14: Harvard Crimson
15: James Madison Dukes
16: Indiana State Sycamores
17: Norfolk State Spartans
18: South Dakota Coyotes
19: Towson Tigers
20: Yale Bulldogs
21: Alabama State Hornets
22: Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
23: Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles
24: Albany Great Danes
25: McNeese State Cowboys

Three quick hits about my Top 25:

1. For some reason the Sports Network and Coaches Polls have Maine at No. 12 and No. 16, respectively, but I have the 4-1 Black Bears in their rightful place in the universe: atop 4-2 Delaware (No. 11), 4-2 James Madison (No. 15), and 4-1 Towson (No. 19).

Aside from the fact that Maine topped two nationally-ranked teams - Delaware two weeks ago 31-17, and last weekend with an unbelieveable, gutsy overtime call to top James Madison 25-24 on the road - they also gave FBS Pitt all they could handle in Week Two, finally falling late 35-29 to the Panthers.


Watch the video, and then tell me Maine doesn't deserve the Top Ten.

2. One of the teams Maine beat this year - Albany - sneaked into my Top 25 as well this weekend, at a spot that seems to always hold my "special team of the week".  At 3-2, you could say they're a borderline pick, but they've rattled off three straight after playing a (yes) Top Ten team very well, and very nearly upsetting a Colgate team with a 100% healthy senior RB Nate Eachus.  The Danes, at 3-2, look like a team that is in great position to make a run through the NEC - and they deserve a Top 25 vote.

3. After the top 9 or so teams, it's been incredibly hard to pick and rank teams this week.

Delaware, Appalachian State and Montana have great fan bases, but all these teams are guilty of having two losses, and a host of not-so-great wins.

Sam Houston State out of the Southland is indeed 5-0, with a win over a horrible FBS program in New Mexico - but are any of the wins all that impressive, with not a single win over a team with a winning record? 

Is Jacksonville State all that impressive, really, with a loss to 2-4 Chattanooga looking more and more suspect each passing week?

Indiana State is 3-2, with a humiliation of FBS Western Kentucky the undobted high point of the season - but does that mean more that their resounding loss to No. 2 UNI this week, 23-9?

The struggles below the Top Ten have given some interesting teams looks this week by me: 3-1 Harvard (No. 15), 3-1 Yale (No. 20), 5-1 Alabama State (No. 21), and 4-1 Coastal Carolina (No. 22).  And lest anyone accuse me of being unduly influenced by records, too, let's look at the records objectively of all the teams:

Coastal Carolina (4-1):

Wins: NAIA Catawba, VMI (0-5), North Carolina A&T (3-2), Furman (3-2)
Loss: FBS Georgia

Alabama State (5-1):

Wins: Mississippi Valley State (0-5), Grambling State (1-4), Jackson State (5-1), Alcorn State (1-4), Texas Southern (2-3)
Loss: FBS Eastern Michigan

Yale (3-1):

Wins: Cornell (2-2), Dartmouth (1-3), Georgetown (4-2)
Loss: Lehigh (37-7)

Harvard (3-1):

Wins: Cornell (2-2), Brown (3-1), Lafayette (1-4)
Loss: Holy Cross (2-3)

Four losses between them - two to FBS teams, one to a Top Ten FCS team, and a loss to Holy Cross.  And each have quality wins over FCS opponents.

With a few more losses in the Top 25, I think more voters around the country will be looking at these teams and adding them as well.

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