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My FCS Top 25, 10/3/2011

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

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: James Madison Dukes
8: Lehigh Mountain Hawks
9: Sam Houston State Bearkats
10: Indiana State Sycamores
11: William & Mary Tribe
12: Appalachian State Mountaineers
13: Jacksonville State Gamecocks
14: Richmond Spiders
15: Holy Cross Crusaders
16: Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens
17: McNeese State Cowboys
18: Harvard Crimson
19: South Dakota Coyotes
20: Montana Grizzlies
21: Maine Black Bears
22: Norfolk State Spartans
23: Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles
24: Alabama State Hornets
25: Bucknell Bison

Three quick hits about my Top 25:

1.  Yes, Virginia, that's Lehigh in my Top 10 - and today, for the first time since 2005, Lehigh made it into the Top 10 in both the Sports Network and Coaches' Poll, too.  Lehigh has earned their respect nationally, only losing to CAA playoff teams last season, and taking No. 6 New Hampshire to overtime at home as well.  Their win over Northern Iowa in last year's FCS Playoffs certainly, too, opened a lot of eyes last year, and it's bearing fruit this season.

While the troops should be plenty happy at their accomplishment, there's plenty of landmines ahead, however: Holy Cross and Bucknell, No. 15 and No. 25 in my Top 25, loom on the conference schedule, and a Colgate squad with a fully healthy RB Nate Eachus could very easily slide into the "Others Receiving Votes" list as well, so there's plenty to be wary about the rest of the way.

2.  I've never put Tennessee Tech of the OVC in my Top 25 before - but I did this weekend.  You can't help and look at the schedule of this 4-1 team, with their only loss coming to FBS Iowa, and think that they might deserve that Top 25 nod this week.  The win against NAIA Maryville might not impress, but two wins on the road at tough OVC haunts - Eastern Illnois and UT Martin - has to make one think that the Golden Eagles might be able to make a run at the OVC title this year, if they can got just one more tough road win at Jacksonville State.

3.  I really struggled at the bottom of my Top 25 this week, not wishing to reward Chattanooga for an awful home loss to Kevin Higgins' Citadel Bulldogs, nor wishing to reward Old Dominion for a win over an overrated UMass team and an early season schedule filled with cupcakes (Georgia State?  Campbell?).  Instead, I took a 4-1 team out of the SWAC - Alabama State, whose 14-7 loss to FBS Eastern Michigan and 21-14 win over SWAC powerhouse Jackson State looks better and better the more you look at it.  In fact, it's hard to see where the losses are going to come from the rest of the way.  It's too bad the Hornets, should they win SWAC East, are obligated to play in the SWAC Championship game instead of participating in the FCS playoffs, for they look like a team that could shut down not a few FCS offenses around the nation.

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