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My FCS Top 25, 9/15/2012

My vote for the FCS Top 25 for the week ending 9/15/2012 follows below the flip.

1: North Dakota State Bison
2: Sam Houston State Bearkats
3: Northern Iowa Panthers
4: Montana State Bobcats
5: James Madison Dukes
6: Eastern Washington Eagles
7: Stony Brook Seawolves
8: Wofford Terriers
9: The Citadel Bulldogs
10: Lehigh Mountain Hawks
11: Georgia Southern Eagles
12: Appalachian State Mountaineers
13: Towson Tigers
14: Youngstown State
15: New Hampshire Wildcats
16: Montana Grizzlies
17: Maine Black Bears
18: Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens
19: Illinois State Redbirds
20: Indiana State Sycamores
21: McNeese State Cowboys
22: Central Arkansas Bears
23: Cal Poly Mustangs
24: Harvard Crimson
25: Old Dominion Monarchs
  • Most significant win: How could it not by The Citadel, who didn't just beat Appalachian State at Kidd Brewer Stadium, one of the toughest places to play in FCS, but gave them a beatdown they won't ever forget? Kevin Higgins' Bulldogs roared to a 31-0 lead in the first half, scoring on their first five offensive possessions while, for good measure, blocking a punt and returning it for a touchdown.  Mountaineer fans aren't accustomed to leaving at halftime; but after being behind 38-7 at halftime, though they had to be filing out, ending with a humiliating 52-21 defeat.  At home.  At the Rock. 
  • The numbers in this game defy belief.  618 yards of total offense, the most offensive yards in a game in Citadel history.  400 offensive yards in the first half alone. Triple-option QB "You, Me, and" Ben Dupree with 180 yards rushing, 2 TDs, and - here's the surprise - 2/4 passing for 56 yards.  Three 100 yard rushers - Dupree, RB Darien Robinson and RB Rickey Anderson.  And it's not like this is the first time Appalachian State has faced the triple-option - they face off against Wofford and Georgia Southern every year.
  • The Citadel has now knocked off two Top 10 FCS schools in consecutive weeks.  Time for a breather?  Not exactly; a trip to North Carolina State beckons next weekend.  If they go 4-0, is it outlandish to think of them as the No. 1 team in the country?  Definitely not.
  • Most Significant Loss: Norfolk State's 37-36 overtime loss to Howard, this week's ESPN3 special, could not have been more heartbreaking for Pete Adrian's crew.  After falling behind 23-0, the Spartans awoke and clawed all the way back, with PK Everett Goldberg delivering the game-tying FG with 30 seconds to play.  With momentum, they scored a touchdown after Howard - but saw Goldberg's extra point blocked by DE Julien David, who came in from the side and got a hand on the kick.
  • It not only gives the Spartans a huge loss to an unranked team - it also gives them a critical conference loss early in the season, and the road doesn't get any easier with South Carolina State and Bethune-Cookman.  They'll also start to see if Florida A&M will lose, too - a quirk in the schedule means the Spartans and Rattlers don't play this year.
  • Forgotten Team: Monmouth.  Perhaps they won't want to be my "forgotten team this week, considering last week's was Norfolk State,  but since losing to Lehigh on opeining day the Jersey Hawks have ripped off a couple of impressive wins - 41-6 against Rhode Island of the CAA and 38-17 last weekend against their "Outer Bridge Rival" Wagner.  (How many rivalries are named after bridges - and, more importantly, can a "Goethals Rivalry" or a "Verrazano Rivalry" be far away?)  The Jersey Hawks were just outside my Top 25 this week, but looking up and down their schedule, it's hard to see any game on there that they couldn't actually win.  If they go on the road and beat Albany on 9/29, look out.


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