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My FCS Top 25, 10/8/2012

My vote for the FCS Top 25 for the week ending 10/1/2012 follows below the flip.

1: North Dakota State Bison
2: Montana State Bobcats
3: James Madison Dukes
4: Eastern Washington Eagles
5: Stony Brook Seawolves
6: Wofford Terriers
7: Lehigh Mountain Hawks
8: Youngstown State Penguins
9: Old Dominion Monarchs
10: Georgia Southern Eagles
11: Appalachian State Mountaineers
12: Sam Houston State Bearkats
13: Cal Poly Mustangs
14: Albany Great Danes
15: Harvard Crimson
16: New Hampshire Wildcats
17: Towson Tigers
18: Illinois State Redbirds
19: Central Arkansas Bears
20: Tennessee State Tigers
21: Northern Arizona Lumberjacks
22: South Dakota State Jackrabbits
23: Samford Bulldogs
24: Howard Bison
25: Alabama A&M Bulldogs
  • Most significant win: I keep putting North Dakota State in this spot.  And why not?  They followed up last week's impressive 33-21 win over Northern Iowa and followed it up with an even more impressive 48-7 win over Youngstown State. It's an open question: after these two huge victories, how will Craig Bohl keep his Bison motivated for the last six games of the season?
  • I've called the Missouri Valley Football Conference FCS' version of the Norris Division, and boy, does it ever look like that's the case again this year.  And if that doesn't make you pause, think about this: 4-1 Youngstown State, 5-0 North Dakota State, 4-1 Illinois State, 4-1 South Dakota State and 4-2 Indiana State all will be butting heads in the next few weeks, with 3-3 Southern Illinois not out of the hunt yet and 1-4 Northern Iowa no easy tam to defeat either.  It's amazing to think of these seven teams, only three, or perhaps four at the absolute most, will make the playoffs.
  • It's another team, though, that also had a very big victory, and that's Montana State, and their 48-41 win over UC Davis.  Up 31-14 at halftime, the Aggies made it very interesting, rallying to tie the game twice and even take a lead before Bobcat CB Zach Minter intercepted a key Aggie pass at the 5 yard line which was converted for a game-saving score. They would add a field goal to preserve the victory, and bring Montana State's record to 6-0.
  • Montana State has been similar to Lehigh in the sense that not only are they undefeated, they've won ugly and made things interesting like they did last Saturday.  They almost fell to head coach Rob Ash's former school, Drake, 34-24, and squeezed by Southern Utah 24-17.  But this last game seemed different than those other two in the sense that the Bobcats, behind QB Denarius McGee, rallied to win it in the last two minutes, despite their loss of the lead.  Don't underestimate Montana State as they face off against another Top 10 team next weekend, Eastern Washington, at home.
  • Most Significant Loss: I'll say it for the second straight week: what the heck happened to The Citadel?  Their comprehensive 38-7 loss to Samford, who as a result made an appearance in my Top 25 this week, is less surprising since they lost the previous week, but it's still worth mentioning again, how did all the magic disappear so fast for the Bulldogs?  Certainly a big part of the answer was Samford jumping out to an early lead, thanks to a 65 yard pick six by an early candidate for my all-FCS Name Team, Samford FS Jaquski Tartt.  But someone must have figured out some gaping holes in The Citadel's triple-option - whatever the case, it was significant enough for me to drop them from my Top 25.
  • Forgotten Team: Harvard.  They've been here all along, but finally folks are starting to realize that the Crimson, behind the best FCS quarterback in the Northeast, QB Colton Chapple, are for real.  This week's victim of 4-0 Harvard: a trendy pick for the Ivy League championship this year, Cornell, whom the Crimson demolished 45-13.  The Harvard offense?  They're averaging nearly 48 points a game in their last 3 contests.  Chapple?  Try 10 touchdowns in 2 consecutive games. They're a Top Ten team masquerading as a team hanging around the outer edges of the Top 25.  I have them at 15, and if they keep winning, I can see them in my Top 10 in a matter of weeks.


Chip C. said…

Love your Lehigh coverage and enjoy reading your blog. I've watched Lehigh the past three years and they have another good sqaud this year. However, and per your previous post about their inconsistency on offense, o line problems, careless penalties and opponents being well under .500 to this point in the year, the Hawks are the definition of "fools gold" so far. 6-0 is nice, but anything short of running the Patriot League table removes them from top 20 easily. They find a way though every week...hopefully they keep it going.

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