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My FCS Top 25 Vote, Week 1, 2015

One last bit of house-cleaning to finish up before tackling the James Madison preview in earnest: below the flip, check out my FCS Top 25 vote below.

It could have been one of the hardest Top 25 votes I've ever done.  For example, which FCS team that upset an FBS team was I going to leave off?  Montana went 1-1 in their two games - where should they be ranked?  Finally - how much was I going to punish some teams (I'm looking at you, Villanova) for losing to FBS squads?


1: Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
2: Jacksonville State Gamecocks
3: Villanova Wildcats
4: Illinois State Redbirds
5: Sam Houston State Bearkats
6: Montana Grizzlies
7: Eastern Washington Eagles
8: New Hampshire Wildcats
9: North Dakota State Bison
10: Fordham Rams
11: Northern Iowa Panthers
12: Liberty Flames
13: William & Mary Tribe
14: Southeastern Louisiana Lions
15: James Madison Dukes
16: Montana State Bobcats
17: Indiana State Sycamores
18: Samford Bulldogs
19: Chattanooga Mocs
20: Harvard Crimson
21: Southern Illinois Salukis
22: South Dakota State Jackrabbits
23: Portland State Vikings
24: Cal Poly Mustangs
25: Dartmouth Big Green


  1. Ninth?  Yes, Virginia; I put the defending champs the North Dakota State Bison 9th, behind teams like Villanova, Sam Houston, and New Hampshire.  Is it too low?  Yes; I acknowledge it is.  However, I think they were seriously harmed by my general policy to not downgrade a team for losing to an FBS team, which is why Villanova, Illinois State, Sam Houston State, and Eastern Washington all stayed pretty much the same from last week.
  2. Coastal 1, Jacksonville State 2?  Yup.  My preseason poll had Coastal Carolina at 2 behind North Dakota state, and they won a pretty big game on the road this weekend vs. Furman as well, making them the logical choice, barely squeaking it out over Jacksonville State.  (Incidentally, not a great weekend for the SoCon - the Gamecocks also beat last year's champions, Chattanooga, 23-20.  My sleeper pick as SoCon champs, Samford, saved the conference with a resounding 45-16 win over Central Arkansas.)
  3. Logjam on the bottom?  Yes,  My bottom 5 saw me have to take out my sleeper NEC (Bryant) and MEAC (North Carolina A&T) picks in order to find room for Portland State (who came out of nowhere to upset Washington State 23-17) and Cal Poly (who beat Montana in a non-conference matchup on the final play of the game).  While I didn't feel comfortable putting Poly in the Top 10, I felt like they needed to be in the conversation, along with Portland State, so I stuck them in the Top 25.  Is it fair, because Poly beat Montana?  No; but Poly has a chance to build on their success and rise up the ranks quickly if they do the expected and win a bunch of games.  Same with Portland State, for that matter.
  4. No North Dakota?  If there were a No. 26, North Dakota would be that team due to their shutout win vs. FBS Wyoming (ironically coached by North Dakota State's former head guy, Craig Bohl), but for now they are just outside the Top 25 because, frankly, I think Dartmouth is a better team.  There will be a very good chance for the Fightin' Nothings to get into the Top 25, but some other teams will have to lose first.

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