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My FCS Top 25, 9/20/2016

You didn't ask for them, but here's my pick for this week's FCS Top 25.

Photo Credit: New York Newsday

Stony Brook WR Ray Bolden catches a pass a sideline pass and takes it in for a touchdown against Richmond on Sept. 17, 2016. Photo Credit: Daniel De Mato



1. North Dakota State
2. Eastern Washington
3. Sam Houston State
4. William and Mary
5. Montana
6. Chattanooga
7. Jacksonville State
8. James Madison
9. Villanova
10. The Citadel
11. Western Illinois
12. Charleston Southern
13. North Carolina A&T
14. Illinois State
15. Colgate
16. Harvard
17. Richmond
18. Northern Iowa
19. Portland State
20. Albany
21. Eastern Illinois
22. Cal Poly
23. Fordham
24. Stony Brook
25. Tennessee State

Notes on my Top 25:

* With North Dakota State's upset of Iowa, a legitimate Big Ten championship contender, 23-21, there's little doubt as to who should be No. 1 on everyone's FCS ballot.  But I was asked, and this is a good question: why William and Mary my No. 4?

My reason is that the Tribe, I feel, are somewhat underrated by the rest of FCS Nation in general, with a surprisingly balanced defense led by DE Jerry Ugwoke, and a balanced offense, led by experienced but somewhat uneven QB Steve Culey.  While they don't flash gaudy stats in your face, overall, as a unit, they don't have a lot of weaknesses, as long as Culey doesn't turn over the ball.

They also have this young player that made some big noise this weekend:
The Tribe has pretty much met expectations so far, losing to NC State by a wide margin and handling local foes Hampton and Norfolk State by comfortable scores.  Assuming they get past Elon this weekend, they're going to face their first true elite FCS teams back-to-back, New Hampshire and James Madison.  Their season is likely to come down to those games, but I like the Tribe's chances.

* In terms of stunners, it's was hard to beat Stony Brook's blowout of Richmond, featuring an amazing all-around game from the Seawolves.  New York Newsday: "RB Stacey Bedell led the way on offense with 17 carries for 100 yards and four touchdowns, sophomore QB Joe Carbone completed 11 of 15 passes for 155 yards and one TD, and Stony Brook converted nine of 12 third-down plays. KR Sherman Alston Jr. returned the second-half kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown that restored a 28-14 lead after the Spiders pulled within a TD near the end of the second quarter."
How stunning was this result?  In Stony Brook's first two games, the Seawolves scored 13 points in two games.  Now, Stony Brook has made their way into my Top 25 with a very impressive win under their belts.

* Explain to me how, especially with Richmond losing, Eastern Washington is not the No. 2 team in the country on everyone's ballot?  The Eagles are 2-1, with a win over FBS Washington State to start the year, and a split against the class of the Missouri Valley, an overtime loss to No. 1 North Dakota State and a thrilling 34-30 win over Northern Iowa.

You want storylines in that Northern Iowa game?  Try how the Eagles won the game, with the backup QB filling in for injured starting QB Gage Gubrud:

2 wins, one win like that, the other against a Power 5 team, and an overtime loss to the No. 1 team in the country?  What am I missing here?

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