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LFN's FCS Top 25, 10/3/2017

I don't officially vote in any of the FCS Top 25 polls, but I do share who I think deserves to be in the Top 25And this wasn't a week where a lot of teams dropped out, but it was a week where there were a bunch of epic Top 25 clashes that caused some reshuffling in the ranks.

For example, Youngstown State humbled South Dakota State 19-7 at home in a defensive feast, Central Arkansas overcame Sam Houston State 41-30 in a shootout, and South Dakota continued their dominant early-season performance by jumping to a 38-6 lead and then holding off a furious Leatherneck rally to survive in a 38-33 win over Western Illinois.

If you are looking for a nice, concise recap of the top games last week all in one, convenient post - you can look at CSJ's FCS Week 5 Twitter Highlights and get the information.  Highlights from Columbia's stunning win over Princeton are there - the Lions, for the first time since 1996, are 3-0.  And in further signs of the coming Apocalypse, Austin Peay, which recently broke a 27 game losing streak, have just ripped off three straight wins.

Here's what I ended up with in my Top 25:

1. James Madison
2. North Dakota State
3. Jacksonville State
4. Youngstown State
5. Central Arkansas
6. South Dakota
7. Eastern Washington
8. South Dakota State
9. Wofford
10. Sam Houston State
11. Western Illinois
12. Villanova
13. Richmond
14. North Carolina A&T
15. New Hampshire
16. Stony Brook
17. Weber State
18. Illinois State
19. The Citadel
20. Monmouth
21. Elon
22. Western Carolina
23. Dartmouth
24. McNeese
25. Samford

Biggest Omission:  Again, it's difficult to find teams in FCS that are on the brink of my Top 25 that aren't in there.  Probably the closest thing to that is Northern Iowa, who survived "Missouri Valley Football Conference Roulette" this week with a 24-17 win over Southern Illinois, the "easy" part of their conference schedule with five straight games over nationally-ranked teams coming up.

Biggest Up-And-Comer: Elon.  Let's face it - even the biggest Phoenix fans didn't dream of having a 4-1 record at this point of the year - but here we are, where the Phoenix boast wins over three straight teams that were in the Top 25 when they played them, Charleston Southern, Richmond, and Albany.  Could - dare I say it - Elon's home game against James Madison on November 18th determine the CAA's championship and autobid?

Biggest Win:  I was tempted to mention South Dakota in this space, due to their surprising record in the Missouri Valley, but Youngstown State definitively proved to me that they are a unquestioned Top 5 team after their dominating win over South Dakota State.  The Penguins were good, but I see now they're in the conversation for "elite".

Biggest Loss:  UT Martin, whaaat?  Not to take anything away from Austin Peay's three-game winning streak, but.. to be shut out by the Governors?  Right after getting back to Top 25 prominence?  No matter how you spin it, it's a crushing blow to their title hopes and FCS playoff hopes.


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