FCS Top 25: Conference champs ETSU, Kennesaw State feel like a 10

National Sports

(Stats Perform) – The schedules worked out for the Big South and Southern conferences to have de facto championship games this past Saturday.

Kennesaw State routed Monmouth in the Big South and ETSU edged Mercer in the SoCon, and each winning team has surged into the national playoffs with a 10-1 record and a top 10 ranking in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25.

The postseason will sort it all out, of course, but No. 9 ETSU and No. 10 Kennesaw State have momentum from their title-clinching wins. Top-ranked and defending FCS champion Sam Houston (10-0), No. 2 James Madison (10-1) and No. 3 North Dakota State (10-1) also have double-figure win totals and top 10 rankings in the national media poll.

Add in No. 4 Eastern Washington (9-2) and the top four spots in the poll are held by the only national championship programs since the title game moved to Frisco, Texas, in 2010. This season’s playoffs will conclude there again on Jan. 8.

A national media panel selects the Stats Perform FCS Top 25. A first-place vote is worth 25 points, a second-place vote 24 points, all the way down to one point for a 25th-place vote.

The final poll will be released on Jan. 10.

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Stats Perform FCS Top 25 (Nov. 22)

1. Sam Houston (10-0, 6-0 AQ7), 1,248 points (49 first-place votes)

Previous Ranking: 1; Week 12 Result: 35-9 win at Abilene Christian

2. James Madison (10-1, 7-1 CAA), 1,190

Previous Ranking: 2; Week 12 Result: 56-10 win over Towson

3. North Dakota State (10-1, 7-1 Missouri Valley), 1,154 (1)

Previous Ranking: 4; Week 12 Result: 52-24 win over then-No. 16 South Dakota

4. Eastern Washington (9-2, 6-2 Big Sky), 1,027

Previous Ranking: 5; Week 12 Result: 42-28 win at Portland State

5. Montana (9-2, 6-2 Big Sky), 1,013

Previous Ranking: 7; Week 12 Result: 29-10 win over then-No. 3 Montana State

6. Villanova (9-2, 7-1 CAA), 996

Previous Ranking: 6; Week 12 Result: 21-13 win at Delaware

7. Montana State (9-2, 7-1 Big Sky), 916

Previous Ranking: 3; Week 12 Result: 29-10 loss at then-No. 7 Montana

8. Sacramento State (9-2, 8-0 Big Sky), 908

Previous Ranking: 11; Week 12 Result: 27-7 win at then-No. 10 UC Davis

9. ETSU (10-1, 7-1 Southern), 886

Previous Ranking: 8; Week 12 Result: 38-35 win over then-No. 21 Mercer

10. Kennesaw State (10-1, 7-0 Big South), 826

Previous Ranking: 9; Week 12 Result: 49-17 win over Monmouth

11. South Dakota State (8-3, 5-3 Missouri Valley), 721

Previous Ranking: 12; Week 12 Result: 24-21 win over North Dakota

12. Missouri State (8-3, 6-2 Missouri Valley), 701

Previous Ranking: 14; Week 12 Result: 55-24 win at Dixie State

13. UIW (9-2, 7-1 Southland), 629

Previous Ranking: 18; Week 12 Result: 55-14 win at Houston Baptist

14. UC Davis (8-3, 5-3 Big Sky), 581

Previous Ranking: 10; Week 12 Result: 27-7 loss to then-No. 11 Sacramento State

15. Jackson State (10-1, 8-0 SWAC), 512

Previous Ranking: 19; Week 12 Result: 24-10 win over Alcorn State

16. UT Martin (9-2, 5-1 Ohio Valley), 469

Previous Ranking: 13; Week 12 Result: 31-14 loss at Southeast Missouri

17. South Dakota (7-4, 5-3 Missouri Valley), 372

Previous Ranking: 16; Week 12 Result: 52-24 loss at then-No. 4 North Dakota State

18. Southeastern Louisiana (8-3, 6-2 Southland), 366

Previous Ranking: 15; Week 12 Result: 45-42 loss to Nicholls

19. Dartmouth (9-1, 6-1 Ivy), 365

Previous Ranking: 20; Week 12 Result: 52-31 win at Brown

20. Stephen F. Austin (8-3, 4-2 AQ7), 293

Previous Ranking: 22; Week 12 Result: 42-6 win at Lamar

21. Southern Illinois (7-4, 5-3 Missouri Valley), 286

Previous Ranking: 17; Week 12 Result: 35-18 loss to Youngstown State

22. Florida A&M (9-2, 7-1 SWAC), 239

Previous Ranking: 23; Week 12 Result: 46-21 win over Bethune-Cookman

23. Princeton (9-1, 6-1 Ivy), 157

Previous Ranking: 24; Week 12 Result: 34-14 win at Penn

24. Holy Cross (9-2, 6-0 Patriot), 103

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked; Week 12 Result: 45-6 win at Bucknell

25. Mercer (7-3, 6-2 Southern), 99

Previous Ranking: 21; Week 12 Result: 38-35 loss at then-No. 8 ETSU

Dropped Out: Rhode Island (24)

Others Receiving Votes (schools listed on two or more ballots): Northern Iowa 94, Sacred Heart 24, Eastern Kentucky 23, Harvard 17, Richmond 7, Monmouth 5, Rhode Island 4, Elon 3, Davidson 2

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Stats Perform FCS Top 25 Voters – Stats Perform: Craig Haley, Gary Reasons. ASUN: Patrick McCoy, Mike Parris. Big Sky Conference: Doug Kelly, Tyson Rodgers, Larry Weir. Big South Conference: Brian Cleary, Matt Harmon, Mark Simpson. CAA Football: Scott Klatzkin, Greg Madia, Rob Washburn. Ivy League: Rick Bender, Craig Larson. Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference: Bill Hamilton, Maurice Williams. Missouri Valley Football Conference: Dom Izzo, Mike Kern, Randy Reinhardt. Northeast Conference: Tad Maury, Ralph Ventre. Ohio Valley Conference: Neal Bradley, Kyle Schwartz. Patriot League: Eric Malanowski, Ryan Sakamoto. Pioneer Football League: Cody Bush, Jack Cronin. Southern Conference: David Fox, Jeff Hartsell, Phil Perry. Southland Conference: Zack Carlton, Josh Yonis. Southwestern Athletic Conference: Ronnie Johnson, Travis Jarome, Andrew Roberts. Western Athletic Conference: Josh Criswell, Chris Thompson. National Representatives: Josh Buchanan, Riley Corcoran, Sam Herder, Emory Hunt, Brett Huston, Kyle Kensing, Brandon Lawrence, Jon Passman, Lawrence Smith, Phil Sokol, Reggie Thomas, Jamie Williams.

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