FCS Top 25: Sam Houston slight No. 1 over South Dakota State

National Sports

(Stats Perform) – Sam Houston remained No. 1 in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 on Monday, but by the slimmest possible margin.

The defending national champion’s hold on the top spot has dropped slightly each week since the preseason. In the new national media poll, one point separated the Bearkats from second-ranked South Dakota State – 1,201 to 1,200.

Both powers improved to 4-0 on Saturday, with Sam Houston rallying in the fourth quarter to a 21-20 win over Stephen F. Austin and South Dakota State routing Dixie State 55-7. While Sam Houston had nearly twice as many first-place votes, 29 to 15, the points tightened from the Jackrabbits being in the top three on 48 of 50 ballots, and fourth on the other two ballots, compared to the Bearkats being top-three on 39 ballots.

James Madison (4-0) remained No. 3 and Eastern Washington (5-0) jumped from sixth to fourth over North Dakota State (4-0) after the Eagles beat Montana, which was fourth last week. Meanwhile, Stephen F. Austin (3-2) was No. 23, earning its first ranking since the 2015 preseason poll, and Nicholls (2-2) re-entered at No. 25, having last been ranked in the preseason poll in August.

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.

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Stats Perform FCS Top 25 (Oct. 4)

1. Sam Houston (4-0, 2-0 AQ7), 1,201 points (29 first-place votes)

Previous Ranking: 1; Week 5 Result: 21-20 win over Stephen F. Austin

2. South Dakota State (4-0, 1-0 Missouri Valley), 1,200 (15)

Previous Ranking: 2; Week 5 Result: 55-7 win over Dixie State

3. James Madison (4-0, 2-0 CAA), 1,165 (6)

Previous Ranking: 3; Week 5 Result: 23-21 win at then-No. 25 New Hampshire

4. Eastern Washington (5-0, 2-0 Big Sky), 1,091

Previous Ranking: 6; Week 5 Result: 34-28 win over then-No. 4 Montana

5. North Dakota State (4-0, 1-0 Missouri Valley), 1,082

Previous Ranking: 5; Week 5 Result: 16-10 win at then-No. 10 North Dakota

6. Montana (3-1, 1-1 Big Sky), 936

Previous Ranking: 4; Week 5 Result: 34-28 loss at then-No. 6 Eastern Washington

7. UC Davis (5-0, 2-0 Big Sky), 925

Previous Ranking: 8; Week 5 Result: 27-20 win over Idaho

8. Southern Illinois (4-1, 2-0 Missouri Valley), 911

Previous Ranking: 7; Week 5 Result: 31-30 OT win at Western Illinois

9. Delaware (3-1, 2-0 CAA), 843

Previous Ranking: 9; Week 5 Result: 20-15 win over Albany

10. Montana State (4-1, 2-0 Big Sky), 800

Previous Ranking: 11; Week 5 Result: 40-7 win over Northern Colorado

11. Villanova (3-1, 1-0 CAA), 690

Previous Ranking: 12; Week 5 Result: Open weekend

12. ETSU (5-0, 2-0 Southern), 679

Previous Ranking: 13; Week 5 Result: 27-21 win over Wofford

13. North Dakota (2-2, 0-1 Missouri Valley), 628

Previous Ranking: 10; Week 5 Result: 16-10 loss to then-No. 5 North Dakota State

14. Southeastern Louisiana (3-1, 1-0 Southland), 605

Previous Ranking: 14; Week 5 Result: 38-35 win at McNeese

15. Missouri State (3-1, 2-0 Missouri Valley), 553

Previous Ranking: 16; Week 5 Result: 41-20 win at Illinois State

16. Northern Iowa (3-1, 1-0 Missouri Valley), 548

Previous Ranking: 15; Week 5 Result: 34-7 win over Youngstown State

17. Kennesaw State (3-1, 0-0 Big South), 418

Previous Ranking: 20; Week 5 Result: 31-6 win over then-No. 17 Jacksonville State

18. Rhode Island (4-0, 2-0 CAA): 352

Previous Ranking: 21; Week 5 Result: 27-20 OT win over Stony Brook

19. Weber State (2-3, 1-1 Big Sky), 348

Previous Ranking: 19; Week 5 Result: 38-7 win at Cal Poly

20. UIW (4-1, 2-0 Southland), 262

Previous Ranking: 24; Week 5 Result: 38-27 win at Northwestern State

21. UT Martin (3-1, 0-0 Ohio Valley), 253

Previous Ranking: 23; Week 5 Result: Open week

22. New Hampshire (3-2, 2-1 CAA), 81

Previous Ranking: 25; Week 5 Result: 23-21 loss to then-No. 3 James Madison

23. Stephen F. Austin (3-2, 0-1 AQ7), 76

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked; Week 5 Result: 21-20 loss to then-No. 1 Sam Houston

24. Jacksonville State (2-3, 0-0 AQ7), 73

Previous Ranking: 17; Week 5 Result: 31-6 loss at then-No. 20 Kennesaw State

25. Nicholls (2-2, 1-0 Southland), 62

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked; Week 5 Result: 48-17 win over Houston Baptist

Dropped Out: VMI (18), Richmond (22)

Others Receiving Votes (schools listed on two or more ballots): VMI 58, Princeton 53, Monmouth 42, South Dakota 42, Mercer 41, Duquesne 38, Central Arkansas 35, Chattanooga 33, Murray State 33, Harvard 27, Jackson State 27, Prairie View A&M 7, Eastern Kentucky 6, William & Mary 4

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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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