Five Big Sky teams in top half of FCS Top 25 rankings

National Sports

(Stats Perform) – To emphasize the depth of Big Sky teams this season, consider four-time defending champ Weber State is .500 in conference play and tied for seventh place.

Better yet, look at the Stats Perform FCS Top 25, where five of the top 12 ranked teams are from the Big Sky.

Montana State (8-1) led the impressive contingent at No. 3 in the national media poll following a top-five win at Eastern Washington. It marked the Bobcats’ highest ranking since they were No. 3 on Sept. 16, 2013.

Only top-ranked and defending FCS champion Sam Houston (8-0) and James Madison (8-1) were ahead of Montana State in the rankings, which included No. 6 UC Davis, No. 7 Eastern Washington, No. 9 Montana and No. 12 Sacramento State from the Big Sky.

Ten different conferences had a ranked team, including the SWAC with two after Prairie View entered at No. 24 – the Panthers’ first appearance since Sept. 17, 2010. Jackson State was No. 18.

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 (Nov. 8)

1. Sam Houston (8-0, 4-0 AQ7), 1,250 points (50 first-place votes)

Previous Ranking: 1; Week 10 Result: 59-10 win over Dixie State

2. James Madison (8-1, 5-1 CAA), 1,180

Previous Ranking: 3; Week 10 Result: 51-14 win over Campbell

3. Montana State (8-1, 6-0 Big Sky), 1,168

Previous Ranking: 4; Week 10 Result: 23-20 win at then-No. 5 Eastern Washington

4. South Dakota State (7-2, 4-2 Missouri Valley), 1,045

Previous Ranking: 9; Week 10 Result: 27-19 win over then-No. 2 North Dakota State

5. North Dakota State (8-1, 5-1 Missouri Valley), 1,015

Previous Ranking: 2; Week 10 Result: 27-19 loss at then-No. 9 South Dakota State

6. UC Davis (8-1, 5-1 Big Sky), 1,005

Previous Ranking: 8; Week 10 Result: 40-24 win at Northern Arizona

7. Eastern Washington (7-2, 4-2 Big Sky), 889

Previous Ranking: 5; Week 10 Result: 23-20 loss to then-No. 4 Montana State

8. Villanova (7-2, 5-1 CAA), 872

Previous Ranking: 10; Week 10 Result: 35-0 win at Elon

9. Montana (7-2, 4-2 Big Sky), 799

Previous Ranking: 11; Week 10 Result: 35-0 win at Northern Colorado

10. Kennesaw State (8-1, 5-0 Big South), 778

Previous Ranking: 12; Week 10 Result: 45-21 win at Robert Morris

11. ETSU (8-1, 5-1 Southern), 723

Previous Ranking: 14; Week 10 Result: 27-20 win over then-No. 18 VMI

12. Sacramento State (7-2, 6-0 Big Sky), 624

Previous Ranking: 16; Week 10 Result: 41-9 win over Cal Poly

13. UT Martin (8-1, 4-0 Ohio Valley), 622

Previous Ranking: 15; Week 10 Result: 41-20 win over Tennessee State

14. Southeastern Louisiana (7-2, 5-1 Southland), 613

Previous Ranking: 6; Week 10 Result: 55-52 loss at then-No. 22 UIW

15. Southern Illinois (6-3, 4-2 Missouri Valley), 603

Previous Ranking: 7; Week 10 Result: 38-28 loss to then-No. 17 Missouri State

16. Missouri State (6-3, 5-2 Missouri Valley), 596

Previous Ranking: 17; Week 10 Result: 38-28 win at then-No. 7 Southern Illinois

17. UIW (7-2, 5-1 Southland), 516

Previous Ranking: 22; Week 10 Result: 55-52 win over then-No. 6 Southeastern Louisiana

18. Jackson State (8-1, 6-0 SWAC), 385

Previous Ranking: 19; Week 10 Result: 41-21 win over Texas Southern

19. South Dakota (6-3, 4-2 Missouri Valley), 338

Previous Ranking: 23; Week 10 Result: 42-21 win at Western Illinois

20. Northern Iowa (5-4, 3-3 Missouri Valley), 257

Previous Ranking: 13; Week 10 Result: 17-10 OT loss at Illinois State

21. VMI (6-3, 4-2 Southern), 173

Previous Ranking: 18; Week 10 Result: 27-20 loss at then-No. 14 ETSU

22.(tie) Chattanooga (6-3, 5-1 Southern), 160

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked; Week 10 Result: 35-10 win at Wofford

22.(tie) Dartmouth (7-1, 4-1 Ivy), 160

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked; Week 10 Result: 31-7 win over then-No. 20 Princeton

24. Prairie View A&M (7-1, 6-0 SWAC), 109

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked; Week 10 Result: 24-20 win over Alabama State

25. William & Mary (6-3, 4-2 CAA), 79

Previous Ranking: 20(tie); Week 10 Result: 24-3 loss at Delaware

Dropped Out: Princeton (20 tie), Weber State (24), Eastern Kentucky (25)

Others Receiving Votes (schools listed on two or more ballots): Mercer 58, Stephen F. Austin 54, Princeton 50, Florida A&M 46, Rhode Island 33, Eastern Kentucky 15, Delaware 8, Monmouth 7, Nicholls 7, Harvard 5, Holy Cross 3

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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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