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FCS Top-25: Zach McKinnell’s Week 3 Ballot

I have the honor of representing The Bluebloods as one of the 56 voters in the FCS Stats Perform Top-25 for the 2023 season. Each week I will release my official ballot and provide some explanation for the biggest movers in our FCS Top 25 each week throughout the season. 

Week 3 Top-25 Ballot

25. UT Martin (2-1)

Week 3: 66-7 win against Houston Christian

24. Delaware (2-1)

Week 3: 42-14 win against Saint Francis

23. Eastern Washington (1-2)

Week 3: 40-29 win against No. 19 Southeastern Louisiana

22. Youngstown State (2-1)

Week 3: 48-28 win against Robert Morris

21. Florida A&M (2-1)

Week 3: 31-10 win against West Florida

20. Samford (1-2)

Week 3: 45-13 loss against Auburn

19. Rhode Island (2-1)

Week 3: 34-17 win against Maine

18. Southeast Missouri State (1-2)

Week 3: 26-25 loss against No. 15 Southern Illinois

17. North Carolina Central (2-1)

Week 3: 59-7 loss against UCLA

16. Montana (3-0)

Week 3: 17-10 win against Ferris State

15. UC Davis (2-1)

Week 3: 23-21 win against Southern Utah

14. New Hampshire (2-1)

Week 3: 24-7 win against Dartmouth

13. Western Carolina (2-1)

Week 3: 27-24 win against Eastern Kentucky

12. North Dakota (2-1)

Week 3: 42-18 loss against Boise State

11. Southern Illinois (3-0)

Week 3: 26-25 win against No. 13 Southeast Missouri State

10. Incarnate Word (2-1)

Week 3: 27-20 win against Abilene Christian

9. Weber State (2-1)

Week 3: 31-7 loss against Utah

8. Furman (2-1)

Week 3: 31-28 win against Kennesaw State

7. William & Mary (3-0)

Week 3: 15-7 win against Charleston Southern

6. Holy Cross (2-1)

Week 3: 49-24 win against Yale

5. Sacramento State (3-0)

Week 3: 30-23 win against Stanford

4. Idaho (2-1)

Week 3: 31-17 loss against California

3. Montana State (2-1)

Week 3: 57-20 win against Stetson

2. North Dakota State (3-0)

Week 3: 49-31 win against Central Arkansas

1. South Dakota State (3-0)

Week 3: 70-7 win against Drake

Honorable Mentions: Campbell (2-1), Mercer (2-1), Northern Iowa (1-2), Southeastern Louisiana (0-3), Tennessee State (2-1)

Analysis On Week 3 Ballot

Dropped: Abilene Christian, Gardner-Webb, Southeastern Louisiana

Added: Eastern Washington, Delaware, UT Martin

Sacramento State jumped from No. 10 to No. 5 after an impressive FBS win over Stanford. The Hornets have not missed a step under new head coach Andy Thompson. Sacramento State has three Division I wins and a chance to pick up their first-ranked win next week against No. 7 Idaho. 

Western Carolina made another jump from No. 17 to No. 13 after another impressive win over Eastern Kentucky. The Catamounts should be favored in the next three games on the schedule (Charleston Southern, The Citadel, & Chattanooga), which should set up a massive matchup against No. 8 Furman on Oct. 21. The Catamounts have played like the second-best SoCon program after the first three weeks and are building momentum with every win. 

Southern Illinois is another program that continues to quickly rise through the rankings. The Salukis have one of the best resumes in the country with a ranked win over SEMO, an FBS win over Northern Illinois, and a dominant win over Austin Peay. SEMO dropped from No. 11 to No. 18 after a one-point loss to Southern Illinois last weekend. The Redhawks still have plenty of talent and should be the favorites to win the Big South-OVC this season. 

Eastern Washington makes their first appearance in the Top 25 after a 40-29 win over Southeastern Louisiana. The Eagles now have a ranked win and a two-overtime loss to an FBS program (Fresno State) on the resume. The defense seems to be much improved from last season, while quarterback Kekoa Visperas has shown flashes of greatness over the first three games. Southeastern Louisiana dropped just outside the Top 25 after an 0-3 start to the season. The Lions have respectable losses against two FBS opponents, but I need to see more from this team moving forward. 

Delaware and UT Martin both slide into the final two spots on my Week 3 ballot. The Blue Hens have two dominant wins over Stony Brook and Saint Francis but will have a massive test against No. 11 New Hampshire this weekend. After a Week 1 loss to Georgia, the Skyhawks have wins over Missouri State and Houston Christian. Tennessee State and Campbell are on the outside looking in, but both are two teams that are rapidly rising in my rankings. Campbell has looked impressive after a Week 1 loss to No. 5 William & Mary, while Tennessee State is fresh off a win over Gardner-Webb. 

RELATED: FCS Football Recap: Week 3 Takeaways

Follow @The Bluebloods on Twitter for ongoing coverage of FCS football news, notes, and opinions. You can also follow Zach McKinnell on Twitter @zachmckinnell

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