Photo Cred: Jeremy Fleming (Furman Athletics)

FCS Top-25: The Bluebloods Week 9 Ballot

We have the honor of being one of the 54 voters in the FCS Stats Perform Top-25 for the 2022 season. Each week we will release our official ballot and provide some explanation for the biggest movers in our FCS Top-25 each week at the FCS level. You can also hear the rationale on our weekly FCS Recap on our YouTube channel every Sunday/Monday night.

Week 9 Top-25 Ballot

25. Fordham (6-2)

Week 9: 53-52 Loss To #5 Holy Cross

24. North Dakota (5-3)

Week 9: 34-31 Win Over Abilene Christian

23. Southeast Missouri State (6-2)

Week 9: 28-23 Loss To Eastern Kentucky

22. Princeton (7-0)

Week 9: 35-9 Win Over Cornell  

21. UT Martin (5-3)

Week 9: 52-28 Win Over Houston Christian

20. Rhode Island (5-3)

Week 9: 31-30 Loss To #10 William & Mary

19. Montana (5-3)

Week 9: 24-21 Loss To #5 Weber State

18. Delaware (6-2)

Week 9: 27-7 Loss To Elon

17. Richmond (6-2)

Week 9: 31-21 Win Over Maine 

16. Elon (6-3)

Week 9: 27-7 Win Over #12 Delaware

15. New Hampshire (6-2)

Week 9: Bye Week

14. Idaho (5-3)

Week 9: 31-28 Loss To #2 Sacramento State

13. Mercer (7-2)

Week 9: 55-14 Win Over VMI

12. Chattanooga (6-2)

Week 9: 24-20 Loss To #24 Furman

11. Furman (7-2)

Week 9: 24-20 Win Over #7 Chattanooga

10. Samford (7-1)

Week 9: 38-3 Win Over The Citadel

9. Incarnate Word (8-1)

Week 9: 35-7 Win Over Texas A&M-Commerce

8. Jackson State (8-0)

Week 9: 35-0 Win Over Southern

7. William & Mary (7-1)

Week 9: 31-30 Win Over #18 Rhode Island

6. Holy Cross (8-0)

Week 9: 53-52 Win Over #22 Fordham

5. Weber State (7-1)

Week 9: 24-21 Win Over #11 Montana

4. North Dakota State (6-2)

Week 9: 24-7 Win Over Illinois State

3. Sacramento State (8-0)

Week 9: 31-28 Win Over #14 Idaho

2. Montana State (7-1)

Week 9: Bye Week

1. South Dakota State (8-1)

Week 9: 49-7 Win Over Indiana State

Analysis On Week 9 Performances:

New teams on my Top-25 ballot: Elon & North Dakota

Teams who dropped out of my Top-25: Southern Illinois & Austin Peay

Elon jumped back into the Top-25 after their impressive win over Delaware this weekend. The Phoenix forced three turnovers and held Delaware to 19 yards rushing in a dominant defensive performance. Matthew McKay had a big day with three passing touchdowns, while Jalen Hampton rushed for over 130 yards for the Phoenix offense. Elon has an impressive resume with three ranked wins including a road win over William & Mary, which should allow the Phoenix to grab an at-large bid to the FCS Playoffs. North Dakota also jumped into the Top-25 after a 34-31 win over Abilene Christian. The Hawks have played one of the most difficult schedules in the country and have dropped games to South Dakota State, Southern Illinois, & Nebraska. Wins over Northern Arizona, Northern Iowa, Missouri State, and Abilene Christian are impressive enough to be ranked in the Top-25. 

Furman was the biggest riser in our ballot this week after their 24-20 win over Chattanooga. The Paladins rushed for 185 yards and 2 TDs against one of the best defenses in the SoCon, while Tyler Huff accounted for 335 total yards of offense against the Mocs. There are four SoCon programs inside the Top-15 and they are ordered based on resume and head-to-head results. Samford moves into the Top-10 as the Bulldogs are undefeated against FCS competition including a win over Furman earlier this season. Mercer is the final SoCon program in this group of four due to their loss to Chattanooga last weekend

Idaho may have lost this weekend against Sacramento State, but I still think the Vandals have a Top-15 resume at this point in the season. The Vandals are sitting at 5-1 against FCS competition with their only loss being to the #2 team in the country on the road. I also kept Fordham in my Top-25 after their 53-52 loss to Holy Cross this weekend. I think the Rams showed they can compete at an extremely high level against elite competition and they should receive strong consideration for an at-large bid if they win the final three games on their schedule. 

Montana dropped a few more spots after their 3rd straight loss this season, but stay in my Top-20 due to the quality of their competition these past three weeks. The Griz will have to win at least two of their three final games to stay in consideration for an at-large bid, but an upset win over Montana State in the final week of the season could be the key for Montana to keep their postseason hopes alive. Rhode Island lost a competitive game against William & Mary after an excellent goal line stand by the Tribe defense. I think the Rams still have a win over Elon on their resume with their only losses at the FCS level coming to Top-15 opponents, which is why they hold onto their Top-20 ranking this week.

Southeast Missouri State also experienced a drop after their loss to Eastern Kentucky this weekend. The Redbirds do have a road win over Southern Illinois on their resume, but do not have another ranked matchup on the schedule. SEMO cannot afford to suffer another loss this season and will need to win out to keep pace with UT Martin in the race to win the autobid for the OVC. 

Notable Week 10 Games: #2 Sacramento State @ #5 Weber State, #15 New Hampshire @ #17 Richmond, #1 South Dakota State @ Northern Iowa, Monmouth @ #18 Delaware, Kennesaw State @ #21 UT Martin, #7 William & Mary @ Hampton, Eastern Washington @ #14 Idaho 

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