VMI’s First Ranking, Jackson State’s Return Highlight FCS Top 25
FCS

VMI’s First Ranking, Jackson State’s Return Highlight FCS Top 25

Welcome to the newcomers in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 – some old, some familiar, some never been here before.

While surprise teams continued to be a big part of the national media rankings on Monday, national power James Madison remained No. 1 for a third straight week, although its most recent game was postponed for COVID-19 issues. The Dukes (3-0) were followed by North Dakota (4-0) up one spot to its highest-ever ranking at No. 2 heading into Saturday’s Missouri Valley Conference showdown at No. 4 North Dakota State (4-1). Weber State (2-0) was No. 3 and Southern Illinois (4-1) No. 5.

VMI, which sits atop the Southern Conference standings, powered into the poll at No. 19. It marked the first FCS ranking for the Keydets (3-0) since the military school moved into the subdivision in 1982.

“To start 3-0 for the first time since 1981 is huge and a tremendous accomplishment,” sixth-year coach Scott Wachenheim said. “We had two themes (last) week: to be humble and hungry.”

At No. 23, Richmond entered the rankings for the first time since 2017. The Spiders (2-0) visit James Madison in an important CAA Football game on Saturday.

Jackson State, which is 3-0 under first-year coach Deion Sanders, checked in at No. 24 – the SWAC member’s first ranking since the final 2011 poll. Ohio Valley Conference co-leader Murray State (3-0) was No. 25, also returning to the poll for the first time since the 2011 season.

A national panel selects the Stats Perform FCS Top 25, which this spring includes only schools that have committed to playing a regular schedule. 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.

STATS PERFORM FCS TOP 25 (MARCH 15)

1. James Madison (3-0, 1-0 CAA), 975 points (28 first-place votes)

Previous Ranking: 1; Week 5 Result: Postponed vs. William & Mary

2. North Dakota (4-0 Missouri Valley), 944 (10)

Previous Ranking: 3; Week 5 Result: 38-21 win at Western Illinois

3. Weber State (2-0 Big Sky), 943 (2)

Previous Ranking: 2; Week 5 Result: 18-13 win over then-No. 23 UC Davis

4. North Dakota State (4-1, 3-1 Missouri Valley), 829

Previous Ranking: 5; Week 5 Result: 21-13 win over then-No. 22 Illinois State

5. Southern Illinois (4-1, 3-1 Missouri Valley), 815

Previous Ranking: T10; Week 5 Result: 17-16 win over then-No. 4 Northern Iowa

6. South Dakota State (3-1 Missouri Valley), 811

Previous Ranking: 8; Week 5 Result: 19-17 win over Youngstown State

7. Sam Houston (2-0 Southland), 743

Previous Ranking: 12; Week 5 Result: 71-17 win over then-No. 7 Nicholls

8. Jacksonville State (6-1, 3-0 Ohio Valley), 716

Previous Ranking: T10; Week 5 Result: 37-20 win at UT Martin

9. Kennesaw State (2-0, 1-0 Big South), 707

Previous Ranking: 9; Week 5 Result: 24-19 win over Charleston Southern

10. Northern Iowa (2-2 Missouri Valley), 639

Previous Ranking: 4; Week 5 Result: 17-16 loss at then-No. 10 at Southern Illinois

11. Chattanooga (2-1, 2-0 Southern), 483

Previous Ranking: 14; Week 5 Result: No game

12. Delaware (2-0 CAA), 464

Previous Ranking: 19; Week 5 Result: 31-3 win over Stony Brook

13. Furman (3-1 Southern), 443

Previous Ranking: 15; Week 5 Result: 17-13 win at ETSU

14. Villanova (1-1 CAA), 438

Previous Ranking: 6; Week 5 Result: 40-37 OT loss to Rhode Island

15. Eastern Washington (2-1 Big Sky), 425

Previous Ranking: 16; Week 5 Result: 46-42 win at Idaho State

16. Southeastern Louisiana (2-1 Southland), 394

Previous Ranking: 18; Week 5 Result: 27-24 win over Northwestern State

17. Nicholls (3-1, 2-1 Southland), 357

Previous Ranking: 7; Week 5 Result: 71-17 loss at then-No. 12 Sam Houston

18. Albany (1-1 CAA), 255

Previous Ranking: 13; Week 5 Result: 38-34 loss at Maine

19. VMI (3-0 Southern), 253

Previous Ranking: Unranked; Week 5 Result: 41-14 win over Mercer

20. New Hampshire (0-1 CAA), 228

Previous Ranking: 17; Week 5 Result: No game

21. UC Davis (1-1 Big Sky), 182

Previous Ranking: 23; Week 5 Result: 18-13 loss at then-No. 2 Weber State

22. UIW (2-0 Southland), 179

Previous Ranking: 25; West 5 Result: No game

23. Richmond (2-0 CAA), 150

Previous Ranking: Unranked; Week 5 Result: 38-14 win at Elon

24. Jackson State (3-0, 2-0 SWAC), 141

Previous Ranking: Unranked; Week 5 Result: 43-7 win over Mississippi Valley State

25. Murray State (3-0 Ohio Valley), 90

Previous Ranking: Unranked; Week 5 Result: 36-31 win at Tennessee Tech

Dropped Out: Wofford (20), South Dakota (21), Illinois State (22), Monmouth (24)

Others Receiving Votes (schools listed on two or more ballots): Monmouth 71, Idaho 60, Rhode Island 58, Gardner-Webb 38, Illinois State 31, Maine 26, South Dakota 20, Austin Peay 16, Tarleton 15, San Diego 14, Wofford 14, ETSU 5