Eastern Illinois, Coastal Carolina, Lehigh make gains into top 10 of coaches' poll
NDSU No. 1; Maine, Gardner-Webb, Delaware enter rankings
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Three teams entered the top 10 of the FCS Coaches' poll this week, with Eastern Illinois, Coastal Carolina and Lehigh jumping seven, six and seven spots, respectively, in the rankings. North Dakota State kept a strong hold on the No. 1 slot, notching all 26 first-place votes for the fourth consecutive week.
The Bison shut out South Dakota State 20-0 on Saturday, holding last week’s sixth-ranked team to minus-32 yards rushing and 124 yards of total offense. NDSU will face another top-10 opponent this week, as the Bison welcome No. 4 Northern Iowa to the Fargodome.
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Towson sits at No. 2 again this week, picking up 623 points from the coaches. Sam Houston State (599) moved up one spot to third following a 49-35 win against then-No. 3 Eastern Washington. Northern Iowa (567) also inched up a spot in the rankings to No. 4. The Panthers dropped McNeese State, which was ranked No. 9 last week, 41-6 on Saturday.
Eastern Illinois jumped seven spots into the top five for the first time this season, earning 485 points. Coastal Carolina pushed forward six spots in the rankings to No. 6 after moving to 5-0 with a 53-28 win at Elon on Saturday. Montana State (465) is seventh, followed by Eastern Washington (450), South Dakota State (432) and Lehigh (345) rounding out the top 10.
Central Arkansas (336) moved forward to No. 11, while Montana (330) droped from the top 10 to the No. 12 slot. Fordham jumped three spots this week to settle at No. 13, followed by McNeese State (320) and Wofford (298).
Bethune-Cookman slid up to No. 16 with 256 points, while Northern Arizona (242) jumped five spots to No. 17 this week. New Hampshire fell 11 spots to No. 18 after suffering a 34-27 defeat at the hands of Lehigh.
Cal Poly is 19th with 198 points, followed by Villanova (168), James Madison (122) and Youngstown State (117).
Three new teams enter the poll, with Maine (103) taking the No. 23 ranking. Gardner-Webb (49) and Delaware (47) make their debuts at No. 24 and No. 25, respectively.
Richmond, Stony Brook and Illinois State dropped from the rankings.