Coastal Carolina takes over top spot in FCS Coaches' Poll, NDSU to No. 4
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Coastal Carolina claimed the top spot in the Football Championship Subdivision Coaches' Poll this week. North Dakota State saw its reign at the top come to end along with an FCS-record 33-game winning streak, falling to then-No. 20 Northern Iowa 23-3 on Saturday.
Coastal Carolina garnered 20 first-place votes for a total of 639 points. The Chanticleers improved to 10-0, defeating Charlotte 59-34. Coastal Carolina is the first team in the top 25 to reach 10 wins this season. Quarterback Alex Ross tied his school record with 426 yards of total offense, as the Chanticleers racked up 690 yards of offense.
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North Dakota State fell to fourth after suffering its first loss since Oct. 6, 2012, when Indiana State knocked off the Bison 17-14 in Fargo, North Dakota. It was just the third loss since the start of the 2011 season for NDSU, the three-time defending FCS national champion. Eastern Washington rounded out the top five for the second consecutive week. The Eagles held off then-No. 10 Montana 36-26 to improve to 9-2 on the year.
Villanova moved up one spot to sixth with a 42-14 win against Towson last week. Illinois State followed in seventh, moving up five spots following a 35-21 win against No. 13 Youngstown State. Fordham moved a spot to eighth after edging Bucknell in overtime 30-27.
Chattanooga and Southeastern Louisiana both entered the top 10 at ninth and 10th, respectively. Chattanooga claimed the Southern Conference regular season title on Saturday with a 31-13 win against Wofford. Southeastern Louisiana trounced Houston Baptist 76-7 to improve to 7-3 on the season.
The lone new team to enter the top 25 this week was Stephen F. Austin. The Lumberjacks are back in the top 25 for the second time in three weeks, coming in at No. 24. They upset then-No. 6 McNeese State 31-16 on Saturday.
The biggest jump in the poll came from Northern Iowa, which jumped eight spots to No. 12. The Panthers upset North Dakota State on Saturday and improved to 6-4. Illinois State and Southeastern Louisiana also made notable jumps, moving up five and four spots, respectively.
Eleven different conferences are represented among the 25 teams, the highest total this season. The Missouri Valley Football Conference led all conferences with seven teams in the top 25. The Colonial Athletic Association placed four teams in the top 25 with the Big Sky and Southland adding three teams.
The FCS Coaches' Poll is based exclusively on a voting panel of head coaches in the FCS under the cooperation of the Collegiate Commissioners Association and the American Football Coaches Association, and is administered by the Southern Conference.