A weekend full of ranked DII football action ended a little later than expected. Texas A&M-Commerce needed an extra day to defeat MSU Texas in the lone top 10 matchup of the week, but the one-point thriller made it worth the wait. When the dust settled, 15 teams remained undefeated in the latest DII football top 25.
|1||Minnesota State (29)||6-0||819||1|
|2||Grand Valley State||6-0||780||2|
|3||Ferris State (4)||6-0||770||3|
|9||Colorado School of Mines||6-0||525||12|
|13||Northwest Missouri State||5-1||448||16|
|17||Notre Dame (OH)||6-0||296||20|
Little change at the top
Minnesota State, Grand Valley State, and Ferris State all improved to 6-0 this past weekend with relative ease, keeping their stranglehold on the top three spots respectively. That will change this coming weekend as the Lakers host Ferris State in a No. 2 vs. No. 3 showdown. That means one fewer undefeated team is for certain, and likely a new look top 5 is on the horizon.
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With MSU Texas losing to then No. 9-Texas A&M-Commerce, West Georgia and Ouachita Baptist slide up one spot each to round out the top 5. The undefeated Wolves face its toughest challenge of 2018 as they head to Pensacola, Florida for a showdown with No. 10 West Florida in the second top 10 battle of the week. The Gulf South Conference is dominating the top 10 with three teams (West Georiga, Valdosta State, and West Florida) so this matchup has some bragging rights involved as well.
ICYMI: Highlights from a Wolves 31-7 win over the North Greenville Crusaders! pic.twitter.com/FrGfWoYRQm— West Georgia Wolves (@UWGAthletics) October 6, 2018
Those defending champions have bounced back in a big way since losing to then-No. 22 Colorado State-Pueblo on their own turf. The Lions scored 68 points the following week and then upended then-No. 4 MSU Texas on Sunday 20-19. Now they are back up to No. 7, but the road doesn’t get any easier to the top 5. Texas A&M-Commerce hosts undefeated No. 16 Tarleton State this weekend. Coming out of that game on top gives the Lions control of the Lone Star Conference and sends them well on their way to earning a postseason spot and a chance to repeat.
Enter the Dragons
Week 6 sees the debut of two new teams in the top 25. The Tiffin Dragons jump in at No. 22 while LIU-Post enters at No. 25.
MORE: DII top 25 Week 6 by the numbers
The Dragons are clearly enjoying their first season in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. It’s highly likely no other teams are. Tiffin is off to its best start in over a decade and are a perfect 6-0 on the season and 3-0 on the G-MAC. The Dragons are building a solid resume early on with both the second-best scoring defense and total offense in the G-MAC, but they will need it. Tiffin closes the season in brutal fashion facing off against the G-MAC’s Big Three – Ohio Dominican, Hillsdale, and Findlay – in three of the last four weeks.
HOW did @liupostpioneers DB Nazir Streater pull down this INT? #SCtop10 pic.twitter.com/8KFuBfXvHR— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 7, 2018
LIU-Post has also had a perfect slate thus far, sitting at 5-0 overall and tied atop the Northeast-10 at 4-0 with Assumption and New Haven. The Pioneers play both those undefeated foes in a three-week span to close the season, but with one big advantage: they are home for the season finale against New Haven. LIU-Post has lost just twice at home over the past three-and-a-half seasons.
Risers and fallers
Tarleton State sees this week’s biggest leap, jumping five spots to No. 16. The Texans are amongst a very well-represented LSC that sees three teams in the top 16. Central Washington was right behind them, jumping four spots to No. 21. The Wildcats got back on track with a big win over then-No. 4 Azusa Pacific and gaining early control of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
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Pittsburg State dropped the most, falling 10 spots after its loss to Northwest Missouri State. The victory helped the Bearcats jump three spots to No. 13 themselves and tied them with the Gorillas atop the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association. Indiana (Pa.) suffered its second loss in as many weeks to an unranked team and fell nine spots, while MSU Texas dropped eight spots out of the top 5 after losing to Texas A&M-Commerce. Fort Hays State and Azusa Pacific left the top 25, but still received votes this week.
15 undefeated teams remain
Here’s your list of undefeated teams inside the top 25 (Davenport, for example, is undefeated but is receiving votes). We’ll keep you updated as the weeks roll on as to which teams can avoid that first L.
|Grand Valley State||6-0|
|Colorado School of Mines||6-0|
|Notre Dame (OH)||6-0|
You can easily make at least one top 25 case for each of the 16 teams that received at least one vote this week. Hillsdale is still a team to watch as the Chargers may be poised to make some noise in the G-MAC. With victories over Ohio Dominican (which received the most votes outside the top 25 with 57) and Findlay, Hillsdale has the upper hand in the G-MAC right now. Its Nov. 3 showdown with Tiffin will likely decide the conference as both teams are currently undefeated atop the rankings.
How about Davenport and Saginaw Valley State? It’s not easy to get noticed in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with Grand Valley State, Ferris State, and Ashland usually in the spotlight. Davenport, who received the second most votes outside the top 25 with 46, is currently 6-0. The Panthers host Grand Valley State and Ashland on consecutive weekends before hitting the road to face Ferris State and Saginaw Valley State to close the season. That’s four straight weeks of teams that have received votes in 2018. While it’s not the optimal situation, it also means the Panthers control their destiny in the GLIAC.