football-fcs flag

Joe Boozell | NCAA.com | October 29, 2018

FCS football rankings: UC Davis rises, top 5 remains the same in new Coaches’ Poll

UC Davis Athletics fcs-football UC Davis beat Montana handily, racking up 49 points in its last game.

Let's dive into the newest edition of the FCS Coaches' Poll. The full rankings:

RANK SCHOOL RECORD POINTS PREVIOUS RANK
1 North Dakota State (26) 8-0 650 1
2 Kennesaw State 7-1 623 2
3 James Madison 6-2 597 3
4 Eastern Washington 6-2 566 4
5 Weber State 6-2 545 5
6 Elon 5-2 497 6
7 South Dakota State 5-2 481 8
8 Wofford 6-2 480 7
9 UC Davis 7-1 408 13
10 Jacksonville State 6-2 402 12
11 Colgate 7-0 401 11
12 McNeese 6-2 333 16
13 Illinois State 5-3 307 9
14 Princeton 7-0 304 17
15 Towson 6-2 277 10
16 Delaware 6-2 235 21
17 North Carolina A&T 6-2 230 18
18 Stony Brook 6-3 229 15
19 Central Arkansas 5-3 193 14
T-20 Dartmouth 7-0 167 20
T-20 Nicholls 5-3 167 22
22 Sam Houston State 5-3 115 22
23 East Tennessee State 7-2 101 25
24 Southeast Missouri State 6-2 32 NR
25 North Dakota 5-3 29 24

We'll start with UC Davis, which jumped into the top 10 for the first time this year. The Aggies defeated Montana over the weekend, ripping off 46 straight points en route to a 49-21 win. 

UC Davis' offense is dangerous. It can turn a close game into a blowout in a pinch. Or, in this case, it can be losing handily and still wind up beating the opponent with ease. The Aggies trailed 21-3 after two quarters and outscored Montana 46-0 in the second half. They're extremely well-balanced; Jake Maier threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns, Tehran Thomas ran for 78 yards on just five attempts, and the defense notched three interceptions.

UC Davis' only loss this season is to Stanford, which is obviously excusable. Keep an eye on these guys.

MORE: NCAA.com FCS home

South Dakota State may have only risen one spot in the poll to No. 7, but it scored a really impressive win over Illinois State on Saturday, which fell to No. 13. The Jackrabbits rebounded after falling to Northern Iowa last week, when they only scored nine points.

Quarterback Taryn Christion had a big game, throwing for 292 yards and three touchdowns. South Dakota State is a legitimate threat to North Dakota State; it only lost to the Bison by four points earlier this season. The Jackrabbits' No. 7 ranking is appropriate, but in terms of talent, they could easily be in the top three.

Another hefty riser was Delaware, which edged Towson by a score of 40-36 on Saturday. The Blue Hens have reeled off four wins in a row since losing to North Dakota State and are now ranked 16th. Towson is still one spot ahead of them despite the head-to-head result, but Delaware made up sizable ground, rising five spots. The Blue Hens' opening week loss to Rhode Island stings, because if that game had gone differently, Delaware's only loss would be to the consensus No. 1 team in the country. Regardless, the Blue Hens are rolling. Their offense is firing on all cylinders these days.

MORE: FCS football stats

A few other teams to highlight quickly: McNeese rose four spots to No. 12. The Cowboys have been a bit inconsistent this season, but when the defense is on, look out. Southeast Missouri State was the only new team to join the top 25 this week. SEMO put up 56 points over the weekend and is playing its best football as of late. Jacksonville State jumped two spots to No. 10, Central Arkansas dropped five spots to No. 19, and Princeton is up to No. 14. The Tigers are one of just four undefeated teams left in the poll.

We are one week closer to FCS playoff action. North Dakota State is clearly the best team in the country, but other contenders are picking up steam.