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Wayne Cavadi | NCAA.com | October 30, 2018

DII football rankings: Northwest Missouri State is back in the top 10 as the postseason nears

It was business as usual for the DII football top 25 in Week 9. With no upsets of ranked teams on Saturday, the newest AFCA poll looks pretty similar to last week's.

Week 9 saw the top 10 dominate its opponents, with four teams putting up 50 or more points. Northwest Missouri State was one of those, dropping 62 points and earning themselves a spot in familiar territory with two weeks of the regular season remaining.

Let's take a look at the Week 9 AFCA top 25.

RANK SCHOOL RECORD POINTS PREVIOUS RANK
1 Minnesota State (30) 9-0 818 1
2 Ferris State (3) 9-0 794 2
3 West Georgia 9-0 754 3
4 Ouachita Baptist 9-0 692 4
5 Minnesota Duluth 9-0 677 5
6 Colorado School of Mines 9-0 657 6
7 Valdosta State 8-0 615 7
8 Tarleton State 8-0 608 8
9 Grand Valley State 8-1 549 9
10 Northwest Missouri State 8-1 525 11
11 West Chester 8-0 496 12
12 Colorado St.-Pueblo 8-1 463 13
13 Notre Dame (OH) 9-0 432 14
14 Indianapolis 7-1 347 16
15 Tiffin 9-0 338 17
16 Texas A&M-Commerce 7-2 289 18
17 LIU-Post 8-0 268 19
18 MSU Texas 6-2 258 10
19 Central Washington 7-2 201 20
20 Southern Arkansas 8-1 193 21
21 Lenoir-Rhyne 8-1 136 24
22 Indiana (Pa.) 7-2 121 22
23 Kutztown 7-1 120 15
24 Harding 7-2 112 23
25 Hillsdale 8-1 88 25

The top 10

Minnesota State continues to roll through the regular season. The Mavericks extended their regular-season winning streak to 22 games, last losing to Sioux Falls two years ago. Almost fittingly, the Mavericks, who have had a stranglehold on the top spot since Week 4, host the Cougars this weekend looking to continue their undefeated run. Ferris State, West Georgia, Ouachita Baptist, and Minnesota Duluth all improved to 9-0 to round out the top 5.

The winningest program in DII Football Championship history is looking like it is poised to make another run. The Northwest Missouri State Bearcats are back in the top 10 after a commanding 62-17 win over Northeastern State this past weekend. They have a huge challenge at home against a tough Fort Hays State team looking to re-enter the top 25 and keep its hopes alive in Super Region 3, currently clinging to the final playoff spot. 

MORE: DII football Week 9 by the numbers

Risers and fallers

Last week, Lenoir-Rhyne entered the top 25 at No. 24 for the first time all season. The Bears celebrated by completely dismantling UNC Pembroke 51-3. They were rewarded by jumping three spots in this week's poll, more than any other team this week. Indianapolis, Tiffin, Texas A&M-Commerce and LIU Post all jumped two spots.

As the only two top 25 teams to lose in Week 8, MSU Texas and Kutztown both fell eight spots. MSU Texas fell from No. 10 to No. 18 after losing to the red-hot Tarleton State Texans, while then-No. 15 Kutztown lost its spot in the PSAC Championship Game, falling to No. 11 West Chester. 

MORE: The 12 wildest numbers from Colorado School of Mines 84-42 victory

The undefeated

And then there were 12.

SCHOOL RECORD
Minnesota State 9-0
Ferris State 9-0
West Georgia 9-0
Ouachita Baptist 9-0
Minnesota Duluth 9-0
Colorado School of Mines 9-0
Valdosta State 8-0
Tarleton State 8-0
West Chester 8-0
Notre Dame (OH) 9-0
Tiffin 9-0
LIU-Post 8-0

Tiffin may have the toughest challenge this weekend to remain undefeated as the Dragons travel to No. 25 Hillsdale for a game that should decide the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. Of course, Ouachita Baptist has a huge Great American Conference showdown against No. 20 Southern Arkansas, which may very well turn into the best game of the weekend. Valdosta State returns from its bye week to face off against a West Florida team looking to make a statement and return to the postseason. While on paper, these are tough matchups, let's face the reality: every game is a tough one at this point in the season. We are officially under upset watch with teams fighting for their postseason lives.

Outside the top 25

Once again, Slippery Rock is the next man up. The Rock continued to roll this week with another dominating victory, securing themselves a spot against West Chester in the PSAC Championship game. Pittsburg State and Fort Hays State are hanging tight, close enough to make a push and extend both of its seasons beyond November 11. New Haven is intriguing as well. Currently undefeated in the Northeast-10, the Chargers control their destiny with a season finale against No. 17 LIU Post.

MORE: What we learned from the first regional rankings | Super Regions