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Anthony Chiusano | | October 1, 2019

FCS football rankings: Statement win over UC Davis launches Montana eight spots in new poll

Check out this week's FCS top plays

There are four new top-10 teams in the just-released FCS Coaches' Poll. Montana was among the most notable risers after a convincing upset over UC Davis.

Here's how the full top 25, released Monday, Sept. 30,  stacks up:






1 North Dakota State (26) 4-0 650 1
2 James Madison 4-1 621 2
3 South Dakota State 3-1 594 3
4 Kennesaw State 4-1 551 4
5 Weber State 2-2 521 6
6 Illinois State 3-1 484 8
7 Montana State 4-1 477 11
8 Villanova 5-0 466 13
9 Montana 4-1 388 17
T-10 Central Arkansas 2-2 379 14
T-10 Towson 3-2 379 10
12 UC Davis 2-3 356 5
13 Northern Iowa 2-2 340 7
14 Furman 3-2 329 15
15 Nicholls 2-2 267 9
16 North Carolina A&T 3-1 265 18
17 Youngstown State 4-0 248 20
18 Delaware 3-2 189 19
19 Southeastern Louisiana 3-1 172 22
20 Jacksonville State 3-2 134 12
21 Eastern Washington 2-3 129 21
22 Maine 2-3 127 16
23 Princeton 2-0 91 23
24 Stony Brook 4-1 67 NR
T-25 Houston Baptist 4-1 34 NR
T-25 Southeast Missouri State 2-2 34 NR

Montana rises to No. 9 after road win at UC Davis

Montana has worked its way all the way up from just outside the preseason rankings to No. 9 in Monday's latest poll. The Grizzlies (4-1) upset then-No. 5 UC Davis 45-20 out west behind a big day from Dalton Sneed.

The redshirt senior quarterback finished with 268 passing yards and five touchdowns as Montana scored at least 45 points for the second straight week. The Grizzlies are 24th in FCS scoring offense, with 35.5 points per game through Week 5.

Montana has established itself as a surprise contender in the Big Sky race. The Grizzies play No. 21 Eastern Washington on Oct. 26 and No. 5 Weber State on Nov. 16, both at home. Last year, the Big Sky sent four teams to the FCS playoffs.

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No. 2 James Madison looks dominant but North Dakota State remains unanimous No. 1

James Madison ran all over then-No. 24 Elon in a 45-10 road victory, but the Dukes remain the clear No. 2 team in the poll, 29 votes behind No. 1 North Dakota State.

Saturday's win marked a homecoming for first-year Dukes head coach Curt Cignetti, who was at the helm for Elon from 2017-18 and led the Phoenix to an upset over JMU last October. In his return, Cignetti's Dukes outgained Elon 521-227 in total offense, including a 336-33 disparity in rushing yards.

But the Bison earned all 26 first-place votes for a fifth straight week despite being on a Week 5 bye. The top four did not change with James Madison, South Dakota State and Kennesaw State rounding out the quartet. 

After an impressive top-10 win over Northern Iowa, Weber State is the newcomer in the top-5, replacing UC Davis. The Aggies dropped to No. 12 after their second straight loss to a ranked opponent. 

Trio of teams enter at the bottom

Three new teams join the Top 25 this week, including No. 24 Stony Brook for the first time this year. The Seawolves are 4-1 heading into a challenging stretch of CAA games that includes No. 2 James Madison (Oct. 5), No. 8 Villanova (Oct. 26) and No. 10 Towson (Nov. 9).

Houston Baptist and Southeast Missouri State are the other new entries, tied at No. 25. HBU comes off a 68-point outburst against Texas Southern and is currently the second highest-scoring team in the FCS this year (52.5 points per game).

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Top games to watch in Week 6

This weekend's schedule is highlighted by a top-6 matchup between No. 1 North Dakota State and No. 6 Illinois State in Normal, Illinois. This will be the first in-conference game for either side.

Here are some more top games to follow this Saturday:

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