Valdosta State improved to 6-0 on Saturday, defeating Delta State 34-13 on the road. The victory was the Blazers' 21st in a row and has them locked in on the No. 1 spot in the DII football rankings.
What else do we know about the top 25 at what can be seen as the halfway point of 2019? Before we breakdown the latest AFCA DII poll, here's a look at the rankings:
|1||Valdosta State (30)||6-0||797||1|
|2||Ferris State (1)||6-0||758||2|
|4||Tarleton State (1)||6-0||710||4|
|6||Notre Dame (Ohio)||6-0||621||5T|
|7||Northwest Missouri State||6-0||611||7|
|11||Colorado School of Mines||6-0||496||11|
|17||Grand Valley State||5-1||247||19|
DII football Week 6: The top 10 holds strong
The top 10 DII football teams are now a mind-boggling 60-0 in the 2019 season. They are part of 16 total undefeated teams still remaining in the top 25.
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The top three — Valdosta State, Ferris State, and Minnesota State — have been locked in since day one and don't seem to be heading anywhere anytime soon. Valdosta State's potent offense looks just as healthy as its 2018 national championship season, and the Blazers have improved on defense, outscoring their opponents 250-88 thus far.
No. 2 Ferris State weathered an early season storm to go 5-0 with 2018 Harlon Hill winner Jayru Campbell injured for most of it. Campbell returned last week and had a combined 279 yards and five touchdowns in the Bulldogs' most lopsided victory of the season. Minnesota State? The Mavericks haven't lost in conference since 2016 and they are showing no signs of that streak coming to an end any time soon.
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This week's most impressive top 10 teams were No. 7 Northwest Missouri State and No. 9 Slippery Rock. The Bearcats met then-No. 13 Pittsburg State at Arrowhead Stadium. Braden Wright and company reeled off 28 unanswered points against the MIAA's top-ranked defense and held one of the best-scoring offenses in the nation to 17 points. The Rock had then-No. 16 Indiana (Pa) and barely survived in an exciting 45-42 victory. What we saw is that even when the defense struggles, this offense is tough to keep up with, and that's a formula that Valdosta State used to its advantage to an undefeated season last year.
DII football Week 7 top 25: 5 games to watch
There is only one top-25 matchup this week, but it is a big one. No. 4 Tarleton State puts its 11-game home winning streak — tied with Valdosta State and Notre Dame (OH) for the longest current streak in DII football — on the line against No. 20 Texas A&M-Commerce in a showdown of the last two undefeated teams in Lone Star Conference play.
We have a huge CIAA matchup this weekend. Virginia State has shown it deserves some top-25 attention. This week, the Trojans will have a chance on the national stage in a game against No. 16 Bowie State, the last remaining undefeated team in the conference.
No. 19 Pittsburg State will get a quick chance to bounce back from Saturday's loss to Northwest Missouri State. The Gorillas host a tough Fort Hays State team that has been streaking since two early-season losses bounced it from the top 25.
No. 24 West Florida gets its first chance to play as a top 25 team against a fellow Gulf South Conference team that was once in the top 25. A West Georgia win could turn some heads and get some top 25 attention its way.
No. 8 Lenoir-Rhyne looks to extend its home winning streak to 11 games. Standing in the Bears' way will be a Carson-Newman team that is currently second in the South Atlantic Conference. With No. 13 Wingate neck and neck with the Bears, this is a must-win for Lenoir-Rhyne.
DII football Week 7 rankings: Risers, fallers and newcomers
With the top 12 spots all remaining intact, there wasn't a whole bunch of movement in this week's top 25. Kutztown continues its climb up the rankings, however, jumping another three spots this week with a commanding 35-13 win over East Stroudsburg. The Golden Bears are this week's biggest risers.
Both Pittsburg State — which fell to No. 19 — and Indiana (Pa) — which is now No. 22 — shared the biggest fall of Week 7. The two dropped six spots but are in prime position to bounce back this week.
Angelo State re-enters the poll at No. 25. The Rams made their 2019 top-25 debut two weeks back but had the unenviable task of facing Tarleton State and its steamroller offense. The Rams lost that game but won big this past week to jump back into the DII rankings.
How the conferences fared in Week 7
The PSAC continues to reign supreme, the lone conference with four teams represented. With Angelo State back in the mix, the Lone Star Conference is tied again with the MIAA as the only two conferences with three schools represented.
Here's how the top 25 breaks down by conference.
|CONFERENCE||NO. OF SCHOOLS||SCHOOLS|
|PSAC||4||Slippery Rock, West Chester, IUP, Kutztown|
|LSC||3||Tarleton State, Texas A&M-Commerce, Angelo State|
|MIAA||3||Northwest Missouri State, Central Missouri, Pittsburg State|
|GAC||2||Ouachita Baptist, Harding|
|GLIAC||2||Ferris State, Grand Valley State|
|GSC||2||Valdosta State, West Florida|
|NSIC||2||Minnesota State, Minnesota Duluth|
|RMAC||2||CSU-Pueblo, Colorado School of Mines|
|MEC||1||Notre Dame (OH)|