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Anthony Chiusano | | October 15, 2019

FCS football rankings: Four top-10 losses shake up Coaches' Poll

Check out this week's FCS top plays

Four top 10 teams and 11 top 25 squads lost in Week 7, setting up a revamped FCS Coaches' Poll Monday afternoon. After a wild weekend, below are the top storylines post-poll release.

First, here is the full top 25, released Monday, Oct. 14:

1 North Dakota State (26) 6-0 650 1
2 James Madison 6-1 622 2
3 South Dakota State 5-1 600 3
4 Kennesaw State 5-1 555 4
5 Weber State 4-2 532 5
6 Montana 5-1 516 8
7 Villanova 6-1 480 7
8 Furman 4-2 467 11
9 Nicholls 4-2 448 12
10 Illinois State 4-2 380 13
11 North Carolina A&T 4-1 369 14
12 Montana State 5-2 367 6
13 Central Arkansas 4-2 336 16
14 Jacksonville State 5-2 269 18
15 Northern Iowa 3-3 264 10
16 Princeton 4-0 224 19
17 Sacramento State 4-2 221 NR
18 Youngstown State 4-2 197 17
19 Austin Peay 4-2 170 NR
20 Towson 3-3 152 9
21 Dartmouth 4-0 133 NR
22 UC Davis 3-4 108 21
23 New Hampshire 4-2 96 NR
24 Delaware 3-3 63 15
25 UIW 4-2 39 NR

Top 3 teams maintain stronghold after taking care of ranked opponents

Despite all the movement in this week's poll, the top 5 stayed put for a third straight week. The top 3, North Dakota State, James Madison and South Dakota State, further boosted their resumes with Week 7 wins over ranked teams.

Unanimous No. 1 NDSU steamrolled then-No. 10 Northern Iowa 46-14. The Bison have scored at least 37 points in five of its six games and are holding opponents to just 12 points a game — third best in the nation. This includes three straight victories over top 10 teams with a point differential of 110-33.

Right below the Bison, No. 2 James Madison and No. 3 South Dakota State kept pace with wins over then-No. 7 Villanova and then-No. 17 Youngstown State, respectively. JMU survived thanks to a 21-0 fourth quarter rally sparked by four forced turnovers. SDSU escaped with a road win after outscoring the Penguins 35-14 in the second half.

Below the top 5 is where the shuffling begins. Montana moves up two spots to No. 6, followed by Villanova (6-1), who stands pat at No. 7 after keeping pace with James Madison for most of Saturday's loss. Furman, Nicholls and Illinois State slide up to round out the top 10.

At No. 8, Furman has its highest ranking since 2006. Illinois State returns to the top 10 after dropping seven spots last week following a loss to North Dakota State.

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Five new teams enter the poll

Welcome to the top 25, Sacramento State, Austin Peay, Dartmouth, New Hampshire and Incarnate Word. No. 17 Sacramento State had the biggest statement win Saturday, upsetting then-No. 6 Montana State 34-21 to further muddle the deep Big Sky race. The Hornets are one of three undefeated teams left in Big Sky conference play, joined by No. 5 Weber State and No. 6 Montana at 2-0.

UNH is on the rise after topping Elon and then-No. 23 Stony Brook in back-to-back weeks. The road gets tougher from here, with three straight games against No. 24 Delaware, No. 7 Villanova and No. 2 James Madison. UNH will meet the Dukes in Harrisonburg, Virginia on Nov. 9.

Dartmouth's entry at No. 21 gives the Ivy League two ranked teams heading into Week 8 (joining No. 16 Princeton). The Big Green crushed defending conference champ Yale for a second straight year, 42-10. Dartmouth (4-0) and Princeton (4-0) are two of the three remaining undefeated teams in the FCS, along with North Dakota State (6-0). 

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