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Stan Becton | NCAA.com | September 13, 2021

Jacksonville State, Missouri State jump six spots in latest Stats Perform FCS Top 25

Sam Houston defeats South Dakota State 23-21 to win first FCS title

After an exciting second week of FCS football, the new rankings are here.

Here are takeaways from the latest Stats Perform FCS Top 25.

Jacksonville State’s upset launches Gamecocks into top 10

Fittingly, the Gamecocks launched into the top 10 of this week’s rankings after Jacksonville State QB Zerrick Cooper launched a hail-mary to WR Damond Philyaw-Johnson to land the FCS-over-FBS upset against Florida State.

Jacksonville State has now beaten an FBS team in consecutive years. On the season, the Gamecocks are now 1-1 against FBS opponents. They’ll begin the FCS portion of their schedule this week against North Alabama.

WATCH: Jacksonville State stuns Florida State with 59-yard last-second touchdown

Missouri State surges after a ranked win

No. 17 Missouri State moved six spots in the rankings after defeating then-No. 19 Central Arkansas in the week’s lone game featuring two ranked teams. In a back-and-forth game filled with lead changes, the Bears scored the go-ahead touchdown on QB Jason Shelley’s 26-yard pass to WR Xavier Lane with 29 seconds left. 

Missouri State’s out-of-conference win sent a statement, demonstrated by the jump in the rankings. Up next, the Bears will look to carry momentum from the victory into the gauntlet that is the MVFC conference schedule.

The top eight teams stand strong

The top eight teams in this week’s rankings remain the same after Week 2. The top seven teams all won their games, holding their opponents to a combined total of 59 points. No. 8 Southern Illinois nearly pulled off the FCS-over-FBS upset, losing by eight to Kansas State

The top teams in the FCS are slowly beginning to separate themselves through two games of the season. However, these teams will truly get to show their dominance over the next few weeks as conference play picks up. Keep an eye out for the potential top-10 matchups on the horizon.

RING SZN: These 6 FCS teams could be the next first-time national champion

The bottom half of the rankings shuffle

With No. 23 New Hampshire replacing Holy Cross as the only new entrant into this week’s rankings, the bottom half of the rankings saw some teams shuffle around. No. 21 Richmond moved up four spots, good for the third-best movement of the week. No. 22 VMI fell four spots after an FBS loss. No. 25 Central Arkansas is the only winless team in the rankings, falling from their preseason position of 14. 

The shuffling in the bottom half of the rankings shows the depth across the FCS. The lower-ranked teams will have to put up solid performances week in and week out to avoid losing their positioning.

See the full Stats Perform FCS Top 25 rankings from Sept. 13, 2021:

RANK

SCHOOL

RECORD

POINTS

PREVIOUS

1 Sam Houston (33) 2-0 1,214 1
2 South Dakota State (9) 2-0 1,190 2
3 James Madison (5) 2-0 1,158 3
4 Montana (3) 2-0 1,110 4
5 North Dakota State 2-0 1,066 5
6 Delaware 2-0 949 6
7 Eastern Washington 2-0 889 7
8 Southern Illinois 1-1 814 8
9 Weber State 1-1 771 10
10 Jacksonville State 1-1 751 16
11 North Dakota 1-1 710 9
12 Villanova 2-0 674 12
13 Montana State 1-1 664 11
14 UC Davis 2-0 661 14
15 Southeastern Louisiana 1-1 511 13
16 ETSU 2-0 497 15
17 Missouri State 1-1 377 23
18 Northern Iowa 1-1 364 21
19 Austin Peay 1-1 336 17
20 Monmouth 1-1 297 20
21 Richmond 2-0 261 25
22 VMI 1-1 146 18
23 New Hampshire 2-0 127 NR
24 Kennesaw State 1-1 121 22
25 Central Arkansas 0-2 105 19

Dropped Out: Holy Cross (24)
 
Others Receiving Votes (schools listed on two or more ballots): Furman 90, Chattanooga 74, Rhode Island 67, Murray State 58, Alabama A&M 56, Jackson State 48, Duquesne 32, Nicholls 29, Stephen F. Austin 11, Samford 7, Merrimack 4, Sacramento State 3, Holy Cross 2

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