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Stan Becton | NCAA.com | September 20, 2021

Sam Houston stands strong, Delaware falls in latest FCS Coaches Poll

See the game-winning TD drive that sealed Sam Houston's first FCS championship

The first three weeks of FCS football are in the books! Week 3 saw the first top-10 matchup of the season as then-No. 2 James Madison defeated then-No. 8 Weber State

With conference play beginning for teams across the country this week, the excitement of FCS football is sure to continue. Before the games start, let's take a look at the FCS Coaches Poll entering Week 4.

Here are takeaways from the latest FCS Coaches Poll.

Sam Houston is the clear number one

Sam Houston stood strong at number one after an idle week with 24 first-place votes. The Bearkats are in the midst of a 13-game winning streak, having not lost since November of 2019. The voters see a separation between the defending national champions and the rest of the pack.

Meanwhile after a convincing 13-point James Madison win where they led by as much as 24 points, the Dukes gained just two additional first-place votes, bringing them to three total.

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

Delaware falls out of the top 10

Delaware fell out of the top 10 after a 45-13 loss to FBS opponent Rutgers. Delaware (2-1) is now ranked eleventh after their first loss of the season.

This week's four-spot drop comes as a surprise for one of the more complete teams in the country. The Blue Hens were a top-five team this preseason after advancing to the spring 2021 FCS playoff semifinals. They're now outside of the top-10 for the first time since 2019. 

So far this season, FBS losses for FCS schools haven't greatly impacted the FCS rankings. After losing to an undefeated Rutgers team, Delaware may have dropped farther than necessary in the latest rankings. 

The rankings set the table for big-time matchups

While this week was relatively quiet with Kennesaw State being the only new entrant in the latest FCS rankings, the future is exciting in FCS football. Eight of this week's ranked teams will play a ranked opponent in their next game. The stakes are ever-increasing as the 2021 season progresses.

SURPRISE: 6 FCS teams that can make a surprise run to a conference championship

See the full FCS Coaches Poll from Sept. 20, 2021:

RANK

SCHOOL

RECORD

POINTS

PREVIOUS

1 Sam Houston (24) 2-0 696 1
2 James Madison (3) 3-0 667 2
3 South Dakota State (1) 2-0 636 3
4 Montana 2-0 586 5
5 North Dakota State 3-0 583 4
6 Eastern Washington 3-0 508 6
7 Villanova 3-0 490 T-9
8 Southern Illinois 2-1 455 T-9
9 Jacksonville State 2-1 447 11
10 UC Davis 3-0 403 12
11 Delaware 2-1 399 7
12 Montana State 2-1 385 13
13 North Dakota 2-1 381 14
14 Northern Iowa 2-1 354 15
15 Weber State 1-2 313 8
16 Southeastern Louisiana 2-1 295 16
17 East Tennessee State 3-0 290 17
18 Missouri State 1-1 209 19
19 Monmouth (N.J.) 2-1 199 20
20 Austin Peay 2-1 143 21
21 Richmond 2-1 126 18
22 New Hampshire 3-0 105 23
23 Chattanooga 1-2 99 22
24 Central Arkansas 1-2 67 24
25 Kennesaw State 2-1 67 NR

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