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Stan Becton | | October 18, 2021

Movement in the latest FCS Coaches Poll sets up an intriguing Week 8 full of ranked matchups

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

After seven ranked teams lost in Week 7, four losing to unranked teams, there were bound to be changes in the latest FCS Coaches Poll.

Here are some takeaways from the latest FCS Coaches Poll on Oct. 18.

Steady at the top

The top-5 of the FCS Coaches poll remained unchanged. No. 1 Sam Houston remains at the top, holding the longest win streak in the country at 16 games. However, No. 2 Eastern Washington stole an additional first-place vote from the Bearkats after QB Eric Barriere's record-breaking week. As the season progresses, keep an eye out for the Eagles clawing at the top spot.

RECORDS: Eric Barriere throws for 600 yards, scores 8 touchdowns in Eastern Washington's record-breaking day

Biggest risers

No. 15 South Dakota surged an FCS leading six spots. The Coyotes have won two straight games over ranked opponents. No. 18 Missouri State and No. 20 Jackson State each jumped five spots. Jackson State's fourth-best scoring defense has the Tigers rapidly moving up the rankings after making their first appearance just one week ago.

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Two Ivy League schools, No. 16 Harvard and No. 17 Princeton rose three spots. The Crimson and Tigers are two of six unbeaten teams remaining in the FCS. However, one team will suffer its first loss this weekend when Harvard visits Princeton in a top-20 battle.

Biggest fallers

This week's biggest faller is No. 25 Delaware, dropping 10 spots. The Blue Hens have lost two straight games since losing QB Nolan Henderson to injury. Delaware also has struggled defensively, allowing a 99-yard touchdown in last week's loss. The path to get back on track doesn't get any easier this week as Delaware hosts No. 6 James Madison.

No. 24 Northern Iowa was the second-biggest faller in the poll, falling seven spots after losing last week's FCS game of the week. Elsewhere, No. 12 Montana and No. 14 ETSU fell out of the top-10 after losing to unranked teams.

Weber State and North Dakota dropped out of the rankings after each team suffered their third loss to a currently ranked opponent. No. 22 Eastern Kentucky and No. 23 VMI replace the two schools. Eastern Kentucky joins the top-25 for the first time this season.

RANKINGS: See every FCS poll

Looking ahead

Six games feature two ranked opponents in Week 8, despite Week 8 losing some of its preseason luster thanks to the struggles of teams like Weber State, No. 21 Jacksonville State, and No. 25 Delaware. 

Here are Week 8's ranked matchups to watch:

Five top-10 teams play ranked opponents meaning the top of the FCS could be in for a scare during the calendar's scariest month.

See the full FCS Coaches Poll from Oct. 18, 2021:






1 Sam Houston (26) 5-0 674 1
2 Eastern Washington (2) 7-0 670 2
3 North Dakota State 6-0 646 3
4 Southern Illinois 6-1 605 4
5 Villanova 5-1 581 5
6 James Madison 5-1 561 7
7 South Dakota State 5-1 543 8
8 Montana State 6-1 509 9
9 Southeastern Louisiana 5-1 453 11
10 UC Davis 6-1 419 12
11 Kennesaw State 5-1 409 13
12 Montana 4-2 376 6
13 UT Martin 5-1 347 16
14 East Tennessee State 6-1 312 10
15 South Dakota 5-2 268 21
16 Harvard 5-0 246 19
17 Princeton 5-0 193 20
18 Missouri State 4-2 184 23
19 Rhode Island 5-1 169 14
20 Jackson State 5-1 151 25
21 Jacksonville State 3-3 111 22
22 Eastern Kentucky 5-2 89 NR
23 VMI 5-2 89 NR
24 Northern Iowa 3-3 85 17
25 Delaware 3-3 71 15

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