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Stan Becton | NCAA.com | October 25, 2021

No. 2 North Dakota State rises in latest FCS Coaches Poll

North Dakota State's football dynasty

The latest edition of the FCS Coaches Poll has a new look after Week 8 saw upsets, controversial finishes, and more.

Here are some takeaways from the latest FCS Coaches Poll on Oct. 25.

Biggest risers

North Dakota State improved one spot to second in the latest poll. The Bison won their third game over a ranked opponent, defeating then-No. 18 Missouri State 27-20.

However, the biggest riser this week was No. 17 Northern Iowa. The Panthers jumped seven spots after defeating then-No. 7 South Dakota State. The win ended a two-game Northern Iowa losing streak and put the Panthers back in the playoff conversation.

BRACKETOLOGY: Predicting the 2021 FCS Playoff bracket, a month ahead of selections

Biggest fallers

The most notable faller this week is No. 7 Eastern Washington, dropping five spots from No. 2. The Eagles missed an extra point with 2:51 remaining that ultimately was the difference in a 35-34 loss. 

No. 22 South Dakota fell a Week-9-high seven spots after a surprising loss to Illinois State. Elsewhere in the Missouri Valley, No. 13 South Dakota State fell six spots, out of the top-10, after losing to Northern Iowa. The two losses shook up the MVFC, making for an exciting finish to the regular season.

Additionally, two teams dropped toward the bottom of the poll after top-25 losses, No. 21 Harvard and No. 25 Rhode Island. A controversial finish in a five-overtime thriller with Princeton gave Harvard its first loss of the season, while Rhode Island has lost two straight games since a 5-0 start.  The Crimson and Rams fell five and six spots, respectively, but will try to bounce back against unranked opponents this week.

MIDPOINT: Top 9 newcomers in the season's first half | Top 9 HBCU first-half performances

New entrants

This week's new entrants are Sacramento State and Weber State, tied at No. 23. Sacramento State remains undefeated in Big Sky play while Weber State upset then-No. 2 Eastern Washington. The two programs replaced Jacksonville State and Delaware; the Gamecocks and Blue Hens both dropped to 3-4 after losing to top-5 teams. 

See the full FCS Coaches Poll from Oct. 25, 2021:

RANK

SCHOOL

RECORD

POINTS

PREVIOUS

1 Sam Houston (27) 6-0 675 1
2 North Dakota State 7-0 642 3
3 Southern Illinois 6-1 603 4
4 Villanova 6-1 599 5
5 James Madison 6-1 567 6
6 Montana State 7-1 511 8
7 Eastern Washington 7-1 493 2
8 Southeastern Louisiana 6-1 489 9
9 UC Davis 7-1 445 10
10 Kennesaw State 6-1 433 11
11 Montana 5-2 359 12
12 UT Martin 6-1 357 13
13 South Dakota State 5-2 336 7
14 East Tennessee State 7-1 329 14
15 Princeton 6-0 270 17
16 Jackson State 6-1 234 20
17 Northern Iowa 4-3 207 24
18 VMI 5-2 183 23
19 Eastern Kentucky 5-2 175 22
20 Missouri State 4-3 148 18
21 Harvard 5-1 134 16
22 South Dakota 5-3 121 15
T-23 Sacramento State 5-2 66 NR
T-23 Weber State 3-4 66 NR
25 Rhode Island 5-2 59 19

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