Southland remains strong in STATS FCS Top 25

By CRAIG HALEY

STATS FCS Senior Editor

(STATS) - The pivotal games of the Southland Conference season appear to be in September, so results over the next three Saturdays will have quite an impact on the STATS FCS Top 25.

The Southland continued to place four teams in the rankings on Monday after No. 5 Sam Houston State (1-0), No. 17 McNeese (2-0) and No. 18 Central Arkansas (1-1) posted wins and No. 13 Nicholls (1-1) finished off a season split with FBS programs this past weekend.

This week's biggest Southland game matches Nicholls at McNeese. Central Arkansas, the defending champion, has a road game at Southeastern Louisiana, which is receiving votes in the national media poll, and Sam Houston hosts North Dakota in an intriguing intersectional matchup.

Defending national champion North Dakota State remained an overwhelming No. 1 in the national poll, collecting 154 of the 159 first-place votes. The Bison (1-0) were on a bye this past weekend while No. 2 James Madison (1-1), No. 3 South Dakota State (1-0) and No. 4 North Carolina A&T (3-0) posted wins. In moving up one spot, N.C. A&T achieved its highest ranking ever in the poll.

A national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries select the weekly STATS FCS Top 25. A first-place vote is worth 25 points, a second-place vote 24 points, all the way down to one point for a 25th-place vote.

The STATS FCS Top 25 for Sept. 10:

1. North Dakota State (1-0), 3,970 points - 154 first-place votes

Previous Ranking: 1; Last Week's Result: Bye

2. James Madison (1-1), 3,744 - 2 first-place votes

Previous Ranking: 2; Last Week's Result: 17-0 win over Norfolk State

3. South Dakota State (1-0), 3,602

Previous Ranking: 3; Last Week's Result: 45-14 win over Montana State

4. North Carolina A&T (3-0), 3,280 - 3 first-place votes

Previous Ranking: 5; Last Week's Result: 45-6 win over Gardner-Webb

5. Sam Houston State (1-0), 3,217

Previous Ranking: 4; Last Week's Result: 41-32 win over Prairie View A&M

6. Eastern Washington (2-0), 3,097

Previous Ranking: 6; Last Week's Result: 31-26 win over Northern Arizona

7. Kennesaw State (1-1), 2,931

Previous Ranking: 7; Last Week's Result: 49-10 win over Tennessee Tech

8. Wofford (2-0), 2,673

Previous Ranking: 8; Last Week's Result: 59-14 win over VMI

9. Samford (1-1), 2,557

Previous Ranking: 9; Last Week's Result: 36-26 loss to Florida State

10. Villanova (2-0), 2,436

Previous Ranking: 12; Last Week's Result: 31-9 win over Lehigh

11. Weber State (1-1), 2,332

Previous Ranking: 10; Last Week's Result: 24-17 win over Cal Poly

12. Jacksonville State (1-1), 2,026

Previous Ranking: 13; Last Week's Result: 71-0 win over Mississippi Valley State

13. Nicholls (1-1), 1,959

Previous Ranking: 11; Last Week's Result: 42-17 loss to Tulane

14. Elon (1-1), 1,842

Previous Ranking: 15; Last Week's Result: 45-7 win over Furman

15. Montana (2-0), 1,819

Previous Ranking: 14; Last Week's Result: 48-16 win over Drake

16. McNeese (2-0), 1,471

Previous Ranking: 16; Last Week's Result: 51-34 win over Houston Baptist

17. Maine (2-0), 1,388

Previous Ranking: 22; Last Week's Result: 31-28 win over Western Kentucky

18. Central Arkansas (1-1), 1,305

Previous Ranking: 17; Last Week's Result: 26-13 win over Murray State

19. Illinois State (2-0), 1,100

Previous Ranking: 19; Last Week's Result: 48-10 win over Eastern Illinois

20. Northern Arizona (1-1), 845

Previous Ranking: 18; Last Week's Result: 31-26 loss to Eastern Washington

21. Northern Iowa (0-1), 761

Previous Ranking: 21; Last Week's Result: Bye

22. South Dakota (1-1), 730

Previous Ranking: 23; Last Week's Result: 43-28 win over Northern Colorado

23. UC Davis (2-0), 617

Previous Ranking: NR; Last Week's Result: 54-21 win over San Diego

24. Stony Brook (1-1), 498

Previous Ranking: 24; Last Week's Result: 50-21 win over Bryant

25. Rhode Island (2-0), 358

Previous Ranking: NR; Last Week's Result: 45-26 win over Albany

Dropped Out: New Hampshire and Furman

Others Receiving Votes: Austin Peay 225, Colgate 184, Delaware 154, Yale 115, New Hampshire 88, Sacramento State 71, Furman 39, Montana State 36, Richmond 33, Butler 27, Monmouth 17, Tennessee State 16, North Alabama 14, Western Illinois 13, San Diego 13, Idaho 11, Prairie View A&M 11, Chattanooga 10, North Dakota 9, Southern Utah 8, Southeastern Louisiana 7, Southern Illinois 5, Lehigh 4, Northwestern State 2, Sacred Heart 2, Western Carolina 2, Howard 1

Updated September 10, 2018

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