December 4, 2022

Photo Cred: Samford Athletics

We have the honor of being one of the 54 voters in the FCS Stats Perform Top-25 for the 2022 season. Each week we will release our official ballot and provide some explanation for the biggest movers in our FCS Top-25 each week at the FCS level. You can also hear the rationale on our weekly FCS Recap on our YouTube channel every Sunday/Monday night.

Week 5 Top-25 Ballot

25. Austin Peay (4-2)

Week 5: 49-20 Loss To Central Arkansas

24. Missouri State (2-3)

Week 5: 48-31 Loss To North Dakota

23. Richmond (3-2)

Week 5: 30-27 Loss To #23 Elon

22. Rhode Island (3-2)

Week 5: 38-10 Win Over Brown

21. Fordham (4-1)

Week 5: 59-38 Win Over Georgetown

20. North Dakota (3-2)

Week 5: 48-31 Win Over #7 Missouri State

19. William & Mary (4-1)

Week 5: 27-10 Win Over Stony Brook

18. Southern Illinois (3-2)

Week 5: 19-14 Win Over Illinois State

17. Southeast Missouri State (4-1)

Week 5: 49-28 Win Over Lindenwood 

16. Elon (4-1)

Week 5: 30-27 Win Over #17 Richmond

15. Southeastern Louisiana (3-2)

Week 5: 48-14 Win Over Murray State

14. UT Martin (3-2)

Week 5: 45-28 Win Over Tennessee Tech

13. Samford (4-1)

Week 5: 34-27 Win Over Furman

12. Incarnate Word (4-1)

Week 5: 48-20 Win Over McNeese State

11. Mercer (4-1)

Week 5: 42-7 Win Over Wofford

10. Chattanooga (4-1)

Week 5: 24-16 Win Over East Tennessee State

9. Holy Cross (5-0)

Week 5: 30-21 Win Over Harvard

8. Weber State (4-0)

Week 5: Bye Week

7. Jackson State (4-0)

Week 5: Bye Week

6. Delaware (5-0)

Week 5: 24-10 Win Over Towson

5. Sacramento State (4-0)

Week 5: 49-21 Win Over Cal Poly

4. Montana State (4-1)

Week 5: 41-24 Win Over UC Davis

3. Montana (5-0)

Week 5: 28-20 Win Over Idaho State

2. South Dakota State (4-1)

Week 5: 34-10 Win Over Western Illinois

1. North Dakota State (4-1)

Week 5: 27-14 Win Over Youngstown State

Analysis On Week 5 Performances:

New teams on my Top-25 ballot: Fordham, North Dakota, Rhode Island

Teams who dropped out of my Top-25: Eastern Kentucky, Furman, North Carolina Central

North Carolina Central experienced the biggest drop from #16 to being unranked this week after a disappointing 48-18 loss to Campbell. The Eagles had zero answers for the powerful Campbell rushing attack that racked up over 300 yards on the ground on Saturday afternoon. Furman lost a 34-27 battle with #17 Samford this weekend as Jace Wilson stepped into the QB1 role for injured Tyler Huff. Samford was able to build a 34-17 lead entering the 4th quarter and Furman’s 10-point fourth quarter performance was not enough in a solid comeback effort. 

North Dakota earned a spot in the Top-25 a week after an impressive 48-31 win over Missouri State this weekend. Running backs Tyler Hoosman and Isaiah Smith combined for 225 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns for the Hawks, while the offense totaled over 500 yards of offense to pull away from Missouri State. Fordham jumped into the Top-25 for the first time this season, but have put together an extremely impressive resume over the first five weeks of the season. Tim DeMorat has led this Fordham team to multiple CAA wins and a close loss to Ohio last weekend, but the Rams are in position to challenge Holy Cross for the Patriot League this season.

Austin Peay suffered a big drop from #13 to #25 after a shocking upset loss to Central Arkansas. The Governors struggled to run the football and were held to 45 rushing yards and less than 1.5 yards per carry this weekend. Will McElvain had a breakout performance for Central Arkansas with 261 yards passing and 4 passing touchdowns. The Governors did not drop out of my ballot due to their impressive resume that includes a win over #16 Eastern Kentucky and a close loss to Western Kentucky.

Elon jumped from #23 to #16 after an impressive overtime win over #17 Richmond this weekend. Matthew McKay continued his strong performance this season with 322 passing yards and 3 passing touchdowns against a talented Richmond defense. Richmond dropped from #19 to #23, but I thought the Spiders played an extremely talented Elon team and had multiple chances to win down the stretch. Reece Udinski is going to make Richmond a tough matchup for any team on their schedule, but I still think the Spiders are a Top-25 team right now. 

Samford entered the Top-15 for the first time this season after their solid win over Furman and the Paladins were ranked #22 last week in my ballot. Michael Hiers has emerged as arguably the best quarterback in the SoCon right now and the defense has played much better compared to last season for the Bulldogs. Mercer has looked impressive all season and have outscored their four FCS opponents 167-34 with their only loss coming to Auburn in Week 1. 

Notable Week 6 Games: #6 Delaware @ #19 William & Mary, #18 Southern Illinois @ #24 Missouri State, Eastern Washington @ #8 Weber State, #20 North Dakota @ Youngstown State, Western Carolina @ #11 Mercer, #7 Jackson State @ Alabama State, South Dakota @ #2 South Dakota State

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