December 4, 2022

Photo Cred: Chattanooga 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 8 Top-25 Ballot

25. Southern Illinois (5-3)

Week 8: 27-24 Loss To South Dakota

24. Furman (6-2)

Week 8: 41-3 Win Over VMI

23. Princeton (6-0)

Week 8: 37-10 Win Over Harvard

22. UT Martin (4-3)

Week 8: 65-24 Loss To #3 Tennessee (FBS)

21. New Hampshire (6-2)

Week 8: 40-22 Win Over #21 Elon

20. Fordham (6-1)

Week 8: Bye Week

19. Austin Peay (5-2)

Week 8: Bye Week

18. Rhode Island (5-2)

Week 8: 48-46 Win Over Monmouth

17. Richmond (5-2)

Week 8: 41-10 Win Over Hampton 

16. Montana (5-2)

Week 8: 31-24 Loss To #2 Sacramento State

15. Southeast Missouri State (6-1)

Week 8: 51-16 Win Over Northwestern State

14. Samford (6-1)

Week 8: 55-45 Win Over East Tennessee State

13. Mercer (6-2)

Week 8: 41-21 Loss To #10 Chattanooga

12. Idaho (5-2)

Week 8: 56-21 Win Over Portland State

11. Delaware (6-1)

Week 8: 38-7 Win Over Morgan State

10. Incarnate Word (7-1)

Week 8: 70-0 Win Over Faulkner

9. Jackson State (7-0)

Week 8: 22-14 Win Over Campbell

8. William & Mary (6-1)

Week 8: 44-24 Win Over Towson

7. Holy Cross (7-0)

Week 8: 24-21 Win Over Lafayette

6. Weber State (6-1)

Week 8: 43-38 Loss To #3 Montana State

5. Chattanooga (6-1)

Week 8: 41-21 Win Over #11 Mercer

4. North Dakota State (5-2)

Week 8: Bye Week

3. Sacramento State (7-0)

Week 8: 31-24 Win Over #7 Montana

2. Montana State (7-1)

Week 8: 43-38 Win Over #5 Weber State

1. South Dakota State (7-1)

Week 8: 49-35 Win Over #20 North Dakota

Analysis On Week 8 Performances:

New teams on my Top-25 ballot: New Hampshire, Princeton, & Furman

Teams who dropped out of my Top-25: Elon, Campbell, & North Dakota

Elon made a significant jump in my ballot a few weeks ago after ranked victories over Richmond and William & Mary, but now the Phoenix have lost two straight games to New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The Phoenix will have to solve some offensive inconsistencies and will have another huge matchup against Delaware this upcoming weekend. Campbell lost a competitive 22-14 matchup against Jackson State this weekend, but the Camels will have a chance to move back into the Top-25 with some big games on their upcoming schedule. North Dakota drops just outside my Top-25 after a loss to South Dakota State. I know the schedule has been one of the most difficult in the country, but I need to see the Hawks pick up another quality win before I feel comfortable ranking them in my Top-25. 

New Hampshire makes a big jump from unranked last week to #20 in this week’s ballot. The Wildcats won a big conference matchup against Elon and now sits 4-0 in conference play with their lone FCS loss being to North Carolina Central in Week 3. Since their loss the Wildcats have looked impressive and have a chance to make a run for the CAA championship with games against Richmond and Rhode Island coming up on their schedule.

Princeton is the first Ivy League team to break into our rankings after a strong 6-0 start to the 2022 season. The Tigers had their most impressive win of the season with a 37-10 win over Harvard on Friday night and looks to be the favorite to win the Ivy League as of this week. Furman also finds their way back into our ballot after a dominant 41-3 win over VMI this past weekend. The Paladins only have one FCS loss to Samford, but the Paladins have been impressive week in and week out since that close loss to the Bulldogs. Furman could cause major chaos in the SoCon race as they face Chattanooga and Mercer in their next two matchups. 

Chattanooga jumped from #13 last week to #5 this week in our ballot after a dominant win over Mercer this weekend. The Mocs forced 6 turnovers and took full control of the SoCon behind their stifling defense and explosive rushing attack. Ailym Ford became the 5th player in school history to reach the 3,000 yard mark in their career after his 123 rushing yards this weekend against the Bears. Chattanooga is undefeated at the FCS level this season and has won every game by 8+ points, including a 20-point victory over a Top-15 Mercer program. Mercer falls from #7 to #13 on our ballot, but the Bears have still been impressive this season outside of their loss this weekend which kept them in my Top-15 for now.

Montana State becomes the #2 team in our ballot after their win over Weber State this weekend, while Weber State drops to #6 after their first FCS loss of the season. The Bobcats utilized four safeties and over 300 yards of total offense from Tommy Mellott to pull off the huge conference victory. The Bobcats were also missing multiple key contributors and overcame an early deficit against an extremely talented Weber State squad. Weber State falls to 6-1, but still have a 35-7 win over Utah State and have played a Top-15 strength of schedule which is why I kept the Wildcats in my Top-6. 

There were not any major moves throughout my ballot this week due to teams winning the games they were supposed to win and multiple teams having bye weeks this past weekend. William & Mary jumped Jackson State due to the Tribe having a more impressive head to head win over Campbell this season along with their FBS win over Charlotte in Week 1 and a Top-10 win over Delaware also on their resume. Southern Illinois drops to #25 on my ballot after a 3-point loss to South Dakota this weekend. The Salukis do have a FBS win over Northwestern and impressive wins over North Dakota and Illinois State, which is why they hang on to their Top-25 ranking after their upset loss against the Coyotes. 

Notable Week 9 Games: #12 Idaho @ #3 Sacramento State, #16 Montana @ #6 Weber State, #5 Chattanooga @ #24 Furman, #20 Fordham @ #7 Holy Cross, Illinois State @ #4 North Dakota State, #18 Rhode Island @ #8 William & Mary, Southern @ #9 Jackson State, #10 Incarnate Word @ Texas A&M-Commerce, #11 Delaware @ Elon, Jacksonville State @ #19 Austin Peay

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