ETSU, Monmouth, Duquesne power into FCS Top 25

NCAA Football

(Stats Perform) – ETSU just played what may be looked back on as a conference championship game. Monmouth will play a de facto championship game this weekend. Duquesne definitely has a championship game this weekend.

The trio of teams powered into the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 on Monday.

Following a weekend with a number of schedule changes, the top nine spots went unchanged in the national media rankings. There was a lot of movement afterward, including ETSU and Duquesne with their first rankings since 2018 at No. 21 and 25 (in a tie), respectively. Monmouth, one of the final teams to open its spring season, had fallen from the rankings three weeks ago, but returned at No. 20.

ETSU (4-1) handed VMI its first loss 24-20 to tighten the Southern Conference race. Monmouth (2-0) defeated Gardner-Webb 48-19, setting up a first-place showdown with No. 7 Kennesaw State on Saturday to determine the Big South’s automatic bid to the upcoming FCS playoffs. Duquesne (4-0) will host Sacred Heart on Sunday in a first-ever Northeast Conference championship game, with a playoff bid on the line.

Austin Peay was the week’s other newcomer to the rankings, tying with Duquesne at No. 25. The Governors (4-5, but 4-3 versus FCS) have beaten Ohio Valley Conference co-leaders Jacksonville State and Murray State in back-to-back weeks.

James Madison (4-0) remained at No. 1 ahead of North Dakota State (5-1), the three-time defending FCS champion. One of those two national powers has held the top ranking in 52 straight polls since the 2016 season.

A national panel selects the Stats Perform FCS Top 25, which this spring includes only schools that have committed to playing a regular schedule. 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.

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STATS PERFORM FCS TOP 25 (APRIL 5)

1. James Madison (4-0, 2-0 CAA), 981 points (30 first-place votes)

Previous Ranking: 1; Week 8 Result: Postponed at then-No. 15 Richmond

2. North Dakota State (5-1, 4-1 Missouri Valley), 939 (6)

Previous Ranking: 2; Week 8 Result: Postponed vs. then-No. 4 South Dakota State

3. Weber State (4-0 Big Sky), 917 (1)

Previous Ranking: 3; Week 8 Result: 19-16 win at Southern Utah

4. South Dakota State (4-1 Missouri Valley), 874 (2)

Previous Ranking: 4; Week 8 Result: Postponed at then-No. 2 North Dakota State

5. Sam Houston (4-0 Southland), 848 (1)

Previous Ranking: 5; Week 8 Result: 24-16 win at Northwestern State

6. North Dakota (4-1 Missouri Valley), 803

Previous Ranking: 6; Week 8 Result: Canceled at then-No. 19 Missouri State

7. Kennesaw State (4-0, 2-0 Big South), 751

Previous Ranking: 7; Week 8 Result: 35-0 win over Robert Morris

8. Delaware (3-0 CAA), 716

Previous Ranking: 8; Week 8 Result: Canceled at Albany

9. Eastern Washington (4-1 Big Sky), 689

Previous Ranking: 9; Week 8 Result: 32-22 win at then-No. 11 UC Davis

10. Jacksonville State (8-2, 5-1 Ohio Valley), 640

Previous Ranking: 12; Week 8 Result: 44-23 win at Eastern Illinois

11. Villanova (2-1 CAA), 535

Previous Ranking: 16; Week 8 Result: 44-17 win at Maine

12. Richmond (3-0 CAA), 517

Previous Ranking: 15; Week 8 Result: Postponed vs. then-No. 1 James Madison

13. UC Davis (3-2 Big Sky), 441

Previous Ranking: 11; Week 8 Result: 32-22 loss to then-No. 9 Eastern Washington

14. VMI (5-1 Southern), 413

Previous Ranking: 10; Week 8 Result: 24-20 loss to ETSU

15. Missouri State (4-4, 4-1 Missouri Valley), 343

Previous Ranking: 19; Week 8 Result: Canceled at then-No. 6 North Dakota

16. Southern Illinois (4-3, 3-3 Missouri Valley), 330

Previous Ranking: 18; Week 8 Result: Canceled at Illinois State

17. Murray State (5-1 Ohio Valley), 294

Previous Ranking: 14; Week 8 Result: 34-31 loss at Austin Peay

18. Nicholls (4-2, 3-2 Southland), 293

Previous Ranking: 13; Week 8 Result: 43-31 loss at McNeese

19. UIW (3-1 Southland), 255

Previous Ranking: 20; West 8 Result: No game

20. Monmouth (2-0 Big South), 250

Previous Ranking: Unranked; Week 8 Result: 48-19 win over Gardner-Webb

21. ETSU (4-1 Southern), 245

Previous Ranking: Unranked; Week 8 Result: 24-20 win at VMI

22. Rhode Island (2-1 CAA), 243

Previous Ranking: 22; Week 8 Result: Postponed vs. New Hampshire

23. Southeastern Louisiana (3-2 Southland), 190

Previous Ranking: 25; Week 8 Result: 42-12 win over Lamar

24. Northern Iowa (3-3 Missouri Valley), 171

Previous Ranking: 23; Week 8 Result: Canceled at South Dakota

T25. Austin Peay (4-5, 4-2 Ohio Valley), 94

Previous Ranking: Unranked; Week 8 Result: 34-31 win over Murray State

T25. Duquesne (4-0 Northeast), 94

Previous Ranking: Unranked; Week 8 Result: No game

Dropped Out: Chattanooga (17); Furman (21); Idaho (23)

Others Receiving Votes (schools listed on two or more ballots): Furman 42, Davidson 20, Gardner-Webb 18, New Hampshire 15, Idaho 10, Maine 10, Southern 10, Mercer 6, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 3

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