Towson, Northern Iowa move into FCS Top 10

12:16 PM, Sep 2, 2013   |    comments
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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The FCS teams that defeated FBS programs during the first week of the college football season were rewarded on Monday by voters on The Sports Network FCS Top 25 panel.

Well, not so much with top-ranked North Dakota State, which didn't have anywhere to move up.

But after eight FCS teams knocked down the FBS door, six of them were ranked and four were in the Top 10 of the new poll, which is selected each week by a national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries.

North Dakota State, which rallied from a two-touchdown deficit to a 24-21 win over Kansas State, collected 145 of the 152 first-place votes to remain a definitive No. 1. The Bison were ahead of Eastern Washington, which collected the other seven first-place votes and moved up two spots to No. 2 following its 49-46 victory over Oregon State.

Also earning Top 10 spots were No. 5 Towson, which beat Connecticut, 33-18, to move up six spots, and No. 9 Northern Iowa, which posted its fifth all-time win over Iowa State, 28-20, to rise eight spots, the poll high.

That was only half the FCS-FBS story, though. Defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Eastern Illinois moved up seven spots to No. 14 after its 40-19 win over San Diego State. McNeese State, which was unranked in the preseason, moved up to No. 18 after it hammered South Florida, 53-21, scoring 31 points in the second quarter.

Samford, which beat transitioning FBS member Georgia State, 31-21, and Southern Utah, which slipped past South Alabama, 22-21, on a game-ending field goal, sat just outside the Top 25 following their big wins.

The eight wins were the overwhelming story of the first week of the FCS season, but there were plenty of other impressive wins among Top 25 teams.

Montana State and Sam Houston State actually moved down one spot each to No. 3 and 4, respectively, despite posting decisive wins. Montana State built a 39-3 halftime lead and coasted past Monmouth, 42-24, while Sam Houston State earned a 74-0 shutout of a Houston Baptist program that was playing its first-ever game.

After Towson, the rest of the Top 10 consisted of No. 6 South Dakota State (1-0); No. 7 Central Arkansas (1-0); No. 8 Villanova (0-1), which fell to Boston College, 24-14; No. 9 Northern Iowa; and No. 10 Georgia Southern (1-0).

New Hampshire, which was idle over the weekend and will debut at Central Michigan on Saturday, was ranked 11th ahead of No. 12 Cal Poly (1-0). Up next was No. 13 Montana, which posted a 30-6 win over fellow perennial power Appalachian State in one of the more anticipated games of Week 1.

After Eastern Illinois were No. 15 Richmond (1-0), No. 16 Wofford (0-1), No. 17 Stony Brook (0-0), McNeese State, No. 19 Illinois State (0-1) and No. 20 James Madison (1-0).

The poll was rounded out by No. 21 Appalachian State (1-0), No. 22 Northern Arizona (0-1), No. 23 Lehigh (0-0), No. 24 Coastal Carolina (1-0) and No. 25 Bethune-Cookman (1-0), which played in the final game of the weekend, beating Tennessee State, 12-9, Sunday night.

As McNeese State rose into the Top 25, Chattanooga was the only team to fall out of the rankings. The Mocs lost to UT Martin, 31-21.

In the Top 25 voting, 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.

During the regular season, the Top 25 will be released every Monday afternoon, except for the final weekend, when it will be released Sunday morning, Nov. 17, prior to the selection of the FCS playoff field.

The Sports Network will release a final Top 25 following the FCS championship game, which will be held Jan. 4 in Frisco, Texas.

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