The big boys were kind to me this week and all of the games that were going to affect my chart are already over. I'm going to work in last week's AP rankings as I go along, along with updated records, which I've been too lazy to do previously.
Appalachian St. (8-0, 1st) remains number one with a 37-26 win over Furman. However, Liberty does not remain number two; I flipped them and last week's #4 Wofford. Wofford (7-1, 10th) cruised past the Citadel 35-0, while Liberty (6-2, 12th) struggled against a 1-7 Presbyterian squad 34-24. In between them remains idle Delaware (7-1, 6th). Also idle and holding their spots were #5 Jacksonville St. (8-0, 2nd) and #6 Bethune-Cookman (7-0, 16th). Jacksonville (8-1, 27th) moves up 1 spot to 7th with a 61-17 rout of Morehead St. that runs their point total to 203-38 in their last 3 games. William and Mary (6-2, 4th) lost their QB on their first drive and had 3 other crucial players leave the game and still almost took down big boy North Carolina, losing 21-17 on a fourth quarter 67-yard run; thus, I only drop them one spot to 8th.
Western Illinois (6-3, 24th) recovers from a close loss last week to top Illinois St. 65-38 and move up 2 to #9. Villanova (6-2, 5th) returns to the top 10 with a 28-7 whipping of Richmond. I drop Montana St. (7-2, 13th) two spots to 11th after a 23-20 OT win over a 1-7 Idaho St. club. Dayton (8-1, 31st) moves up a pair to 12th with a 37-13 win over Davidson; Robert Morris does likewise to 13th, winning 34-11 over Duquesne.
I slide SE Missouri St.(8-1, 11th) down to 14th after a lackluster 24-17 win over Tennessee-Martin. Stephen F. Austin (6-2, 3rd) falls 5 to 15th after one of the great collapses of the year. Leading former top 20 Texas St. 24-0 coming into the 4th quarter, they were stopped on a 4th-and-16 (why do you go for that?) and State drove down for a TD. They miss the xp, 24-6. Three plays into the next drive SFA fumbles, giving State the ball on the SFA 9, from which they soon scored. 2-pt attempt is good, 24-14. After a short drive, SFA has to punt, and State returns it 72 yds for a score(maybe that explains the 4th-and-16?). 24-21. SFA drives downfield, only to have a receiver fumble after a good gain, and State has the ball again. A half-dozen plays later, State puts it in again and takes the lead, 27-24, with 1:10 left in the game. Needing a cherry for the top of the meltdown, SFA drives into long field goal range, but of course misses the 47-yarder with no time left and State wins 27-24.
Idle North Dakota St. (5-3, 22nd) and New Hampshire (5-3, 9th) each hold their spots at 16th and 17th, respectively. South Carolina St. (6-2, 17th) stay alive with a 38-21 win over a lousy Delaware St. team; I move them up one to 18th. Umass (5-3, 18th) re-enters at 19 after winning the Meltdown Bowl, 21-14 over James Madison (a game JMU led 14-3 in the first half), sending the crumbling JMU squad out of the countdown just 4 weeks after being 4-0 and #1. The loss makes four in a row for JMU; Umass rebounded from 2 inexcusably bad defeats that dropped them from the top ten. Finally, I get to give some love to the Indiana St. Sycamores(5-3, 43rd). They played that South Dakota St. team that has gotten votes since they were 1-4 (they started the season 0-4, and won three straight to become a minor media darling) and whupped them 41-30 to come into my list at #20.
In addition to luckless JMU, Montana (6-3,7th) gives up a spot at the round table after losing 30-21 to Weber St., who almost got that last spot, but after all I am a Hoosier. The lightweights that I don't rank and they do include #8 Eastern Washington, #14 Richmond,#19 Northern Iowa, and #20 Cal Poly. Eastern Washington is a close thing, as are the Iowans, but Richmond has been unable to beat the big teams in their conference, and Cal Poly has only a close game against struggling Montana to recommend it.