Jacksonville State impresses in Stats Perform FCS Top 25

·4 min read

(Stats Perform) - Jacksonville State has done quite well while becoming the first FCS school to navigate a full regular season over the unprecedented 2020-21 schedule, earning a No. 9 ranking in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 on Monday.

In a season that allows 11 regular-season games, the Gamecocks got a start on it with four nonconference games in October before they played their Ohio Valley Conference schedule in the spring semester, capping it on Sunday with a 28-14 win at then-No. 17 Murray State to claim the conference title and an automatic bid to the upcoming FCS playoffs. At 9-2, they have three more wins than any other team.

"This never gets old. I've never been more proud of a group than this bunch," said coach John Grass, whose team rose one spot in the national media poll.

James Madison held the No. 1 ranking for the seventh straight week, although No. 2 North Dakota State (6-1), the three-time defending national champion, moved closer to the Dukes.

This weekend's schedule will precede the NCAA's announcement of the 16-team playoff pairings on Sunday. Like Jacksonville State, No. 3 Weber State (Big Sky), No. 5 Sam Houston (Southland), No. 12 Monmouth (Big South) and Sacred Heart (Northeast), just two spots outside the rankings, have clinched automatic bids already.

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 12)

1. James Madison (4-0, 2-0 CAA), 968 points (25 first-place votes)

Previous Ranking: 1; Week 9 Result: No game

2. North Dakota State (6-1, 5-1 Missouri Valley), 950 (12)

Previous Ranking: 2; Week 9 Result: 23-20 win at then-No. 24 Northern Iowa

3. Weber State (5-0 Big Sky), 911

Previous Ranking: 3; Week 9 Result: 20-15 win over Idaho State

4. South Dakota State (4-1 Missouri Valley), 880 (1)

Previous Ranking: 4; Week 9 Result: No game

5. Sam Houston (5-0 Southland), 862 (2)

Previous Ranking: 5; Week 9 Result: 27-13 win over McNeese

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

Previous Ranking: 6; Week 9 Result: No game

7. Delaware (4-0, 3-0 CAA), 755

Previous Ranking: 8; Week 9 Result: 34-14 win at Delaware State

8. Eastern Washington (5-1 Big Sky), 717

Previous Ranking: 9; Week 9 Result: 38-31 win over Idaho

9. Jacksonville State (9-2, 6-1 Ohio Valley), 693

Previous Ranking: 10; Week 9 Result: 28-14 win at then-No. 17 Murray State

10. Villanova (2-1 CAA), 563

Previous Ranking: 11; Week 9 Result: No game

11. Richmond (3-0 CAA), 553

Previous Ranking: 12; Week 9 Result: No game

12. Monmouth (3-0 Big South), 539

Previous Ranking: 20; Week 9 Result: 42-17 win over then-No. 7 Kennesaw State

13. UC Davis (3-2 Big Sky), 459

Previous Ranking: 13; Week 9 Result: No game

14. Missouri State (5-4, 5-1 Missouri Valley), 457

Previous Ranking: 15; Week 9 Result: 21-10 win over Youngstown State

15. VMI (5-1 Southern), 452

Previous Ranking: 14; Week 9 Result: No game

16. Kennesaw State (4-1, 2-1 Big South), 382

Previous Ranking: 7; Week 9 Result: 42-17 loss at then-No. 20 Monmouth

17. Southeastern Louisiana (4-2 Southland), 357

Previous Ranking: 23; Week 9 Result: 52-45 win at then-No. 18 Nicholls

18. Southern Illinois (4-3, 3-3 Missouri Valley), 351

Previous Ranking: 16; Week 9 Result: No game

19. Rhode Island (2-1 CAA), 252

Previous Ranking: 22; Week 9 Result: No game

20. Murray State (5-2 Ohio Valley), 231

Previous Ranking: 17; Week 9 Result: 28-14 loss to then-No. 10 Jacksonville State

21. Nicholls (4-3, 3-3 Southland), 138

Previous Ranking: 18; Week 9 Result: 52-45 loss to then-No. 23 Southeastern Louisiana

22. Austin Peay (4-5, 4-2 Ohio Valley), 137

Previous Ranking: 25 (tie); Week 9 Result: No game

23. Mercer (5-5 5-2 Southern), 130

Previous Ranking: Unranked; Week 9 Result: 21-13 win over ETSU

24. ETSU (4-2 Southern), 118

Previous Ranking: 21; Week 9 Result: 21-13 loss at Mercer

25. UIW (3-2 Southland), 104

Previous Ranking: 19; West 9 Result: 49-47 loss to Northwestern State

Dropped Out: Northern Iowa (24) and Duquesne (T25)

Others Receiving Votes (schools listed on two or more ballots): Northern Iowa 75, Sacred Heart 44, Duquesne 26, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 20, Gardner-Webb 19, Southern 15, Maine 14, Alabama A&M 11, San Diego 3