No doubt again as North Dakota State a unanimous No. 1

CRAIG HALEY (STATS FCS Senior Editor=)

(Stats Perfrom) - Wire to wire again.

National champion North Dakota State was a unanimous No. 1 in the final Stats Perform FCS Top 25 on Monday, making it two straight seasons in which the Bison have held the top ranking in every poll since the preseason.

North Dakota State (16-0), which received all 153 first-place votes in the national media poll, beat James Madison 28-20 on Saturday to claim its third straight and a record eighth FCS title in nine years. The Bison have won 37 straight games - also an FCS standard.

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"There hasn't been a perfect game yet. We're still striving for it," coach Matt Entz said after completing his first season at the helm. "When you start looking at our body of work on the football field being 16-0 and our semester GPA for the young group was the highest ever as a Division I program, close to a 3.15, I think that says a lot about our kids just buying into the message, believing in each other and taking a lot of pride in being Bison."

James Madison (14-2) finished second and national semifinalists Weber State (11-4) and Montana State (11-4) were No. 3 and 4, respectively. The Missouri Valley Football Conference and Big Sky Conference had the most selections with four each - all in the Top 10.

A national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries select the Stats Perform FCS Top 25. 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 (Jan. 13)

1. North Dakota State (16-0), 3,825 points (153 first-place votes)

Previous Ranking: 1; Key Wins: Illinois State (37-3 and 9-3), Northern Iowa (46-14), South Dakota State (23-16), Montana State (42-14) and James Madison (28-20)

2. James Madison (14-2), 3,672

Previous Ranking: 2; Key Wins: Villanova (38-24), Northern Iowa (17-0) and Weber State (30-14)

3. Weber State (11-4), 3,490

Previous Ranking: 4; Key Wins: Northern Iowa (29-17), Sacramento State (36-17) and Montana (17-10)

4. Montana State (11-4), 3,366

Previous Ranking: 5; Key Wins: Montana (48-14), Albany (47-21) and Austin Peay (24-10)

5. Northern Iowa (10-5), 3,101

Previous Ranking: 6; Key Wins: Illinois State (27-10), San Diego (17-3) and South Dakota State (13-10)

6. Montana (10-4), 3,006

Previous Ranking: 7; Key Wins: Monmouth (47-27), Weber State (35-16) and Southeastern Louisiana (73-28)

7. Illinois State (10-5), 2,886

Previous Ranking: 13; Key Wins: South Dakota State (27-18), Southeast Missouri (24-6) and Central Arkansas (24-14)

8. Austin Peay (11-4), 2,592

Previous Ranking: 18; Key Wins: Southeast Missouri (28-24), Furman (42-6) and Sacramento State (42-28)

9. Sacramento State (9-4), 2,590

Previous Ranking: 3; Key Wins: Eastern Washington (48-27), Montana State (34-21) and Montana (49-22)

10. South Dakota State (8-5), 2,312

Previous Ranking: 10; Key Wins: Southern Illinois (28-10), Youngstown State (38-28) and Northern Iowa (38-7)

11. Central Arkansas (9-4), 2,123

Previous Ranking: 9; Key Wins: Western Kentucky (35-28), Austin Peay (24-16) and Sam Houston State (29-25)

12. Monmouth (11-3), 2,037

Previous Ranking: 14; Key Wins: UAlbany (38-35), Kennesaw State (45-21) and Holy Cross (44-27)

13. Kennesaw State (11-3), 1,989

Previous Ranking: 15; Key Wins: Charleston Southern (45-23), Campbell (38-35) and Wofford (28-21)

14. Nicholls (9-5), 1,707

Previous Ranking: 19; Key Wins: Central Arkansas (34-14), Southeastern Louisiana (28-27) and North Dakota (24-6)

15. Villanova (9-4), 1,580

Previous Ranking: 8; Key Wins: Towson (52-45), Maine (33-17) and Delaware (55-33)

16. Wofford (8-4), 1,344

Previous Ranking: 11; Key Wins: Chattanooga (35-34), Furman (24-7) and The Citadel (31-11)

17. Southeast Missouri (9-4), 1,285

Previous Ranking: 12; Key Wins: Southern Illinois (44-26), Jacksonville State (24-21) and UT Martin (17-10)

18. UAlbany (9-5), 1,244

Previous Ranking: 25; Key Wins: Towson (38-21), New Hampshire (24-17) and Central Connecticut State (42-14)

19. Southeastern Louisiana (8-5), 1,170

Previous Ranking: N/R; Key Wins: Jacksonville State (35-14), Central Arkansas (34-0) and Villanova (45-44)

20. North Carolina A&T (9-3), 782

Previous Ranking: 23; Key Wins: South Carolina State (22-20), Bethune-Cookman (47-17) and Alcorn State (64-44)

21. Furman (8-5), 770

Previous Ranking: 16; Key Wins: Samford (58-21), Chattanooga (35-20) and VMI (60-21)

22. Dartmouth (9-1), 607

Previous Ranking: 21; Key Wins: Colgate (38-3), Yale (42-10) and Princeton (27-10)

23. Central Connecticut State (11-2), 606

Previous Ranking: 17; Key Wins: Sacred Heart (28-3), Robert Morris (49-28) and Duquesne (43-10)

24. Florida A&M (9-2), 527

Previous Ranking: 20; Key Wins: Southern (27-21), South Carolina State (42-38) and North Carolina A&T (34-31)

25. Yale (9-1), 353

Previous Ranking: 22; Key Wins: Holy Cross (23-10), Richmond (28-27) and Princeton (51-14)

Dropped Out: North Dakota (24)

Others Receiving Votes: North Dakota 257, Southern Illinois 143, San Diego 119, Towson 104, Holy Cross 29, Alcorn State 26, Princeton 22, Eastern Washington 21, UT Martin 19, New Hampshire 9, South Carolina State 9, Maine 3

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