College Football

Bearkats climb to No. 5 in Stats Perform FCS Top 25

By CRAIG HALEY

Stats Perform FCS Senior Editor

(Stats Perform) - Sam Houston was the last team other than James Madison or North Dakota State to be top-ranked in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 - at the end of an unbeaten 2016 regular season.

The Bearkats are trying to put themselves back in the conversation during the spring season, moving up to a season-high No. 5 in the national media poll on Monday. They were even one of five schools to receive a first-place vote.

James Madison remained top-ranked for the fourth straight week despite having a second consecutive game postponed for COVID-19 issues. It marked the 50th straight poll in which the Dukes (3-0) or three-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State (5-1), which moved up to No. 2 following an impressive win over rival North Dakota on Saturday, held the top spot.

Sam Houston improved to 3-0 behind quarterback Eric Schmid's six total touchdowns (four rushing, two passing) in a 62-7 win at Lamar. Coach K.C. Keeler's squad raised its FCS-leading point average to 58.7 - 10 more points than the next-closest team, UIW, which shares first place in the Southland Conference with the Bearkats.

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 (MARCH 22)

1. James Madison (3-0, 1-0 CAA), 969 points (29 first-place votes)

Previous Ranking: 1; Week 6 Result: Postponed vs. Richmond

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

Previous Ranking: 4; Week 6 Result: 34-13 win over then-No. 2 North Dakota

3. Weber State (2-0 Big Sky), 926 (2)

Previous Ranking: 3; Week 6 Result: No game

4. South Dakota State (4-1 Missouri Valley), 879 (2)

Previous Ranking: 6; Week 6 Result: 44-3 win at then-No. 5 Southern Illinois

5. Sam Houston (3-0 Southland), 816 (1)

Previous Ranking: 7; Week 6 Result: 62-7 win at Lamar

6. North Dakota (4-1 Missouri Valley), 809

Previous Ranking: 2; Week 6 Result: 34-13 loss at then-No. 4 North Dakota State

7. Jacksonville State (7-1, 4-0 Ohio Valley), 765

Previous Ranking: 8; Week 6 Result: 21-3 win over Southeast Missouri

8. Kennesaw State (3-0, 1-0 Big South), 715

Previous Ranking: 9; Week 6 Result: 37-27 win over Dixie State

9. Chattanooga (3-1, 3-0 Southern), 653

Previous Ranking: 11; Week 6 Result: 20-18 win at then-No. 13 Furman

10. Southern Illinois (4-2, 3-2 Missouri Valley), 586

Previous Ranking: 5; Week 6 Result: 44-3 loss to then-No. 6 South Dakota State

11. Delaware (2-0 CAA), 559

Previous Ranking: 12; Week 6 Result: Postponed at then-No. 20 New Hampshire

12. Eastern Washington (2-1 Big Sky), 480

Previous Ranking: 15; Week 6 Result: No game

13. UIW (3-0 Southland), 434

Previous Ranking: 22; West 6 Result: 56-45 win over then-No. 16 Southeastern Louisiana

14. VMI (4-0 Southern), 419

Previous Ranking: 19; Week 6 Result: 38-37 OT win at Samford

15. UC Davis (2-1 Big Sky), 405

Previous Ranking: 21; Week 6 Result: 73-24 win over Cal Poly

16. Villanova (1-1 CAA), 398

Previous Ranking: 14; Week 6 Result: No game

17. Nicholls (3-1, 2-1 Southland), 352

Previous Ranking: 17; Week 6 Result: No game

18. Rhode Island (2-0 CAA), 280

Previous Ranking: Unranked; Week 6 Result: 17-10 OT win at then-No. 18 Albany

19. Murray State (4-0 Ohio Valley), 279

Previous Ranking: 25; Week 6 Result: 35-13 win over Tennessee State

20. Furman (3-2 Southern), 249

Previous Ranking: 13; Week 6 Result: 20-18 loss at then-No. 11 Chattanooga

21. Richmond (2-0 CAA), 198

Previous Ranking: 23; Week 6 Result: Postponed at then-No. 1 James Madison

22. Northern Iowa (2-3 Missouri Valley), 179

Previous Ranking: 10; Week 6 Result: 13-6 loss at Missouri State

23. Southeastern Louisiana (2-2 Southland), 158

Previous Ranking: 16; Week 6 Result: 56-45 loss at then-No. 22 UIW

24. New Hampshire (0-1 CAA), 122

Previous Ranking: 20; Week 6 Result: Postponed vs. then-No. 12 Delaware

25. Maine (2-1 CAA), 77

Previous Ranking: Unranked; Week 6 Result: 35-19 win at Stony Brook

Dropped Out: Albany (18) and Jackson State (24)

Others Receiving Votes (schools listed on two or more ballots): Idaho 63, Missouri State 60, Gardner-Webb 41, San Diego 40, Albany 30, Tarleton 28, Jackson State 23, Monmouth 22, Duquesne 13, ETSU 13, Illinois State 9

Updated March 22, 2021

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