College Football

James Madison solidifies No. 1 in Stats Perform FCS Top 25

By CRAIG HALEY

Stats Perform FCS Senior Editor

(Stats Perform) - While James Madison was sidelined earlier this month, a handful of teams made convincing bids for No. 1 in the Stats Perform Top 25, but the Dukes' grip on the top spot got stronger on Monday.

The Dukes earned 31 of the 40 first-place votes - an increase of two - to remain atop the national media poll.

On Saturday, James Madison (4-0) handled William & Mary 38-10 in CAA Football action, playing for the first time in three weeks after having two straight games postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. The Dukes displayed no signs of rust while scoring on their first four possessions.

"You could really see the focus coming on and I felt confident we were going to play really well," coach Curt Cignetti said.

James Madison has a key conference game at No. 15 Richmond this week. Also, No. 2 North Dakota State will host No. 4 South Dakota State in a major matchup inside the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

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 29)

1. James Madison (4-0, 2-0 CAA), 982 points (31 first-place votes)

Previous Ranking: 1; Week 7 Result: 38-10 win at William & Mary

2. North Dakota State (5-1, 4-1 Missouri Valley), 937 (5)

Previous Ranking: 2; Week 7 Result: Canceled at South Dakota

3. Weber State (3-0 Big Sky), 915 (1)

Previous Ranking: 3; Week 7 Result: 28-23 win over Northern Arizona

4. South Dakota State (4-1 Missouri Valley), 882 (2)

Previous Ranking: 4; Week 7 Result: Canceled vs. Illinois State

5. Sam Houston (3-0 Southland), 839 (1)

Previous Ranking: 5; Week 7 Result: No game

6. North Dakota (4-1 Missouri Valley), 791

Previous Ranking: 6; Week 7 Result: Postponed at Youngstown State

7. Kennesaw State (3-0, 1-0 Big South), 728

Previous Ranking: 8; Week 7 Result: Postponed at Gardner-Webb

8. Delaware (3-0 CAA), 719

Previous Ranking: 11; Week 7 Result: 35-21 win at then-No. 18 Rhode Island

9. Eastern Washington (3-1 Big Sky), 615

Previous Ranking: 12; Week 7 Result: 62-10 win over Cal Poly

10. VMI (5-0 Southern), 593

Previous Ranking: 14; Week 7 Result: 36-31 win at Wofford

11. UC Davis (3-1 Big Sky), 559

Previous Ranking: 15; Week 7 Result: 31-27 win over Idaho State

12. Jacksonville State (7-2, 4-1 Ohio Valley), 535

Previous Ranking: 7; Week 7 Result: 13-10 loss to Austin Peay

13. Nicholls (4-1, 3-1 Southland), 522

Previous Ranking: 17; Week 7 Result: 75-45 win over then-No. 13 UIW

14. Murray State (5-0 Ohio Valley), 474

Previous Ranking: 19; Week 7 Result: 41-27 win over Eastern Illinois

15. Richmond (3-0 CAA), 410

Previous Ranking: 21; Week 7 Result: 31-17 win over Elon

16. Villanova (1-1 CAA), 367

Previous Ranking: 16; Week 7 Result: Postponed vs. then-No. 24 New Hampshire

17. Chattanooga (3-2, 3-1 Southern), 304

Previous Ranking: 9; Week 7 Result: 35-28 loss to Mercer

18. Southern Illinois (4-3, 3-3 Missouri Valley), 267

Previous Ranking: 10; Week 7 Result: 30-27 loss at Missouri State

19. Missouri State (4-4, 4-1 Missouri Valley), 226

Previous Ranking: Unranked; Week 7 Result: 30-27 win over then-No. 10 Southern Illinois

20. UIW (3-1 Southland), 206

Previous Ranking: 13; West 7 Result: 75-45 loss at then-No. 17 Nicholls

21. Furman (3-2 Southern), 194

Previous Ranking: 20; Week 7 Result: No game

22. Rhode Island (2-1 CAA), 181

Previous Ranking: 18; Week 7 Result: 35-21 loss to then-No. 11 Delaware

23. Northern Iowa (3-3 Missouri Valley), 176

Previous Ranking: 22; Week 7 Result: 34-20 win at Western Illinois

24. Idaho (3-3 Big Sky), 110

Previous Ranking: Unranked; Week 7 Result: 33-32 win over Southern Utah

25. Southeastern Louisiana (2-2 Southland), 103

Previous Ranking: 23; Week 7 Result: No game

Dropped Out: New Hampshire (24), Maine (25)

Others Receiving Votes (schools listed on two or more ballots): Maine 82, Monmouth 61, Tarleton 37, San Diego 36, Duquesne 35, Gardner-Webb 35, New Hampshire 30, Jackson State 28, Austin Peay 11, ETSU 10

Updated March 29, 2021

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