SFA Moves To Number 17
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network) -- The Lumberjacks moved up six spots in this week's Sports Netowrk / CSTV Top 25 poll. SFA beat UL-Monroe 23-21 saturday night to move to 1-0 on the season.
Following a decisive 34-12 win over I-A Eastern Michigan on Thursday night, the Western Illinois Leathernecks have jumped from No. 4 to No. 1 in this week,s Sports Network/CSTV I-AA Top 25 poll. WIU, which is top-ranked for the first time since The Sports Network poll became an NCAA ranking of record in 1993, earned 41 first-place votes and 2,688 total points in this week,s balloting. Don Patterson,s team just edged No. 2 Georgia Southern for the No. 1 spot, as the Eagles tallied 42 first-place votes and 2,670 total points. GSU opened its season with a 35-0 win over Savannah State on Saturday.
Dropping to No. 3 is McNeese State, which fell two spots after losing to AP No. 7 Kansas State, 55-14, this past week. The Cowboys still managed to hold onto 19 first-place votes in the Sept. 8 balloting. Rounding out the top five are No. 4 Western Kentucky and No. 5 Northeastern, both of which moved up a spot after rolling to victories on Saturday. The fourth-ranked Hilltoppers crushed Division II West Virginia Tech, 67-3, while the fifth-ranked Huskies cruised to a 51-0 win over I-AA mid-major Albany.
Villanova moved up three spots to No. 6 following an impressive, 23-20, double overtime win over Big East member Temple. VU is one notch above another set of Wildcats, No. 7 Bethune-Cookman. B-CC defeated Alabama State by a 31-26 count on Saturday. Furman falls one position to No. 8 after losing 28-17 at Clemson, and the Paladins are one place ahead of Fordham, up four following a 63-28 rout of Rhode Island. Rounding out the top 10 is Massachusetts, which opened its slate with a 51-7 victory over I-AA mid-major Central Connecticut this past weekend.
Completing the Top 15 are No. 11 Delaware, up three spots following a 41-7 win over The Citadel; No. 12 Montana, down nine after losing by a point to Division II North Dakota State; No. 13 Montana State, up three positions after downing Gardner-Webb, 38-3; No. 14 Grambling State, up one after defeating Alcorn State, 40-28; and No. 15 Eastern Illinois, which advances two positions following an open date.
Filling out the Top 20 are No. 16 Idaho State, No. 17 Stephen F. Austin, No. 18 Maine, No. 19 Northwestern State, and No. 20 Nicholls State.
Finishing out the poll are No. 21 Southern Illinois, No. 22 Penn, No. 23 Eastern Kentucky, No. 24 Wofford, and No. 25 Cal Poly.
Three teams are new to this week,s poll, with No. 21 Southern Illinois, No. 23 Eastern Kentucky, and No. 25 Cal Poly each joining the ,,ranks of the ranked °/°° going into week three. The 21st-ranked Salukis, who defeated former No. 22 Southeast Missouri last week, are ranked for the first time since Oct. 14 of last season, when they occupied the No. 25 position. The 23rd-ranked Colonels, 35-7 winners over former No. 11 Appalachian State, are back in the rankings following a one-week hiatus. Finally, the 25th-ranked Mustangs, 34-13 victors at I-A UTEP this past Saturday, find their way into the poll for the first time since the final rankings of the 1997 season, when they filled out the No. 16 slot.
19 of the poll,s 25 teams will be in action this week, with the matchup between No. 2 Georgia Southern and No. 3 McNeese State featured most prominently on the docket. Western Illinois will put their No. 1 ranking on the line right away, as the Leathernecks travel to Baton Rouge to face SEC power LSU. No. 10 Massachusetts (at Kansas State), No. 15 Eastern Illinois (at Missouri), and No. 23 Eastern Kentucky (at Central Michigan) will be among the other I-AA,s facing I-A opponents this week.
The Sports Network/CSTV 2003 I-AA Top 25 Poll (Sept. 8)
Team (First-place votes) 2003 Record Points Previous Next Week
1. Western Illinois (41) 2-0 2,688 4 at LSU
2. Georgia Southern (42) 1-0 2,670 2 at McNeese State
3. McNeese State (19) 1-1 2,463 1 Georgia Southern
4. Western Kentucky (7) 2-0 2,434 5 OPEN
5. Northeastern 2-0 2,239 6 at Rhode Island
6. Villanova (2) 2-0 2,154 9 at New Hampshire
7. Bethune-Cookman 2-0 1,993 8 OPEN
8. Furman 1-1 1,922 7 OPEN
9. Fordham 2-0 1,714 13 at Lehigh
10. Massachusetts 1-0 1,678 12 at Kansas State
11. Delaware 1-0 1,670 14 Richmond
12. Montana 1-1 1,462 3 Sam Houston State
13. Montana State 1-1 1,282 16 OPEN
14. Grambling State 1-1 1,236 15 vs. Alabama A&M
15. Eastern Illinois 1-0 1,132 17 at Missouri
16. Idaho State 1-1 919 10 Northern Colorado
17. Stephen F. Austin 1-0 840 23 at Southern Utah
18. Maine 1-1 835 20 Florida International
19. Northwestern State 1-1 784 18 Delaware State
20. Nicholls State 1-1 603 19 at Portland State
21. Southern Illinois 2-0 502 NR Murray State
22. Penn 0-0 474 21 OPEN
23. Eastern Kentucky 1-1 429 NR at Central Michigan
24. Wofford 1-1 411 25 OPEN
25. Cal Poly 1-0 363 NR Sacramento State
Dropped Out: No. 11 Appalachian State, No. 22 Southeast Missouri, No. 24 Florida Atlantic
Others receiving votes (in order of points, minimum of five required): Appalachian State, Eastern Washington, Southern, Youngstown State, Lehigh, Weber State, Northern Iowa, North Carolina A&T, Colgate, Murray State, Texas Southern, Illinois State, Portland State, Northern Arizona, Bucknell, Southeast Missouri, Gardner-Webb, Lafayette, Alabama State, Jacksonville State, Sacramento State, Tennessee State, Alabama A&M, Northern Colorado, Morgan State