Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - For the first time in school history, the New Hampshire Wildcats hold the No. 1 ranking in The Sports Network I-AA Top 25 poll. The Wildcats defeated Dartmouth, 49-20, to move to 3-0 for the season and up one spot in the rankings as Western Kentucky lost to Auburn. The Wildcats are the fourth No. 1 team in as many weeks, which is also a first in The Sports Network poll. The last time four teams held a No. 1 ranking at any point in the same regular season was 1993. New Hampshire garnered 65 of a possible 115 first-place votes and 2,760 points to earn the No. 1 spot. The Wildcats put the No. 1 ranking on the line when they play host to Villanova on Saturday.
Idle Southern Illinois moved one position to the No. 2 spot in the poll. Western Kentucky dropped two spots to No. 3 with the loss to Auburn, while Montana remained at the No. 4 position after a bye week. Delaware moved to 3-0 and into the top five after defeating Holy Cross, 35-23.
James Madison is up a spot to No. 6, while the rest of the top 10 teams move up two positions to this week's place. Furman comes in at No. 7 after a double overtime win against Hofstra. Northern Iowa is at No. 8, Hampton comes in at No. 9 and Cal Poly rounds out the top 10.
Lehigh moves two places to No.11, followed by this week's biggest riser, Montana State, at No. 12. The Bobcats vaulted six positions after a 20-17 win against North Dakota State, which dropped five places to No. 13. Eastern Washington fell the hardest, dropping nine spots to No. 14 after a 34-30 loss to unranked Idaho State. Harvard, owners of I-AA's longest winning streak at 13 games, remained steady at No. 15 after a double overtime win against Brown.
Texas State drops two places to No. 16, while Appalachian State moves up five spots to No. 17. Western Carolina comes in at No. 18, with William & Mary at No. 19 and South Carolina State at No. 20.
Massachusetts is at No. 21, followed by Wofford at No. 22, Hofstra at No. 23, Idaho State at No. 24 and Northwestern State at No. 25. Idaho State enters the rankings for the first time since the 2003 season, while Rhode Island dropped out of the top 25.
21 of the poll's 25 teams will be in action this weekend, with three games between ranked opponents on tap. In a non-conference game, No. 15 Harvard puts its winning streak on the line when it plays host to No. 11 Lehigh. No. 6 James Madison is at No. 23 Hofstra in the Atlantic 10 opener for both teams, and No. 12 Montana State hosts No. 24 Idaho State in the Big Sky opener for both squads.
|Team (First-place votes)||Record||Points||Previous Rank|
|1. New Hampshire Wildcats (65)||3-0||2,760||2|
|2. Southern Illinois Salukis (16)||2-1||2,603||3|
|3. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (14)||2-1||2,540||1|
|4. Montana Grizzlies (7)||2-1||2,504||4|
|5. Delaware Blue Hens (8)||3-0||2,401||6|
|6. James Madison Dukes||2-1||2,074||7|
|7. Furman Paladins (1)||3-1||2,029||9|
|8. Northern Iowa Panthers (1)||2-1||1,901||10|
|9. Hampton Pirates (2)||4-0||1,853||11|
|10. Cal Poly Mustangs||3-1||1,819||12|
|11. Lehigh Mountain Hawks||2-1||1,284||13|
|12. Montana State Bobcats||2-2||1,215||18|
|13. North Dakota State Bison||3-1||1,204||8|
|14. Eastern Washington Eagles||1-2||1,196||5|
|15. Harvard Crimson (1)||2-0||1,106||15|
|16. Texas State Bobcats||2-1||1,052||14|
|17. Appalachian State Mountaineers||3-1||881||22|
|18. Western Carolina Catamounts||2-1||838||19|
|19. William & Mary Tribe||2-2||832||16|
|20. South Carolina State Bulldogs||3-0||809||20|
|21. Massachusetts Minutemen||3-1||681||24|
|22. Wofford Terriers||2-1||628||21|
|23. Hofstra Pride||2-1||507||17|
|24. Idaho State Bengals||3-1||506||NR|
|25. Northwestern State Demons||1-2||307||23|
Others receiving votes: Portland State 276, Coastal Carolina 234, Georgia Southern 195, McNeese State 190, Illinois State 172, UC Davis 138, Rhode Island 118, Grambling State 74, Youngstown State 72, Stephen F. Austin 70, Jacksonville State 45, Sam Houston State 44, Villanova 37, Alabama State 33, Penn 28, Lafayette 27, Nicholls State 22, Princeton 15, Brown 14, Bethune-Cookman 13, South Dakota State 12.