PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network)- The Southern Illinois Salukis claim the No. 1 ranking in The Sports Network Top 25 after a 34-24 victory at Western Illinois. The Salukis, who held the top spot for one week earlier in the season, are 4-1 for the year and are undefeated against I-AA competition. Southern Illinois moves up one position after New Hampshire lost, 42-10, at William & Mary. The Salukis picked up 58 of a possible 114 first-place votes and earned 2,715 points to claim the No. 1 spot. Southern Illinois hosts Illinois State on Saturday.
Montana is up two rungs to No. 2 after a convincing, 32-10, win at Idaho State. The Grizzlies moved past Western Kentucky, which remains at No. 3 after holding off Illinois State, 37-34, in overtime. James Madison is up one spot to No. 4, with Furman moving back into the top five on the heels of a 34-31 win against Appalachian State.
Cal Poly received 12 first-place votes and vaulted three spots to No. 6 after a 37-6 triumph against North Dakota State. Hampton, one of only two remaining undefeated teams, garners nine first-place votes and moves up one spot to No. 7. New Hampshire's loss sends the Wildcats all the way down to No. 8. Montana State and Texas State fill out the top 10 at the No. 9 and No. 10 spots, respectively.
William & Mary is up six spots to No. 11 after the win against New Hampshire. Eastern Washington vaults three positions to No. 12, while Massachusetts is up five spots to No. 13. Northern Iowa fell seven positions to No. 14 after a loss to Missouri State. Coastal Carolina occupies the No. 15 spot.
Georgia Southern is up five places to No. 16, and Youngstown State moves five spots to No. 17. North Dakota State fell to No. 18, with Appalachian State dropping to No. 19 and Lehigh falling 10 spots to No. 20.
South Carolina State is at No. 21, followed by Delaware at No. 22. A trio of Southland teams occupy the final three spots, with Northwestern State at No. 23, Stephen F. Austin at No. 24 and McNeese State at No. 25.
23 of the poll's 25 teams will be in action this weekend, with a pair of games between top 15 teams and four games overall between ranked opponents. No. 2 Montana hosts No. 12 Eastern Washington and No. 4 James Madison travels to No. 13 Massachusetts. No. 16 Georgia Southern hosts No. 19 Appalachian State, and No. 24 Stephen F. Austin takes on No. 25 McNeese State.
|Team (First-place votes)||Record||Points||Previous Rank|
|1. Southern Illinois Salukis (58)||4-1||2,715||2|
|2. Montana Grizzlies (17)||4-1||2,631||4|
|3. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (11)||4-1||2,583||3|
|4. James Madison Dukes (5)||4-1||2,428||5|
|5. Furman Paladins (2)||5-1||2,346||6|
|6. Cal Poly Mustangs (12)||5-1||2,186||9|
|7. Hampton Pirates (9)||6-0||2,174||8|
|8. New Hampshire Wildcats||4-1||1,900||1|
|9. Montana State Bobcats||4-2||1,816||11|
|10. Texas State Bobcats||4-1||1,720||14|
|11. William & Mary Tribe||3-2||1,590||17|
|12. Eastern Washington Eagles||3-2||1,513||15|
|13. Massachusetts Minutemen||4-1||1,430||18|
|14. Northern Iowa Panthers||3-2||1,234||7|
|15. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers||4-1||1,066||19|
|16. Georgia Southern Eagles||4-2||1,021||21|
|17. Youngstown State Penguins||5-1||951||22|
|18. North Dakota State Bison||4-2||813||12|
|19. Appalachian State Mountaineers||3-2||680||16|
|20. Lehigh Mountain Hawks||3-2||607||10|
|21. South Carolina State Bulldogs||4-1||565||24|
|22. Delaware Blue Hens||3-2||530||13|
|23. Northwestern State Demons||2-2||489||23|
|24. Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks||4-1||387||NR|
|25. McNeese State Cowboys||2-1||315||NR|
Others receiving votes: Hofstra 254, Grambling State 171, Alabama State 130, Lafayette 111, Missouri State 99, Penn 99, Wofford 73, Portland State 66, Towson 63, Brown 58, Holy Cross 44, Eastern Kentucky 37, Idaho State 26, Harvard 21, Western Carolina 14, Princeton 13, Chattanooga 11, Sam Houston State 10, Tennessee-Martin 7, Illinois State 6, UC Davis 6, Dayton 6.