PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network)— On the heels of a 34-17 victory at Northwestern, New Hampshire has moved into the No. 1 position in The Sports Network I-AA top 25. The Wildcats received 56 of a possible 103 first-place votes and claimed 2,513 points to slide by Appalachian State, who dropped to No. 2 despite a 21-10 win against James Madison. New Hampshire was at the top spot to end the 2005 regular season and spent five weeks at No. 1 last year.

Appalachian State beat James Madison in a matchup of the last two I-AA champions, and earned 42 first-place votes and 2,469 points to place 44 points behind New Hampshire. Cal Poly posted its second straight shutout victory, a 17-0 triumph at Weber State, and moved up two spots to No. 3. Furman held steady at No. 4, while Montana moves back into the top five after a 36-7 win against South Dakota State.

Youngstown State used a 34-14 win against Maine to vault two positions to No. 6 and overtake Illinois State, who remains at No. 7. Richmond is up two spots to No. 8, while a competitive, 21-20, loss at Navy kept Massachusetts at No. 9. Hampton is up four spots to round out the top ten.

Delaware opened its season with a victory against West Chester and climbed four spots to No. 11. Northern Iowa drops nine spots to No. 12 after a 35-31 home loss to Division II North Dakota. Portland State picked up three first-place votes and moved up eight spots after improving to 2-0 with a win against Northern Colorado. McNeese State is up two places to No. 14, while James Madison drops three positions to No. 15.

No. 16 Southern Illinois, No. 17 North Dakota State, No. 18 Eastern Illinois and No. 19 Eastern Kentucky all rose in the rankings, while No. 20 Montana State slipped nine spots after losing at home to Division II Chadron State.

UC Davis is at No. 21, with Lafayette at No. 22, Texas State at No. 23, Georgia Southern at No. 24 and Alabama A & M at No. 25. Georgia Southern fell 11 places after a loss to Central Connecticut State, while Alabama A & M makes its debut in the top 25. Nicholls State dropped out of the rankings.

22 of the poll’s 25 teams will be in action this weekend, with a pair of games between ranked teams. No. 7 Illinois State hosts No. 18 Eastern Illinois, while No. 20 Montana State hosts No. 21 UC Davis. In action against I-A opponents, No. 4 Furman visits North Carolina, No. 6 Youngstown State is at Penn State, No. 13 Portland State is at California and No. 16 Southern Illinois visits Indiana.

The No. 1 UNH Wildcats will play their home-opener on Sat., Sept. 16 vs. Stony Brook. Game time is 12 p.m. at Cowell Stadium and tickets are still available at www.unhwildcats.com.

The Sports Network 2006 I-AA Top 25 Poll (Sept. 11)
    1.    New Hampshire (56)     
    2.    Appalachian State (42)
    3.    Cal Poly (1) 
    4.    Furman   
    5.    Montana  
    6.    Youngstown State (1)  
    7.    Illinois State     
    8.    Richmond   
    9.    Massachusetts   
    10.    Hampton  
    11.    Delaware  
    12.    Northern Iowa    
    13.    Portland State (3)
    14.    McNeese State   
    15.    James Madison   
    16.    Southern Illinois   
    17.    North Dakota State 
    18.    Eastern Illinois   
    19.    Eastern Kentucky  
    20.    Montana State 
    21.    UC Davis  
    22.    Lafayette   
    23    Texas State    
    24.    Georgia Southern   
    25.    Alabama A & M  
Dropped Out: No. 24 Nicholls State

Others receiving votes (in order of points, minimum of five required): Nicholls State 176, Southern 91, Idaho State 86, Towson 66, Central Connecticut State 63, South Carolina State 61, Delaware State 58, Jacksonville State 55, Harvard 53, William & Mary 48, Hofstra 46, Brown 38, Chattanooga 37, Mississippi Valley State 19, Western Carolina 15, Grambling State 11, Coastal Carolina 10, Colgate 10, Eastern Washington 10, Jackson State 8, Sam Houston State 8, Northern Arizona 8, Western Illinois 7, Wofford 7, Liberty 5.

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