The Top 25 … on Aug. 1

The Top 25 … on Aug. 1

My ballot for the STATS FCS top 25 preseason poll. About the only talking point of substance is the No. 1 and 2 votes. I go with the defending champions if they show to have a dose of quality players returning and in this case James Madison does starting with its quarterback Bryan Schorr. I was impressed with their physical quality of play in the semifinal win over NDSU and the Dukes’ playoff run in general. They’ve earned the No. 1 seed.

NDSU’s defense puts it right behind JMU with South Dakota State and its potent offense right up there. That Nov. 4 showdown is a long way away of course but if both teams stay relatively healthy it will be a classic matchup of a great offense vs. a great defense. UND was hurt with the loss of its NFL draft pick cornerback but there’s still plenty there to be a top 10 team. Mark Sept. 9 down as a top-notch top 10 matchup when NDSU travels to Eastern Washington. The Eagles lost their great receivers and had a coaching change but with quaretrback Gage Gubrud, Eastern will be just fine.  I think South Dakota is a threat for the top 10 now that its quarterback spot is solidified. It will be interesting if top perennial top 10 teams, Northern Iowa and Montana, overcome lower-than-usual pre-season regards.

  1. James Madison
  2. North Dakota State
  3. South Dakota State
  4. Eastern Washington
  5. Richmond
  6. Sam Houston State
  7. Jacksonville State
  8. North Dakota
  9. Youngstown State
  10. The Citadel
  11. Villanova
  12. South Dakota
  13. Wofford
  14. Chattanooga
  15. Central Arkansas
  16. New Hampshire
  17. Illinois State
  18. Northern Iowa
  19. Liberty
  20. Lehigh
  21. Albany
  22. William & Mary
  23. McNeese
  24. Montana
  25. Southeastern Louisiana

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