FCS Weekend Recap - 9 of Top 25 Fall (3 of Top 5)

October 1, 2023 by CollegeFootballPoll.com Staff

Nine Top 25 teams from the coaches' poll, including three of the Top 5, went down to defeat over the weekend. The number of undefeated teams shrunk from seven to four.

The nine losers were (2) North Dakota State, (4) William & Mary, (5) Holy Cross, (15) Fordham, (17) New Hampshire, (19) Youngstown State, (23) Villanova, (24) Harvard), (25) Eastern Washington.

North Dakota State, the No. 2 team in the AFCA Coaches' Poll and the Congrove Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com, fell 24-19 at home to South Dakota. The loss ended the Bison's string of 12 straight victories in MVFC openers. The Coyotes came into the game as the No. 25 team in the computer rankings. In the the coaches' poll, South Dakota was not only unranked, but was not receiving a single vote. That will surely change on Monday when the new poll is released.

William & Mary, the No. 4 team in both the Coaches' Poll and the computer rankings, was a 14-6 loser at Elon. The Phoenix are another team that the computer had ranked (No. 19) while the coaches had not given them a single vote.

Holy Cross, the No. 5 team in the Coaches' Poll and No. 14 team in the computer rankings, also went down to defeat with a 38-28 loss at home to Harvard. The Crimson were ranked No. 24 by the coaches and No. 34 by the computer.

Fordham, ranked 15th by the coaches and, but just 56th by the computer, was a 28-24 loser at Georgetown. The Hoyas were unranked by the coaches and No. 88 in the computer rankings.

New Hampshire, ranked 17th by the Coaches' Poll and 27th by the computer, dropped a 54-51 home game to Towson in overtime. The Tigers were ranked 85th by the computer and were not receiving a single vote from the coaches for obvious reasons as they entered the game with a 1-3 record. They had only defeated Morgan State at home while losing to Maryland, Monmouth and Norfolk State.

Youngstown State, the No. 19 team in the Coaches' Poll and No. 8 team in the computer rankings, was a 44-41 victim at Northern Iowa. The Panthers were receiving enough votes in the Coaches' Poll to effective be the No. 33 team while the computer had them ranked 37th.

Villanova, the No. 23 team in the Coaches' Poll and No. 13 team in the computer rankings, was soundly defeated by a 31-10 count by Albany in Philadelphia. The Great Danes were the No. 49 team in the computer rankings. They were not receiving a single vote from the coaches. Albany's only losses have been to FBS programs, Marshall and Hawaii, and both games were close. The Great Danes lost the opener at the Herd by a 21-17 score and followed that up with a 31-20 setback in Hawaii. Albany had the lead for all but the final 12:53 in Huntington, and was tied with the Warriors at the half in Honolulu.

Three of the coaches' top 25 teams were idle this week - (7) Furman, (8) Incarnate Word, and (12) Delaware.

In other ranked vs. ranked games....

No. 1 South Dakota State (coaches and computer), knocked off No. 11 North Dakota in Brookings. The Fighting Hawks were 7th in the computer rankings before the 42-21 loss. North Dakota still has a 47-37-5 advantage in the series with a 5-5 split of the games played in the 2000's.

No. 6 Idaho (10, computer) went to Cheney and handed 25th-ranked Eastern Washington (46, computer) a 44-36 setback.

Other Games

No. 13 North Carolina Central (No. 24 computer) blocked Campbell's PAT in overtime, then scored and converted their kick for the 49-48 win in front of the home folks in Durham. That's where nearby Duke was hosting ESPN GameDay in the morning and Notre Dame at night. The game still drew 8,410 in the 10,000-seat capacity O'Kelly-Riddick Stadium. The visiting Camels led by as much as 21 in the first half.

Among other top ten teams that we've yet to mention, No. 3 Montana State took down visiting Portland State 38-22, while No. 9 Sacramento State scored a 31-20 home win over Northern Arizona.

(ALSO SEE: Picks/Odds/Scores)

Undefeated Teams

Only 3 schools are left with unblemished records after beginning the week with 7 such programs. The teams that took it on the chin for their first loss were the aforementioned North Dakota State and William & Mary ranked programs, as well as Cornell and Penn which both lost at home. The Big Red dropped a 35-25 decision to Colgate while the Quakers fell 23-20 in overtime Dartmouth in the Ivy League conference opener for both schools.

Winless Teams

The number of winless teams was cut to 12 after 22 began the week in search of that sometimes elusive first victory.

The first-time winners were Colgate (at Cornell), Delaware State (home vs. D2 Virginia-Lynchburg), Drake (at Morehead State), Texas Southern (home vs. D2 Lincoln, CA), Valparaiso (home vs. D2 SW Minnesota State), Maine (home vs. Stony Brook), St. Francis, PA (at Stonehill), North Carolina A&T (at Norfolk State), Nicholls (at McNeese), Yale (Morgan State).

Those still trying to shed the goose egg are Indiana State, Long Island, McNeese, MVSU, Northern Colorado, Northwestern State, Southeastern Louisiana, Stony Brook, Texas A&M-Commerce, The Citadel, Western Illinois, and Wofford.

Southeastern Louisiana is, by far, the biggest surprise at 0-5 after being picked first in the Southland Conference preseason media poll, and also projected to finish first by the computer. For the record they are only 0-1 in the conference, but that was a 34-19 crushing loss at home at the hands of a Houston Christian squad that was picked to finish next-to-last by the computer and voted dead last by the media.


This season has 117 of the 133 FBS schools facing one FCS opponent, and Army playing two such games for a total of 118 FBS-FCS matchups.

Of the 16 FBS schools that do NOT play a FCS program, 7 are in the B1G (Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue, Wisconsin). 6 more are evenly split between the Big 12 (Houston, Oklahoma, Texas) and Pac-12 (Colorado, USC, Washington). The other three are Liberty (CUSA) , UTSA (American), and Virginia Tech (ACC).

FBS schools were 3-0 this past weekend as Colorado State beat Utah Tech 41-20, North Texas got past Abilene Christian 45-31 and Rutgers rolled 52-3 over Wagner.

The FBS programs are 104-4 this year against the FCS schools. Over-all, the FBS is a collective 1,790-152 (.922) since we began tracking this in 2003.

There are 2 such games next week. Virginia hosts FCS No. 4 William & Mary as the Tribe will try to regroup after a 14-6 upset loss at Elon. In the other game, Howard visits Northwestern.

Here are the FCS wins in 2023, so far:
September 9: Idaho 33, Nevada 6
September 9: Southern Illinois 14, Northern Illinois 12
September 9: Fordham 40, Buffalo 37
September 16: Sacramento State 30, Stanford 23

Streaks - Current FCS Longest

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE - Won 18 straight over-all
Last: 42-21 win at home over North Dakota on Saturday, September 30.
Next: Visits Illinois State on Saturday, October 7.

MONTANA STATE - Won 23 straight home games.
Last: 38-22 home win over Portland State on Saturday, September 30.
Next: After bye week, hosts Cal Poly on Saturday, October 14.

HOLY CROSS - Won 18 straight conference games.
Last: 38-28 loss at home to Harvard on Saturday, September 23.
Next: Visits Bucknell on Saturday, October 7.

HARVARD - Won 8 straight road games.
Last: 38-28 win at Holy Cross on Saturday, September 30.
Next: Hosts Cornell on Friday, October 6.

WESTERN ILLINOIS - Lost 17 straight over-all, and 8 straight home games (tied with Norfolk State).
Last: 37-17 road lost to Southern Utah on Saturday, September 23.
Next: Visiting North Dakota on Saturday, October 7.

NORFOLK STATE - Lost 8 straight home games (tied with Western Illinois).
Last: 28-26 home to North Carolina A&T on Saturday, September 30.
Next: After bye week, visits Tennessee State on Saturday, October 14.

ROBERT MORRIS - Lost 17 straight road games (tied with Idaho State).
Last: 35-10 loss at home to Howard on Saturday, September 30.
Next: Visits Gardner-Webb on Saturday, October 7.

IDAHO STATE - Lost 17 straight road games (tied with Robert Morris).
Last: 28-20 loss at Montana.
Next: After bye week, hosts Eastern Washington on Saturday, October 14.

PRESBYTERIAN - Lost 17 straight conference games.
Last: 27-17 loss at Butler on Saturday, September 30.
Next: Hosts Stetson on Saturday, October 7.