FCS Weekend Recap, Computer Rankings: North Dakota State Jumps From 6th To 3rd

September 17, 2023 by CollegeFootballPoll.com Staff

The Ivy League kicked of the 2023 season on Saturday by going 5-3 against non-conference competition. Meanwhile, then-No. 5 Montana had to rally from a 10-3 halftime deficit to knock off two-time defending D2 champion Ferris State 17-10.

Those Ivy League schools had a vast difference in travel experiences over the weekend.

Princeton flew over 2,400 miles to San Diego to pick up a 23-12 win over the Toreros, while Brown traveled all of 14 miles to score the 29-25 upset of Bryant. 

Columbia went 338 miles to lose 24-3 at Lafayette, Cornell trekked 178 miles south to win 23-10 at Lehigh, and Dartmouth bused 97 miles from Hanover to Durham to all 24-7 to New Hampshire. Harvard and Yale stayed home with different results as the Crimson routed St. Thomas (MN) 45-13 and the defending champion Bulldogs were trounced 49-24 by Holy Cross.

As far as the top-ranked teams go, South Dakota State destroyed Drake, 70-7 in Minneapolis while Montana State blasted Stetson 57-20.

In battles between Top 25 teams, North Dakota State opened up a 49-17 lead on Central Arkansas en route to a 49-31 win.  It was a different story between Southern Illinois and Southeast Missouri State as the Salukis rallied to score 13 unanswered points in the final 7:40, including the game-winning TD pass with 11 seconds remaining for a 26-25 victory.

Other games of note

Incarnate Word was a 27-20 winner at Abilene Christian.

Campbell rallied from a 23-7 deficit  for a 45-31 win at Monmouth.

Idaho jumped to a 17-0 lead at Cal but couldn't on for the win as the Bears rallied to a 31-17 victory.

Ian Williams' 19-yard field goal with 11 seconds left lifted Furman to a 31-28 win at Kennesaw State.

Eastern Kentucky was a 27-24 upset loser at home to Western Carolina.

William & Mary survived its trip to Charleston Southern by squeezing out a 15-7 win, despite outgaining the Buccaneers 395-97

Delta State, a D2 school roughed up Mississippi Valley State 35-7. The lower division Statesmen are 6-1 in the series between the schools that are located just 45 minutes apart.

Austin Peay romped to a 63-3 home win over ETSU as a 14.5-point favorite.

Georgetown had its 2-game home winning streak halted by Stonehill in a 23-20 loss. The Hoyas opened the season on an 11-game home losing streak , but knocked off Marist on Labor Day weekend and followed that up with a victory over Sacred Heart.

Speaking of Sacred Heart, Wagner put an end it its 22-game road losing streak with a 17-10 over the Pioneers.

Tennessee State was a 27-25 upset winner at home over 10.5-point favorite Gardner-Webb on James Lowery's 50-yard field goal with 9 seconds left..

Portland State, which had lost 81-7 at Oregon on opening weekend, scored a 91-0 win at home over NAIA school North American University from the Houston suburb of Stafford.

Presbyterian was a 23-20  upset winner at Wofford as a 31-point underdog.

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New Rankings

South Dakota State keeps the top sot in the Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com while Montana State remains 2nd. North Dakota State jumps from 6th to 3rd with its win over Central Arkansas while Sacramento State stays 4th because its win at Stanford was exactly as predicted.

William & Mary slips two places to No. 5 with the narrow win at Charleston Southern. Youngstown State moves into the Top 10 at No. 9, and Idaho only falls from 8th to 12th with the loss at Cal.

Southern Illinois leaps from 18th to 10th with the win over Southeast Missouri State.

The CAA leads all conferences with 7 members in the top 25, followed by the Big Sky and MVFC with 6 apiece. The SoCon has 3, while the Patriot, Southland and UAC each have one..


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 20-1 this past weekend and are 97-4 this year against the FCS schools. Over-all, the FBS is a collective 1,783-152 (.922) since we began tracking this in 2003.

There are only 4 such games next Saturday.

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 17 straight over-all
Last: 70-7 win over Drake at Minneapolis on Saturday, September 16.
Next: Has a bye week before hosting North Dakota on Saturday, September 30.

MONTANA STATE - Won 22 straight home games.
Last: 57-20 home win over Stetson on Saturday, September 16.
Next: Visits Weber State on Saturday, September 23.

SACRAMENTO STATE - Won 18 straight conference games, and 12 straight road games.
Last: 30-23 win at FBS member Stanford (versus former head coach Tory Taylor) on Saturday, September 16.
Next: Visits Idaho on Saturday, September 23.

WESTERN ILLINOIS - Lost 16 straight over-all, and 8 straight home games.
Last: 43-40 home loss to Lindenwood on Saturday, September 16.
Next: Visits Southern Utah on Saturday, September 23.

WAGNER - Had lost 22 straight road games before winning at Sacred Heart on Saturday.
Last: 17-10 win at Sacred Heart on Saturday, September 16.
Next: Hosts Merrimack on Saturday, September 23.

ROBERT MORRIS - Lost 17 straight road games.
Last: 48-28 loss at Youngstown State on Saturday, September 16.
Next: Hosts D2 member VUL (Virginia University-Lynchburg) on Saturday, September 23.

PRESBYTERIAN - Lost 16 straight conference games.
Last: 23-20 win at Wofford on Saturday, September 16.
Next: Has a bye week before visiting Butler on Saturday, September 30.