Week 5 FCS Preview Features North Dakota at South Dakota State

September 25, 2023 by CollegeFootballPoll.com Staff

A 62-game slate kicks off Friday night with an Ivy League battle when Columbia visits Princeton. In all, 117 of the 128 FCS teams will see action with three schools stepping up to face FBS programs, and four stepping down to face D2 teams.

Additionally, there are three battles among teams ranked in the Coaches' Poll Top 25, while 22 of those ranked members will see action this week. The three idle programs are (7) Furman, (8) Incarnate Word, and (12) Delaware.

The ranked vs. ranked games include No. 1 South Dakota State hosting No. 11 North Dakota as a 13.96-point favorite, according to the Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com. This is a No. 1 vs. No. 7 game by the computer's order of teams.

Meanwhile, 5th-ranked Holy Cross (14, computer) hosts No. 24 Harvard (34, computer)  as a 16.25-point pick, and 6th-ranked Idaho (10, computer) visits 25th-ranked Eastern Washington (46, computer) as a 6.13-point choice.

If we use the computer rankings as the guide, we can add the Top 25 matchups of No. 3 North Dakota State hosting No. 25 South Dakota, and No. 19 Elon  entertaining No. 4 William & Mary. In those games, the computer has the Bison by 13.55 and the Phoenix by 1.31.

There are 7 undefeated FCS teams and 22 winless programs.

(ALSO SEE: Picks/Odds/Scores)


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 4-0 last past weekend, outscoring the FCS opposition by a combined score of 152-36 for an average margin of 29 points. Three were complete blowouts, but Texas A&M-Commerce took ODU to the mat in a 10-9 loss. The Lions had an opportunity to pull off the late comeback upset, but had their 2-point conversion pass intercepted in the endzone with just 28 seconds left to play in the game to allow the Monarchs to preserve the win.

The FBS programs are 101-4 this year against the FCS schools. Over-all, the FBS is a collective 1,787-152 (.922) since we began tracking this in 2003.

There are 3 such games this week.

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: Coming off a bye week, the Jackrabbits host North Dakota on Saturday, September 30.

MONTANA STATE - Won 22 straight home games.
Last: 40-0 win at Weber State on Saturday, September 23.
Next: Hosts Portland State on Saturday, September 30.

SACRAMENTO STATE - Had won 18 straight conference games, and 12 straight road games, but lost 36-27 at Idaho.
Last: 36-27 road loss to Idaho on Saturday, September 23.
Next: Hosts Northern Arizona on Saturday, September 30.

HOLY CROSS - Won 18 straight conference games.
Last: 31-7 home win over Colgate on Saturday, September 23.
Next: Hosts Harvard on Saturday, September 30.

HARVARD - Won 7 straight road games.
Last: 34-31 home win over Brown on Saturday, September 23.
Next: Visits Holy Cross on Saturday, September 30.

WESTERN ILLINOIS - Lost 17 straight over-all, and 8 straight home games.
Last: 37-17 road lost to Southern Utah on Saturday, September 23.
Next: Has a bye week before visiting North Dakota on Saturday, September 30.

ROBERT MORRIS - Lost 17 straight road games.
Last: 46-0 home win over D2 member VUL (Virginia University-Lynchburg) on Saturday, September 23.
Next: Hosts Howard on Saturday, September 30.

PRESBYTERIAN - Lost 16 straight conference games.
Last: 23-20 win at Wofford on Saturday, September 16.
Next: Coming off a bye week, the Blue Hose visit Butler on Saturday, September 30.