PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network)--Montana survived a one-point win Saturday afternoon, beating Eastern Washington 24-23 on a Dan Carpenter 34- yard field goal with 26 seconds left. And Monday, the Grizzlies drew 55 of 121 first-place votes to retain their spot on top of The Sports Network FCS Top-25 poll.
The Grizzlies finished a five-game home stand to start the season without a loss and squeezed past No. 2 Northern Iowa by 24 points to stay at No. 1 for the third straight week. Northern Iowa had a bye week and received 29 first- place votes.
One of the biggest changes in the poll was the return of three classic FCS programs to the top-25.
Six-time national champion Georgia Southern, off to a 4-1 start after a 54- yard field goal by Jesse Hartley on the final play of the game gave the Eagles a 41-38 over South Dakota State, moved into the poll for the first time this season at No. 21.
Eastern Kentucky's 28-27 victory over Eastern Illinois in an Ohio Valley Conference showdown also put the two-time national champion Colonels into the poll for the first time this year at No. 23. Eastern Illinois fell from No. 16 to No. 24.
Grambling improved to 4-1 by shutting out Mississippi Valley State and was rewarded with the No. 25 position in the rankings.
With Georgia Southern, Eastern Kentucky and Grambling moving into the poll, Sam Houston State, Illinois State and Southern dropped out.
Nine of the top-10 teams remained the same. Following Montana and UNI were North Dakota State, Massachusetts, Appalachian State, McNeese State, Southern, Wofford and James Madison. North Dakota State received 24 first-place votes, while Massachusetts garnered five.
The new team to enter the top 10 was Hofstra, which used a 38-13 victory over Maine to jump two spots.
Montana State, New Hampshire. Yale and Cal Poly also improved two positions each to No. 11, No. 13, No. 16 and No. 22 respectively, while No. 14 Nicholls State, No. 17 Delaware State, No. 18 Hampton and No. 19 Western Illinois all improved by three slots.
Two other teams that lost on Saturday, Delaware and Richmond, each suffered steep declines. Delaware fell from No. 11 to No. 15 and Richmond plummeted from No. 14 to No. 20.
Sports Network's FCS College Football Poll
|Team (First-place votes)||Record||Points||Previous Rank|
|1. Montana Grizzlies (55)||5-0||2,683||1|
|2. Northern Iowa Panthers (29)||5-0||2,659||2|
|3. North Dakota State Bison (24)||5-0||2,612||3|
|4. Massachusetts Minutemen (5)||4-1||2,487||4|
|5. Appalachian State Mountaineers (2)||5-1||2,356||5|
|6. McNeese State Cowboys (2)||5-0||2,260||6|
|7. Southern Illinois Salukis (1)||6-0||2,218||7|
|8. Wofford Terriers (3)||5-1||2,217||8|
|9. James Madison Dukes||5-1||1,917||9|
|10. Hofstra Pride||5-0||1,719||12|
|11. Montana State Bobcats||4-1||1,473||13|
|12. Youngstown State Penguins||4-2||1,434||10|
|13. New Hampshire Wildcats||3-2||1,433||15|
|14. Nicholls State Colonels||4-1||1,278||17|
|15. Delaware Blue Hens||5-1||1,244||11|
|16. Yale Bulldogs||4-0||1,039||18|
|17. Delaware State Hornets||4-1||923||20|
|18. Hampton Pirates||4-1||814||21|
|19. Western Illinois Leathernecks||4-2||775||22|
|20. Richmond Spiders||3-2||551||14|
|21. Georgia Southern Eagles||4-1||454||NR|
|22. Cal Poly Mustangs||3-2||442||24|
|23. Eastern Kentucky Colonels||4-2||259||NR|
|24. Eastern Illinois Panthers||3-3||252||16|
|25. Grambling State Tigers||4-1||228||NR|
|Others receiving votes: Alabama A&M 221, Lafayette 138, San Diego 127, Missouri State 105, Southern 99, Sam Houston State 97, Eastern Washington 95, Villanova 85, Norfolk State 78, Elon 76, The Citadel 62, Furman 32, Drake 23, Towson 23, South Carolina State 14, Illinois State 14, Lehigh 12, Central Arkansas 11, Holy Cross 11, Northern Arizona 11, Austin Peay 7, Fordham 5, Morehead State 4, Southeastern Louisiana 3, Tennessee Tech 2, South Dakota State 2, Portland State 2, UC Davis 1.|