FCS: Week 4 Will Tell Us A Lot About The Top 6 Teams

“Montana should not be getting No. 2 votes over SDSU.”

“If SDSU drops in some ballots with a 2-1 document that includes a detailed P5 loss, should not NDSU?”

“Montana State is overrated.”

“UIW has a greater resume than all of those groups.”

“Missouri State ought to be within the Top 3 after practically beating FBS No. 10 Arkansas.”

“Sac State ought to be greater than No. 7.”

“Sac State ought to be decrease than No. 7.”

For what number of polls “do not matter,” they certain instigate emotions, even when it is Week 4 of the sort out soccer season.

A lot of groups, truthfully, have arguments to be ranked greater. For instance, I might write “10 causes Missouri State ought to be ranked greater than Montana State” simply. I might additionally write “10 causes Montana State ought to be ranked greater than Missouri State” simply as simply. When there aren’t numerous video games to go off of and opponent strengths are wildly totally different, it is easy to pick 10 causes/statistics/knowledge factors on why X group ought to be greater than X group.

Thankfully, we’ll get numerous solutions in Week 4. The high six groups within the Stats Perform Media Poll all face FCS groups that vary from high quality opponents to incredible opponents.

(*4*)RELATED: Week 4 Notable Games And How To Watch

no 1 North Dakota State at South Dakota

NDSU hasn’t misplaced back-to-back video games since 2009. A highway journey to Vermillion is not the simplest after shedding to P5 Arizona the place the sport did not finish till round bar shut Fargo time. USD is receiving votes, however this is not essentially a sport individuals are circling as upset potential. The Coyotes simply do not look as sturdy as a few of us anticipated.

But it is nonetheless the most effective FCS opponent NDSU will see to this point. So if it is a tightly-contested sport, possibly that raises extra “weak” flags that some are already making an attempt to wave. The Bison’s entrance seven has some query marks, so if USD’s bodily RB Travis Theis has a giant day, it might expose extra query marks total for an NDSU squad that suffered a uncommon defeat.

A 42-7 NDSU win reminds us “Oh yeah, this group continues to be the king of the FCS regardless of trying gettable final week.”

no 2t South Dakota State at No. 6 Missouri State

Some Missouri State followers wished the Bears to ascend the polls to a Top 2 rating after they practically beat FBS No. 10 Arkansas. But let’s keep in mind that performances in opposition to the FBS, unhealthy or good, usually are not at all times indicative of FCS success. Last 12 months, Mo State misplaced by a landing at Oklahoma State, who was No. 22 on the time. Oklahoma State completed 12-2 and No. 7 within the ultimate AP ballot, whereas Mo State misplaced to UT Martin within the first spherical. Beating a highly-ranked FCS opponent is a greater gauge than practically beating a ranked P5 group, so it is a probability for the Bears to rise into the Top 3.

SDSU, in the meantime, is not blissful that Montana is taking some No. 2 votes away from them. The cause I moved UM to No. 2 is as a result of I used to be greater on South Dakota than I used to be on UC Davis in Week 2. And Montana throttled USD whereas SDSU had a detailed battle with UC Davis. I do not view USD as extremely now, so a highway win for SDSU offers the Jacks a very good probability to get some No. 2 votes again.

Portland State at No. 2t Montana

This is a sport Montana ought to win. Although let’s not neglect PSU has come into Missoula earlier than and gotten a win. If the Griz are really a nationwide title contender, a group that may legitimately win in Frisco, they need to deal with PSU with relative ease and win by 3-4 scores. If the Griz are on par with their previous groups that made runs to the 2019 and 2021 quarterfinals, this shall be a 10-14-point win.

PSU is an above-average FCS group, going 4-4 ​​final 12 months within the Big Sky and returning most of its group in addition to beginning a brand new QB. The Vikings have some actually explosive playmakers on the surface. The expertise is there, as evident by a detailed 21-17 loss to FBS San Jose State. PSU would be the fifth or sixth-best group within the Big Sky.

When it involves legit, upper-echelon, tier 1 groups within the FCS, they beat “above-average” FCS groups in convincing vogue. A decisive win by Montana tells us this group is elite.

no 4t Montana State at No. 15 Eastern Washington

Before we overreact to MSU’s 68-28 loss final week to Oregon State, a reminder that EWU misplaced 59-24 to Washington State in 2018 and nonetheless made a run to the nationwide title sport. We aren’t ready but to declare MSU overrated.

The MSU passing protection regarded horrible in opposition to Oregon State. Is it actually? that unhealthy, although? Well, we’ll discover out when the Bobcats go to EWU and must defend the likes of Freddie Roberson and Efton Chism III.

Last 12 months, MSU beat then-No. 5 EWU on the pink turf 23-20, limiting eventual Walter Payton Award winner Eric Barriere to 214 yards passing. Barriere is gone, and MSU returns strong expertise from that secondary. If the Bobcats go to No. 15 EWU and get a win, it makes us neglect in regards to the blowout loss to Oregon State.

no 4t UIW at Southeastern Louisiana University

Southeastern is simply outdoors the Top 25 with the Twenty seventh-most voting factors. This is a giant alternative for UIW to get a high quality win (relying on how Southeastern finishes), as a result of the resume-boosting wins shall be carried out after this week.

At 3-0 with victories in opposition to then-No. 9 SIU (64-29), FBS Nevada (55-41), and Prairie View A&M (31-14), the Cardinals are trying incredible. A win at Southeastern places an 11-0 season in clear sight. UIW then has remaining video games vs. McNeese, vs. Lamar, @ Nicholls, vs. non-counter Faulkner, at Texas A&M Commerce, vs. Houston Christian, and @ (*6*) State.

That’s an entire lot of meh opponents.

The Cardinals will actually be hoping for SIU (who went 0-2 in opposition to FCS opponents earlier than beating the Big Ten’s (*6*)) and SLU (who’s 1-2 with two FBS losses) to complete with sturdy playoff resumes. Or else an 11-0 UIW group will not have the energy of schedule to warrant getting a excessive seed if neither SIU nor SLU are playoff-worthy groups in November. A convincing win in opposition to a Lions group this week, who we have seen within the playoffs recently, shall be one other assertion of how good this group is. UIW wants large wins in opposition to its strongest opponents for the sake of playoff positioning.

Honorable Mention: No. 7 Sacramento State at Colorado State

This is an honorable point out as a result of Sac State is correct behind these high six groups and its sport at Colorado State is an effective measuring stick, however as I wrote above, “performances in opposition to the FBS, unhealthy or good, usually are not at all times indicative of FCS success .”

Quite frankly, if Sac State is a group ok to make a run to the quarterfinals and/or past, the Hornets ought to get an FBS win right here. Colorado State isn’t good. The Rams misplaced 42-23 final 12 months to South Dakota State. And issues aren’t trying a lot better this season underneath new head coach Jay Norvell. Colorado State is 0-3, shedding 51-7 at Michigan, 34-19 vs. Middle Tennessee, and 38-7 at Washington State.

If Sac State loses, the Hornets most likely aren’t going to get punished an entire lot within the polls. But it could inform us they don’t seem to be among the many FCS high tier. However, if this is smart, a win additionally does not essentially stamp the Hornets as a top-tier group, as a result of a number of FCS groups are ok to beat Colorado State. If something, it could simply be an affirmation that the Hornets belong someplace within the Top 10.

It would even be a high quality win for a program that is been accused by others of coasting to a seed by a tender schedule. An FBS win at all times appears to be like good to playoff committee members, who might have developed mistrust for Sac State after some disappointing playoff performances.

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