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2014 Underdogs Poll, Week 7: ECU is the new No. 1

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The Cougars have fallen, and the Pirates of ECU are now the team to beat in the group of the Underdogs.

ECU's Justin Hardy celebrates one of his three touchdown catches vs SMU.
ECU's Justin Hardy celebrates one of his three touchdown catches vs SMU.
Grant Halverson

The Underdogs Poll is a weekly ranking of college football's top non-power FBS teams. Voters from SB Nation sites Bull RunDown The DriveHustle BeltMiner RushMountain West ConnectionThe UConn BlogUnderdog DynastyVanquish The Foe, and Voodoo Five.

Disaster struck in Provo, Utah, this week as BYU's stud quarterback Taysom Hill suffered a fractured leg early in the Cougars' loss to Utah State. The result? A massive shuffle in the power dynamics of the Underdogs Poll.

1 East Carolina (15) 281 2
2 Marshall (3) 266 3
3 Brigham Young (1) 200 1
4 Northern Illinois 183 5
5 Colorado State 181 7
6 Boise State 176 8
7 Memphis 139 12
8 Air Force 117 11
9 Nevada 105 5
10 Temple 97 9
11 Central Florida 75 10
T-12 Cincinnati 65 4
T-12 Georgia Southern 65 17
14 Middle Tennessee 61 13
15 Utah State 55 25
Dropped Out: Navy, Wyoming | Others Receiving Votes: Toledo (51), BGSU (42), Arkansas State (35), Wyoming (22), Louisiana Tech (14), Navy (13), Louisiana-Monroe (10), SDSU (7), Houston (6), Fresno State (5), Georgia State (3), Texas State (2), Akron (2), CMU (1), New Mexico (1)

The Cougars have dropped out of No. 1 -- a spot they've held since Week 1 -- and the ECU Pirates are now the top dogs by a healthy margin. Ruffin McNeill's squad struggled a little bit in its AAC debut this weekend against a bad SMU team, but the duo of Shane Carden and Justin Hardy showed us all once more that the Pirates have the offense to make up for any defensive miscues.

For all of our knocks on Marshall's schedule, the Thundering Herd are still rolling, and are close to getting back the No. 1 spot they held in the preseason. They are the last undefeated team standing in this poll, and are beating teams by an average margin of 32 points. The Herd's biggest remaining test is their matchup this weekend against the No. 14 team on our poll, Middle Tennessee, a team that slipped one spot this week after a narrow win over Southern Miss.

Let's come full circle for a moment and talk about Utah State. The Aggies knocked off our No. 1 team (and a Top 25 team in the traditional polls) this past weekend, and jumped 10 spots to check into the Top 15. They've knocked off a Power 5 team already as well, and have survived the loss (again) of do-everything quarterback Chuckie Keeton. Darell Garretson appears to have found his groove under center, and with games against No. 8 Air Force (this weekend), No. 5 Colorado State and No. 6 Boise State, Utah State could make plenty more noise before this season is over.