Appalachian State became the overwhelming No. 1 in The Sports Network FCS Top 25 this week, earning 136 of the possible 156 first-place votes (up from 111 votes last week). The Mountaineers' stranglehold on the top spot is the result of their win over Western Carolina this weekend -- improving their record to 8-0 -- and last week's No. 2, Delaware, getting upset at William & Mary.
Delaware (7-1) dropped to No. 6, while W&M jumped up to No. 3, receiving two first-place votes.
Jacksonville State, also 8-0, took over the No. 2 position, with Stephen F. Austin (6-1) and Villanova (5-2) rounding out the top-five. James Madison, which upset Virginia Tech back in September, earning it a No. 3 ranking at the time, is just 2-3 since then, and 1-3 in conference play. The Dukes fell once more this week, at Villanova, and now sit at No. 15.
Full rankings of The Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS Top-25 College Football Poll for Week 9 (as voted on by the sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters and writers) are as follows (first-place votes included):
1. Appalachian State Mountaineers (136)
2. Jacksonville State Gamecocks (17)
3. William & Mary Tribe (2)
4. Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (1)
5. Villanova Wildcats
6. Delaware Blue Hens
7. Montana Grizzlies
8. Eastern Washington Eagles
9. Wofford Terriers
10. New Hampshire Wildcats
11. Southeast Missouri State Redhawks
12. Bethune-Cookman Wildcats
13. Montana State Bobcats
14. Richmond Spiders
15. James Madison Dukes
16. Liberty Flames
17. South Carolina State Bulldogs
18. Massachusetts Minutemen
19. Northern Iowa Panthers
20. Chattanooga Mocs
21. Penn Quakers
22. Cal Poly Mustangs
23. Grambling State Tigers
24. Jacksonville Dolphins
25. Northern Arizona Lumberjacks
With just four games remaining for most schools, every week is becoming more important, with playoff berths and seeding on the line. In Week 9, No. 5 Villanova has another test with No. 14 Richmond coming to town, and No. 18 UMass heads to No. 15 JMU.
No. 3 W&M takes to the road for a late-season FBS-opponent game, playing at the ACC's North Carolina.