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Griz move up to No. 6

I-AA Top Four Remains Intact
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - McNeese State was a 58-20 winner over Southeastern Louisiana last week, and once again heads a Sports Network/CSTV I-AA Top 25 poll that is unchanged near the top. The Cowboys, who have been No. 1 for six of a possible seven weeks this season, earned 74 first-place votes and 2,552 total points in this week’s balloting. No. 2 Western Illinois creeps ever-closer to MSU, with the Leathernecks’ 33-28 win over former No. 6 Western Kentucky giving them 18 first-place votes this week.

No. 3 Villanova and No. 4 Delaware are separated by a 40-mile drive and one place in the rankings, after each earned double-digit victories this past week. The third-ranked Wildcats were 38-14 winners over James Madison, while the Blue Hens downed William & Mary by a 41-27 count. Rounding out the top five is Furman, which moved up two positions following a 19-13 win at Western Carolina on Saturday.

Moving up two positions to No. 6 this week is Montana, which defeated former No. 20 Cal Poly by a 17-14 count over the weekend. The Grizzlies are one spot ahead of No. 7 UMass, with the Minutemen’s 44-30 win over New Hampshire helping them move up two positions. Up three spots is No. 8 Southern Illinois, which handled Indiana State, 37-14, on the road on Saturday. Western Kentucky drops three notches to No. 9 following the aforementioned loss to Western Illinois, while Wofford rounds out the Top 10, ascending two positions after a 42-14 rout of Chattanooga.

Completing the Top 15 are No. 11 Georgia Southern, up two spots following a 37-35 victory against Florida International; No. 12 Northern Iowa, up four after defeating Illinois State, 16-7; No. 13 Bethune-Cookman, down eight following a 31-24 overtime loss to Morgan State; No. 14 Northern Arizona, up three after a 48-29 triumph over Weber State; and No. 15 Penn, which stands its ground following a 33-20 win over Dartmouth.

Filling out the Top 20 are No. 16 Grambling State, No. 17 Colgate, No. 18 Southern, No. 19 Northeastern, and No. 20 Northwestern State.

Finishing out the poll are No. 21 Maine, No. 22 Idaho State, No. 23 Harvard, No. 24 Cal Poly, and No. 25 Fordham.

Harvard is the lone new team to this week’s poll, with the Crimson’s 28-20 win over former No. 10 Northeastern helping to propel them into the rankings. Tim Murphy’s team was last ranked at the No. 25 position on Sept. 30, 2002, and this week’s No. 23 spot is the program’s best since occupying No. 23 in the 2002 preseason poll.

Twenty-three of the poll’s 25 teams will be in action this week, with a number of key conference matchups on the docket. No. 2 Western Illinois will head to historic I-AA power Youngstown State, No. 5 Furman plays host to Appalachian State in a rematch of last year’s barn-burner (won by ASU), No. 8 Southern Illinois puts its 5-0 record on the line against Gateway rival Illinois State, and No. 11 Georgia Southern welcomes Southern Conference upstart Western Carolina. No. 24 Cal Poly will be the lone Top 25 member to face a I-A this Saturday, as the Mustangs take on Akron of the Mid-American Conference.
 
Sports Network's/CSTV I-AA College Football Poll
Team (First-place votes) 2003 Record Points Previous Rank
1. McNeese State Cowboys (74) 4-1 2,552 1
2. Western Illinois Leathernecks (18) 4-1 2,480 2
3. Villanova Wildcats (9) 5-0 2,392 3
4. Delaware Blue Hens (1) 5-0 2,253 4
5. Furman Paladins (1) 4-1 2,127 7
6. Montana Grizzlies 4-1 2,033 8
7. Massachusetts Minutemen 4-1 1,890 9
8. Southern Illinois Salukis 5-0 1,739 11
9. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (1) 3-2 1,626 6
10. Wofford Terriers 4-1 1,571 12
11. Georgia Southern Eagles 3-2 1,393 13
12. Northern Iowa Panthers 4-1 1,298 16
13. Bethune-Cookman Wildcats 4-1 1,244 5
14. Northern Arizona Lumberjacks 4-1 1,183 17
15. Penn Quakers 3-0 1,145 15
16. Grambling State Tigers 3-2 969 18
17. Colgate Raiders 5-0 919 19
18. Southern University Jaguars 5-0 791 22
19. Northeastern Huskies 4-2 748 10
20. Northwestern State Demons 4-2 618 21
21. Maine Black Bears 4-2 554 23
22. Idaho State Bengals 3-2 365 25
23. Harvard Crimson 3-0 289 NR
24. Cal Poly Mustangs 3-2 277 20
25. Fordham Rams 3-2 226 14
Others receiving votes: Florida Atlantic, Youngstown State, Northern Colorado, Lehigh, Hampton, Portland State, Dayton, North Carolina A&T, Yale, Weber State, Montana State, Tennessee State, Gardner-Webb, Bucknell, Illinois State, Eastern Kentucky, Nicholls State, Eastern Washington, Alabama A&M, Alabama State
 

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