Bison drop 6 spots as FCS poll takes funky turn; UND at No. 21FARGO — It was a puzzling day of poll watching in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision coaches rankings. North Dakota State was idle last weekend, but fell six spots from No. 6 to No. 12. It even had the head coach, who doesn’t usually say much about polls, wondering what happened.
By: Jeff Kolpack, Forum Communications Co.
FARGO — It was a puzzling day of poll watching in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision coaches rankings. North Dakota State was idle last weekend, but fell six spots from No. 6 to No. 12.
It even had the head coach, who doesn’t usually say much about polls, wondering what happened.
“We went down?” Craig Bohl said. “Wow. I don’t vote. I used to vote so I kept more track of that.”
The University of North Dakota entered the poll for the first time in its brief FCS history at No. 21 despite a loss, albeit a close one, at Football Bowl Subdivision Fresno State. The Sioux, who are in their final year of a Division I transition, are 1-2 with their only win over non-scholarship Drake University (Iowa).
Georgia Southern and Northern Iowa, which were also both idle last weekend, remained the top two teams in the poll. New Hampshire was idle but moved up one spot to No. 11 and Southern Illinois was open, but moved up two spots to 13th.
That made NDSU’s big fall even more of a mystery. It had veteran poll watchers wondering if voters got NDSU and UND mixed up. The Sioux went from not receiving any votes last week to No. 21 this week.
The poll has 28 representatives, all FCS head coaches.
Meanwhile, Bohl wondered if strength of schedule played into NDSU’s drop.
“We scheduled the people that we could schedule and what I particularly appreciated about our football team is we went out and played about as well as we could play,” Bohl said. “I thought we maybe got off to a bit of a slow start in the last game, but I thought we were productive and did good things in those games. But the level of competition does make a difference.”
NDSU is 2-0 heading into the University of Minnesota game on Saturday, with both wins over FCS teams from the Northeast Conference and Patriot League. The combined victory margin was 98-9.
“I would venture to say once we get in the (Missouri) Valley play that it will all even out in a hurry,” Bohl said.
Kolpack is a sports reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.