While Montana and Montana State were watching from home during their bye weeks, the FCS leaderboard was moving and shaking.
The Grizzlies remained idle at No. 8 when the latest STATS FCS top 25 poll was released Monday morning, the same for the 11th-ranked Bobcats, but not a team in last week's top 5 remained stationary following the third week of games.
Jacksonville State soared upward from No. 5 to claim the top spot in this week's poll on the back of its overtime loss to FBS Auburn, then the No. 6-ranked team in the country at college football's highest level. The Gamecocks fell 27-20, but drew 39 of the 154 first-place votes to total 3,491 points and reach No. 1 for the first time in program history.
Down in eighth place, the Grizzlies compiled 2,650 total points.
Coastal Carolina (36 first-place votes, 3,461 points) moved up a spot to second after beating South Carolina State 41-14 while Sam Houston State (38, 3,450), last week's top dog, dropped to third during its bye week. Preseason No. 1 North Dakota State (23, 3,441) fell from second to fourth despite beating Weber State 41-14 while Illinois State (6, 3,235) rounded out the top five, down one spot from last week following a 67-14 win over Morgan State.
No. 6 Villanova (3,219) and No. 7 South Dakota State (2,825) also received first-place votes with four and eight, respectively.
Northern Iowa (2,483), which downed Eastern Washington 38-35 in the FCS game of the week Saturday, jumped five spots to No. 9 while Chattanooga (2,162) rounded out the top 10.
You have free articles remaining.
The Grizzlies opponent for this Saturday, Liberty (1,426), was ranked 15th. The Flames did not move from last week's ranking after a 41-17 defeat at FBS West Virginia.
Six Big Sky Conference teams landed in the top 15 while a handful of others drew some votes to fall just outside the poll. Behind Montana and Montana State (2,114) were No. 14 Eastern Washington (1,865), the week's biggest dropper of seven positions, No. 17 Cal Poly (1,387), No. 19 Portland State (1,025) and No. 24 Northern Arizona (380).
Idaho State fell from No. 23 to outside of the top 25 after its 34-14 loss to PSU, a road win that sent the Vikings upward by five spots. The Bengals, North Dakota and Southern Utah all drew votes in the poll as well, NoDak positioned at No. 27 if the poll length were extended.
The Big Sky and Missouri Valley conferences were tied with six teams apiece in the top 25.
The Griz were also voted seventh in the FCS coaches' poll, up one spot from last week. Coastal Carolina was No. 1 in that top 25 poll, which was also released Monday.
Montana was the highest-ranked Big Sky team of six in the coaches' poll including No. 9 Montana State, No. 15 Eastern Washington, No. 18 Cal Poly, No. 20 Portland State and No. 24 Northern Arizona.
North Dakota and Idaho State also received votes in that poll.