Big upsets lead to new-look Top 10 in Week 6 DII football rankings
The best way to describe Week 6 of Division II football: Wow.
Three Top 10 teams fell. In all, six ranked teams were beaten. The No. 1 team survived yet another scare.
RELATED: Week 6 AFCA Coaches poll
While that made for an almost completely new look to this week's Top 25, one thing remained the same ...
Win-streak meter: 36
It's getting gritty for Northwest Missouri State. One week after grinding out its closest victory of the season, Central Oklahoma hung tough, taking the Bearcats to the wire in a 17-10 battle.
No running allowed. pic.twitter.com/PWM7PpakuH— Northwest Football (@NWBearcatsFB) October 9, 2017
Quarterback Zach Martin continued to get the job done, throwing for 292 yards and no interceptions. As always, the defense was superb, allowing just 17 yards rushing on the day. The Bearcats' defense allowed a mere 248 yards, sacking the quarterback five times.
Northwest Missouri State goes for No. 37 next weekend on the road in Tahlequah, Oklahoma against 0-6 Northeastern State. Just four games shy of tying the DII football record, every opponent is a big test.
The Top 10 shakers
No. 6 -- Midwestern State made its presence felt in the Lone Star Conference. The Mustangs met then-No. 2 Texas A&M-Commerce, taking a commanding 26-point lead into the fourth quarter. Despite a 21-point comeback by the Lions, Midwestern State held on for the 47-42 victory, grabbing command of the LSC and bumping Texas A&M-Commerce from the Top 10 for the first time all season.
No. 8 -- Though the last two wins have been by a combined seven points, Fort Hays State continues to roll off win after win. Now 6-0 and tied with Northwest Missouri State atop the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, the Tigers had an impressive victory last weekend. Trailing a tough Pittsburg State team 17-0 in the second quarter, FHSU rallied for 21 unanswered points to cap off the victory. Senior running back Kenneth Iheme is becoming one of the best all-around running backs in DII football. Next up is a huge game against an under-the-radar 5-1 Washburn squad.
No. 9 -- Another week, another dramatic fourth quarter for Slippery Rock. Despite having arguably the best defender in DII football, it's the offense that is making The Rock the story of 2017. They bumped off Mercyhurst 31-28 this week, defeating their last three opponents by a total of 10 points. All three of the games were determined in the fourth quarter or overtime. This week's matchup with No. 3 Indiana (Pennsylvania) should decide the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and has tremendous postseason implications.
No. 10 -- Central Washington just keeps tallying up the points. After scoring 120 points in the previous two weeks, the Wildcats defeated then-No. 17 Humboldt State 55-27 Saturday. The win gives CWU sole possession of first place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference as they begin the second run through conference play.
Warriors continue their rise
The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference has plenty of elite football programs. Minnesota State, Minnesota Duluth, Sioux Falls and Bemidji State all began the season getting recognition in the preseason Top 25. But it's been Winona State stealing the headlines of late.
The Warriors are 6-0 for the first time since 1998. Their latest win came at the expense of a Top 10 team. Winona State got a big effort from running back Javian Roebuck in a 31-13 rout of a then-No. 6 Sioux Falls. The statement victory helped the Warriors be this week's biggest jumpers, rising nine spots to No. 13.
New invites to the Top 25 party
West Alabama enters this week's poll after taking down No. 9 Delta State last weekend. Delta State did everything it could in an attempt at a comeback, reeling off 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. But the Tigers prevailed, leaving them the last undefeated team in the Gulf South Conference. There's no rest for the Tigers as they host No. 22 West Georgia this week.
Wingate makes its first appearance in the 2017 polls this week. Coming off a thrilling 31-28 victory in the final minutes over UNC Pembroke, the Bulldogs are now a perfect 5-0. They have a huge matchup against a very tough Catawba team looking to make its way back to the Top 25.
Weekly fun with numbers:
131-11 - combined record of the Top 25.
10 - number of teams that are a perfect 6-0.
14 - ranked teams that remain undefeated through Week 5.
1 - Grand Valley State remains the only Top 10 team with a loss.
20-4 - Win-loss record of the new Top 25 this past weekend. Of the four losses, Sioux Falls and Delta State dropped the most, falling 12 spots each. Texas A&M-Commerce fell from No. 2 to No. 11, while Humboldt State fell eight spots to No. 25. California (Pennsylvania) and Arkansas Tech fell out of the Top 25 altogether.
2 - Northwest Missouri State and Ferris State (No. 15) were the only two teams to stand pat in this week's DII football poll. Twenty three teams shifted spots.
29-0 - combined record of the new Top 5. No. 1 Northwest Missouri State, No. 3 IUP, No. 4 Minnesota State and No. 5 Indianapolis are all 6-0 while No. 2 Shepherd is 5-0.
2 - number of Top 25 matchups scheduled for this Saturday. No. 3 IUP heads to The Rock in a battle for the PSAC, while No. 23 West Alabama hosts No. 22 West Georgia in a tremendous GSC showdown.
There was a shift this week as the PSAC dropped a team after dominating the top of the polls for much of the season. The PSAC still has two powerhouses in the Top 10, but so does the mighty MIAA with Fort Hays joining the mix. The GSC adds yet another school in as many weeks, giving them three, oddly enough all ranked in order (No. 21 Delta State, No. 22 West Georgia, No. 23 West Alabama).
|Conference||Teams in Top 25|
|NSIC||3 (Sioux Falls, Minnesota State, Winona State)|
|GLIAC||3 (Grand Valley State, Ferris State, Ashland)|
|GSC||3 (Delta State, West Georgia, West Alabama)|
|MIAA||2 (NWMSU, Fort Hays State)|
|LSC||2 (Texas A&M-Commerce, Midwestern State)|
|RMAC||2 (Colorado Mesa, Colorado State-Pueblo)|
|GNAC||2 (Central Washington, Humboldt State)|
|PSAC||2 (IUP, Slippery Rock)|
|GAC||1 (Southeastern Oklahoma State)|
|CIAA||1 (Bowie State)|