PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network)- New Hampshire outscored Maine, 59-47, to maintain the No. 1 position in this week's Sports Network I-AA top 25 poll. The Wildcats earned the top seed in the 2005 I-AA playoffs with a 10-1 record and claimed the Atlantic 10 automatic berth with a 7-1 conference mark. New Hampshire is at No. 1 in the rankings for the third week in a row and the fifth time overall. Sean McDonnell's club earned 45 of a possible 78 first-place votes and 1,916 total points in this week's balloting. New Hampshire faces No. 24 Colgate in the first round of the playoffs.
Hampton completed its undefeated season by rolling Savannah State, 44-6. The Pirates finish the regular season at 11-0 and stay at No. 2 in the polls, while the earning the third seed in the playoffs. Furman is up one spot to No. 3 in the rankings, with Texas State at No. 4 and Appalachian State at No. 5. Texas State is the fourth seed in the playoffs, while Appalachian State garnered the No. 2 seed.
Georgia Southern is up two spots to No. 6., with Northern Iowa at No. 7, Southern Illinois at No. 8, Montana at No. 9 and Cal Poly at No. 10. Montana dropped six spots in the rankings after a 16-6 loss to rival Montana State.
Grambling State jumps three spots to No. 11, with Richmond making a five-spot leap to No. 12. Youngstown State is No. 13, with South Carolina State at No. 14 and Eastern Washington at No. 15.
Brown took the outright Ivy League championship and comes in at No. 16. Montana State is No. 17, with Massachusetts at No. 18, Eastern Illinois at No. 19 and Coastal Carolina at No. 20.
Nicholls State is at No. 21, followed by Lehigh, Illinois State, Colgate and Lafayette. Colgate and Lafayette enter the rankings this week after earning playoff berths, while North Dakota State and Western Kentucky fell out of the top 25.
16 teams in the top 25 advance to the I-AA playoffs beginning this weekend. The final poll of the season will be on December 19, after the championship game in Chattanooga on Dec. 16.
Below is a list of the playoff games on tap this week. Also this week, No. 11 Grambling State plays Southern in the "Bayou Classic" at Houston's Reliant Stadium.
This week's playoff matchups:
No. 24 Colgate at No. 1 New Hampshire
No. 15 Eastern Washington at No. 7 Northern Iowa
No. 10 Cal Poly at No. 9 Montana
No. 6 Georgia Southern at No. 4 Texas State
No. 12 Richmond at No. 2 Hampton
No. 21 Nicholls State at No. 3 Furman
No. 8 Southern Illinois at No. 19 Eastern Illinois
No. 25 Lafayette at No. 5 Appalachian State
|Team (First-place votes)||Record||Points||Previous Rank|
|1. New Hampshire Wildcats (45)||10-1||1,916||1|
|2. Hampton Pirates (29)||11-0||1,853||2|
|3. Furman Paladins||9-2||1,738||4|
|4. Texas State Bobcats (1)||9-2||1,630||5|
|5. Appalachian State Mountaineers (3)||8-3||1,604||6|
|6. Georgia Southern Eagles||8-3||1,450||8|
|7. Northern Iowa Panthers||8-3||1,422||10|
|8. Southern Illinois Salukis||8-3||1,337||11|
|9. Montana Grizzlies||8-3||1,278||3|
|10. Cal Poly Mustangs||8-3||1,197||13|
|11. Grambling State Tigers||8-1||1,008||14|
|12. Richmond Spiders||8-3||954||17|
|13. Youngstown State Penguins||8-3||936||15|
|14. South Carolina State Bulldogs||9-2||836||16|
|15. Eastern Washington Eagles||7-4||735||19|
|16. Brown Bears||9-1||682||18|
|17. Montana State Bobcats||7-4||678||22|
|18. Massachusetts Minutemen||7-4||665||7|
|19. Eastern Illinois Panthers||9-2||630||21|
|20. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers||9-2||549||9|
|21. Nicholls State Colonels||6-3||407||25|
|22. Lehigh Mountain Hawks||8-3||345||12|
|23. Illinois State Redbirds||7-4||336||24|
|24. Colgate Raiders||8-3||237||NR|
|25. Lafayette Leopards||8-3||220||NR|
Others receiving votes: James Madison 182, North Dakota State 146, Alabama A&M 97, Hofstra 89, Western Kentucky 62, San Diego 51, Portland State 30, Delaware 9, UC Davis 8, Harvard 5.