It’s time for my FCS college football poll ballot vote, and I owe it to our readers to make it publish — even though this is a stab in the sunlight — as none of us know exactly what will happen in the preseason, but at least it’s sunny, right?
The FCS national college football poll came out (Monday, Aug. 8) — you can check it out at NCAA’s FCS 2022, with notes
MY VOTE (BELOW): Rule is? If you vote for a team that didn’t get a vote from another voter? It doesn’t register. That explains why a school like Northern Arizona (I voted for NAU early in Aug.) isn’t included. Craig Haley can back up my vote.
THE TOP TIER: Is anybody really shocked that NDSU is No. 1? Or that South Dakota State is in the top five? Or the Montana Monsters are in the mix? Why should we be? They are clearly the monsters of 2022 coming in.
And when I type that, I have to ask: Isn’t it nice to have the two Montana powers at the forefront again in the FCS ranks? On any given weekend, the ‘Cats and the ‘Griz (listed alphabetically, not based on favoritism) draw a combined 50K on a Saturday weekend? There are P5 teams that don’t draw 50K every weekend and a ton of G5s that don’t even come close.
Montana — as a state — needs to help carry the load for this awesome level, and the Cat-Griz or Griz-Cat contingent is doing it and has been doing it for a few years now — after a long layoff. These two belong here at the top, along with the clear-cut Dakota superpowers.
THE USUAL SUSPECTS: Along with the top four in my poll vote and the final verdict in the official STATS/Perform vote — there are no surprises, and aside from NDSU being No. 1? It’s debatable who should be where. Montana State was in the national championship, but Montana did some great things in 2021 and so did Coach Stig’s SDSU Jackrabbits. There’s no question this is your opening quartet.
Behind them? It’s stacked with Missouri Valley Football Conference teams — but, it’s not just the usual suspects. It wasn’t long ago that Missouri State seemed stuck in the bottom third of what is clearly the No. 1 conference in the FCS — the MVFC. Now? The Bears have become more elite in a brutal conference.
NOTE: We will dig into the Ivy League programs when they crank up with conf. play — and we all know they’re pretty darned good.
THE SURPRISES: My surprises? They are clear: William & Mary, Furman, Northern Arizona, New Hampshire, Central Arkansas — you name it. You could also mention Stephen F. Austin — but it’s nice to see that Colby Carthel’s program is beginning to turn heads after certain people (ME for one) said he was crushing it in recruiting as early as 2019. Apparently, others have noticed.
It’s about time.
When it comes to 2022, I can’t get past thinking that it seems to be a re-enactment of 2015. William & Mary, Northern Arizona, New Hampshire — you name it: These programs had a great 2015, but have been besieged by injuries and/or staff changes since then. But boy oh boy do they have the potential for 2022.
When it comes to the HBCU battle for a spot or two in the Top 25? Let’s face it, Jackson State laid an egg in the Celebration Bowl. We all know Deion Sanders’ group has recruited like no HBCU in the past 40 years, but S.C. State out of the MEAC? It proved JSU is beatable. And Florida A&M? The Rattlers are pure legit, folks. Deion’s Tigers squeaked by in a close one against the Rattlers in Week One last year, but FAMU is a different kind of program, and Willie Simmons is a special coach.
Don’t be surprised if that Deion-Simmons-SC State kind of battle takes place in 2022 — and also don’t be surprised when these HBCU programs knock off established FCS schools and maybe even a G5. It’s beyond possible.
It’s time, gang. It’s time for FCS to take off.
BMAC PRESEASON FCS POLL BALLOT (SUBMITTED AUG. 6)
NOTE: If a team listed is NOT on another ballot? It isn’t counted. Understandable. But this was my Aug. 6 ballot.
1 North Dakota State
3 Montana State
4 South Dakota State
5 Sacramento State
6 Southern Illinois
7 Northern Iowa
8 Missouri State
10 Kennesaw State
11 Stephen F. Austin
15 William & Mary
17 Northern Arizona
18 Eastern Washington
20 New Hampshire
21 Central Arkansas
22 UT Martin
23 Southeastern Louisiana
24 Jackson State
25 Florida A&M
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