James Madison Enters 2017 Season As FCS' No. 1 Ranked Team

For five straight seasons, you could predict who would be at the top of the FCS world at the beginning of the season, and the end of the season. After half a decade of dominance in the FCS, the North Dakota State Bison have seen another one of their impressive streaks come to an end at the hands of James Madison.
After beating North Dakota State in the National Championship last season, the Dukes enter this season as the top dog in the rankings. North Dakota State enters one slot under them at No. 2.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise to those in the know, though. According to NBC Sports, the Dukes are returning the bulk of their championship winning roster.
Voters ultimately decided to vote heavily in their favor, with the Dukes receiving 136 of the available 163 first place votes.
Elsewhere, there are precious few surprised in the FCS preseason top 25. Both North and South Dakota continue to be forces to be reckoned with, and Youngstown State’s surprising run into the playoffs last season appears to be expected to carry over into this season.
The full preseason FCS Top 25 can be seen below.
STATS Preseason FCS Top 25

  1. James Madison
  2. North Dakota State
  3. Sam Houston State
  4. South Dakota State
  5. Eastern Washington
  6. Jacksonville State
  7. Richmond
  8. North Dakota
  9. Youngstown State
  10. Villanova
  11. Wofford
  12. Chattanooga
  13. New Hampshire
  14. Charleston Southern
  15. Central Arkansas
  16. The Citadel
  17. Lehigh
  18. Northern Iowa
  19. Samford
  20. Illinois State
  21. Grambling State
  22. Fordham
  23. Cal Poly
  24. Albany
  25. Western Illinois

With a playoff that includes 24-teams, the massive bracket-style elimination tournament that crowns a champion has long been the envy of FBS football fans. Perhaps one day, they’ll get to enjoy the luxury that the FCS has enjoyed for number of years.
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