Cowboys climb to No. 9 in both FCS polls; this week's opponent, - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Cowboys climb to No. 9 in both FCS polls; this week's opponent, Northern Iowa, at No. 5

Off to its best start since the 2007 season, McNeese jumped four spots in the this week's FCS Coaches while moving up three spots in the Sports Network poll as the Cowboys sit at No. 9 in both.

The ranking is the highest for the Cowboys since taking a No. 8 ranking into the 2009 FCS playoffs. McNeese is out to its first 4-0 start since the 2007 team went through the regular season a perfect 11-0.

McNeese's opponent this week, Northern Iowa (3-0), is ranked fifth in both polls. The Panthers will be the Cowboys' first top five opponent since hosting No. 5 Stephen F. Austin on Oct. 9, 2010 in a game the Cowboys lost 32-27. Last year, McNeese's highest ranked opponent was Sam Houston State who enter that game ranked 6th.

North Dakota State (3-0) tops both polls followed by Eastern Washington (2-1), Towson (4-0), Sam Houston State (3-1) and Northern Iowa in the Sports Network poll. Rounding out the top five in the Coaches Poll are North Dakota State, Towson, Eastern Washington, Sam Houston State and Northern Iowa.

One other Southland Conference team is ranked, that being Central Arkansas (2-2) at No. 13 in both polls while Stephen F. Austin is garnering votes in both polls and Southeastern Louisiana and Northwestern State in the Sports Network poll.

In addition to the McNeese-Northern Iowa top 10 matchup, there are two other key FCS top 10 contests on tap for this week – No. 2/3 Eastern Washington at No. 4/4 Sam Houston State and No. 1/1 North Dakota State at No. 6/6 South Dakota State.

McNeese entered the season unranked but after its win at South Florida, has been ranked four consecutive weeks.

Sports Network Top 25 (Sept. 23, 2013)
Team (No. 1 Votes) Record Points Last Week
1. North Dakota State (157)3-0 3,949 1
2. Eastern Washington (1) 2-1 3,669 2
3. Towson 4-0 3,580 4
4. Sam Houston State 3-1 3,415 5
5. Northern Iowa 3-0 3,258 7
6. South Dakota State 3-1 2,884 6
7. Montana 3-0 2,802 9
8. Eastern Illinois 3-1 2,622 8
9. McNeese State 4-0 2,529 12
10. New Hampshire 1-1 2,428 11
11. Montana State 2-2 2,366 3
12. Coastal Carolina 4-0 1,809 15
13. Central Arkansas 2-2 1,681 13
14. James Madison 3-1 1,578 17
15. Georgia Southern 2-1 1,531 14
16. Fordham 4-0 1,312 21
17. Wofford 2-2 1,307 10
18. Cal Poly 1-2 1,124 18
19. Villanova 1-2 966 20
20. Bethune-Cookman 3-1 876 19
21. Lehigh 3-0 821 22
22. Richmond 2-2 673 23
23. Tennessee-Martin 2-1 596 24
24. Northern Arizona 2-1 556 25
25. Gardner-Webb 3-1 483 NR

Others receiving votes: Youngstown State 452, Stony Brook 329, Maine 271, Illinois State 260, William & Mary 235, Jacksonville State 193, Delaware 162, Southern Utah 154, North Carolina A&T 99, Chattanooga 89, Stephen F. Austin 53, Samford 37, Southeastern Louisiana 34, Eastern Kentucky 32, South Carolina State 30, Harvard 25, Tennessee State 17, Penn 13, Charleston Southern 12, Southern Illinois 7, Western Illinois 6, Northwestern State 6, Jackson State 5, Indiana State 4, Portland State 4, Appalachian State 2, Liberty 2, Sacred Heart 1, Alcorn State 1.

FCS Coaches Poll (Sept. 23, 2013)
Team (No. 1 Votes) Record Points Last Week
1. North Dakota State (26) 3-0 650 1
2. Towson 4-0 616 3
3. Eastern Washington 2-1 598 4
4. Sam Houston State 3-1 573 5
5. Northern Iowa 3-0 531 7
6. South Dakota State 3-1 465 6
T7. New Hampshire 2-1 460 9
T7. Montana 3-0 460 11
9. McNeese State 4-0 409 13
10. Montana State 2-2 402 2
11. Coastal Carolina 4-0 372 15
12. Eastern Illinois 3-1 354 10
13. Central Arkansas 2-2 326 14
14. James Madison 3-1 283 16
15. Wofford 2-2 278 8
16. Fordham 4-0 217 21
17. Lehigh 3-0 214 18
18. Bethune-Cookman 3-1 179 17
19. Cal Poly 1-2 169 19
20. Richmond 2-2 156 20
21. Villanova 1-2 155 23
22. Northern Arizona 2-1 117 22
23. Stony Brook 1-2 107 12
24. Illinois State 1-2 80 24
25. Youngstown State 3-1 47 NR

Others receiving votes: Maine 46, UT Martin 44, Gardner-Webb 35, William & Mary 27, Jacksonville State 21, Portland State 15, Southern Utah 8, Delaware 7, Tennessee State 6, Harvard 5, Chattanooga 4, Stephen F. Austin 4, Indiana State 2, North Carolina A&T 1, Sacred Heart 1

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