(Stats Perform) – Consider it not-so-easy as 1, 2, 3.

The top three teams in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 – South Dakota State, Sacramento State and Montana State – all won road games by three points in another competitive weekend across the NCAA Division I subdivision. The narrow escapes didn’t change their ranking in the national media poll on Monday.

Top-ranked South Dakota State (9-1) and No. 3 Montana State (8-1) needed walk-off field goals in beating Northern Iowa 31-28 and Northern Arizona 41-38, respectively. Sacramento State (9-0) never trailed in its top-five win over Weber State 33-30.

The tight games may suggest a terrific final two full weeks of the regular season. The FCS playoff pairings will be announced on Nov. 20, with 24 teams jumping on the Road to Frisco (Texas).

Fourth-ranked North Dakota State is the defending national champion.

A national media panel selects the Stats Perform FCS Top 25. A first-place vote is worth 25 points, a second-place vote 24 points, all the way down to one point for a 25th-place vote.

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Stats Perform FCS Top 25 (Nov. 7)

1. South Dakota State (9-1, 7-0 MVFC), 1,344 points (48 of 54 first-place votes)

Previous Ranking: 1; Week 10 Result: 31-28 win at Northern Iowa

2. Sacramento State (9-0, 6-0 Big Sky), 1,295 (6)

Previous Ranking: 2; Week 10 Result: 33-30 win at then-No. 5 Weber State

3. Montana State (8-1, 6-0 Big Sky), 1,232

Previous Ranking: 3; Week 10 Result: 41-38 win at Northern Arizona

4. North Dakota State (7-2, 5-1 MVFC), 1,200

Previous Ranking: 4; Week 10 Result: 56-17 win at Western Illinois

5. Holy Cross (9-0, 5-0 Patriot), 1,065

Previous Ranking: 6; Week 10 Result: 42-14 win over Lehigh

6. UIW (9-1, 4-1 Southland), 1,061

Previous Ranking: 7; Week 10 Result: 73-20 win over Houston Christian

7. Weber State (7-2, 4-2 Big Sky), 985

Previous Ranking: 5; Week 10 Result: 33-30 loss to then-No. 2 Sacramento State

8. William & Mary (8-1, 5-1 CAA), 974

Previous Ranking: 8; Week 10 Result: 20-14 win at Hampton

9. Jackson State (9-0, 6-0 SWAC), 905

Previous Ranking: 9; Week 10 Result: 41-14 win at Texas Southern

10. Samford (8-1, 6-0 Southern), 880

Previous Ranking: 10; Week 10 Result: 34-15 win over VMI

11. Chattanooga (7-2, 5-1 Southern), 724

Previous Ranking: 11; Week 10 Result: 31-21 win at The Citadel

12. Richmond (7-2, 5-1 CAA), 677

Previous Ranking: 14; Week 10 Result: 40-34 win over then-No. 17 New Hampshire

13. Furman (7-2, 5-1 Southern), 667

Previous Ranking: 13; Week 10 Result: No game

14. Mercer (7-2, 5-1 Southern), 647

Previous Ranking: 12; Week 10 Result: No game

15. Idaho (6-3, 5-1 Big Sky), 618

Previous Ranking: 15; Week 10 Result: 48-16 win over Eastern Washington

16. Montana (6-3, 3-3 Big Sky), 550

Previous Ranking: 16; Week 10 Result: 57-0 win over Cal Poly

17. Delaware (7-2, 4-2 CAA), 501

Previous Ranking: 18; Week 10 Result: 49-17 win over Monmouth

18. Elon (7-3, 5-2 CAA), 425

Previous Ranking: 19; Week 10 Result: 27-3 win over UAlbany

19. North Dakota (6-3, 4-2 MVFC), 336

Previous Ranking: 21; Week 10 Result: 42-7 win at Indiana State

20. Southeast Missouri (7-2, 3-0 Ohio Valley), 303

Previous Ranking: 22; Week 10 Result: 42-0 win at Tennessee State

21. New Hampshire (6-3, 5-1 CAA), 260

Previous Ranking: 17; Week 10 Result: 40-34 loss at then-No. 14 Richmond

22. Rhode Island (6-3, 4-2 CAA), 228

Previous Ranking: 23; Week 10 Result: 26-22 win over Maine

23. Fordham (7-2, 3-1 Patriot), 207

Previous Ranking: 24; Week 10 Result: 59-17 win at Bucknell

24. Princeton (8-0, 5-0 Ivy), 153

Previous Ranking: 25; Week 10 Result: 17-14 win over Dartmouth

25. Southeastern Louisiana (6-3, 3-1 Southland), 112

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked; Week 10 Result: 47-31 win at Lamar

Dropped Out: UT Martin (20)

Others Receiving Votes (schools listed on two or more ballots): Eastern Kentucky (6-3, 2-1 ASUN) 97, UT Martin (5-4, 3-0 Ohio Valley) 40, UC Davis (5-4, 4-2 Big Sky) 22, Saint Francis (7-2, 5-0 NEC) 12, Southern Illinois (5-4, 4-2 MVFC) 9, Austin Peay (6-3, 2-2 ASUN-WAC) 7, Youngstown State (6-3, 4-2 MVFC) 5

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Stats Perform FCS Top 25 Voters – Stats Perform: Craig Haley, Gary Reasons. ASUN: John Bednarowski, Brian Morgan. Big Sky Conference: Doug Kelly, Tyson Rodgers, Larry Weir. Big South Conference: Brian Cleary, Mark Simpson. CAA Football: Matt Harmon, Scott Klatzkin, Rob Washburn. Ivy League: Rick Bender, Craig Larson. Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference: Bill Hamilton, Maurice Williams. Missouri Valley Football Conference: Dom Izzo, Mike Kern, Randy Reinhardt. Northeast Conference: Sarah Boissonneault, Randy Brochu. Ohio Valley Conference: Mike Bradd, Kyle Schwartz. Patriot League: Eric Malanowski, Ryan Sakamoto. Pioneer Football League: Cody Bush, Jack Cronin. Southern Conference: Scott Keeler, Andrew Miller, Phil Perry. Southland Conference: Matthew Bonnette, James Dixon, Josh Manck. Southwestern Athletic Conference: Ronnie Johnson, Andrew Roberts, Jacob Shames. Western Athletic Conference: Eric Danner, Dennis Driscoll. National Representatives: Josh Buchanan, Zack Carlton, Riley Corcoran, Sam Herder, Emory Hunt, Kyle Kensing, Brandon Lawrence, Zach McKinnell, Brian McLaughlin, Jon Passman, Kent Schmidt, Lawrence Smith, Phil Sokol, Reggie Thomas, Ralph Ventre, Jamie Williams.