The STATS FCS Top 25 had a shake up this week as the North Dakota State Bison, the winner of five straight FCS National Championships, fell to rival South Dakota State 19-17. Sam Houston State benefitted from the Bison loss, as they slide into the number one spot on Monday.
Already with the No. 1 ranked offense, the Bearkats (6-0) showed poll voters on Saturday why they deserved the number one spot in the polls, with a dominating 48-21 victory over Abilene Christian (0-6). The powerhouse gained 113 of the 165 first-place votes in the national media poll and are one of two unbeaten FCS teams.
SHSU head coach K.C. Keeler is aware of what being ranked atop the polls means and he believes his team will continue their high level of play.
“The message was simple it was that this is not the final destination,” Keeler said. “The goal was not to be number one in the country in October. It’s nice, we’ve worked hard, we’ve played well, it’s a great recognition. It just reminds you of the standard that you’re trying to set every single day. [We have to] be aware that the bullseye on our back just got a lot bigger.”
This is the first time the Bearkats have graced the top spot in a national poll since Sept. 7, 2015. The team will now prepare to live up to their new ranking as they will travel to Thibodaux, LA to take on a tough Nicholls State team. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. The game can be viewed on American Sports Network and will be streamed on southland.org.