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2017 Week 4 College Baseball Top-25

Top-ranked TCU had much to celebrate as the Horned Frogs swept through the field at the Shriners College Classic in Houston. (photo courtesy of TCU Athletics and gofrogs.com)

Top-ranked TCU had much to celebrate as the Horned Frogs swept through the field at the Shriners College Classic in Houston. (photo courtesy of TCU Athletics and gofrogs.com)

Week 3 of the 2017 college baseball season wrapped up with the top eight teams holding their positions for another seven days. The jewel of the weekend took place at Minute Maid Park in Houston at the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic as a trifecta of teams from the Big 12 faced off with three squads from the SEC.

Top-ranked TCU rolled through the week at 4-0 to stay atop the rankings. The Horned Frogs dispatched Rice with ease on Tuesday before sweeping through the tourney in Houston. After knocking off #5 LSU on Friday, TCU gave up five runs in the top half of the first inning to #10 Texas A&M and had to play catch-up throughout the regulation nine innings. Trailing 10-5 entering the bottom of the ninth, the Frogs plated five runs to force free baseball and won in the 15th on Ryan Merrill’s RBI double. TCU secured another week at #1 with a 5-3 win over #9 Mississippi, who stumbled to an 0-4 week, including 0-3 in Houston.

#2 Florida split a mid-week home-and-home with #17 Central Florida and handled Columbia with ease for a 4-1 week. The Week 3 star for the Gators was junior RHP Alex Faedo, who blanked the Lions on three hits over seven innings with nine strikeouts to pick up his second win of the season on Friday night.

Oregon State stayed firm in third with an easy three-game sweep of UC Davis at Goss Stadium in Corvallis, OR. Luke Heimlich allowed three hits and fanned ten Aggies hitters in eight shutout innings on Friday. 2B Cadyn Grenier hit .400 (6-for-10) with a pair of triples and drove in six while 3B Michael Gretler, also, hit .400 while driving in three runs in the series.

#4 Louisville remained undefeated, hammering Morehead State 20-2 and opening their three game series with Eastern Michigan by blanking the Eagles 13-0. However, the Cardinals, barely, slipped by the visitors from Ypsilanti to wrap up the weekend, needing 13 innings to beat EMU 3-2 on Saturday and scoring the eventual winning run in the 7th inning for an 8-7 victory. CF Logan Taylor was one of a handful of Cardinals with a huge offensive weekend, hitting .385 (5-for-13) with three RBI and eight runs scored. Nick Bennett picked up the Friday night victory, as he combined with Sam Bordner and Shay Smiddy to blank the Eagles on one hit.

Despite a 2-2 week and only one victory in Houston, #5 LSU stands pat on the strength of competition. The Tigers nipped improved Nicholls State, 3-2, and sandwiched a 4-0 victory over #16 Baylor around losses to #1 TCU and #18 Texas Tech. Greg Deichmann’s 7th inning RBI single plated the eventual winning run for the Tuesday night win over the Colonels and Jared Poche’ continued his strong start to 2017 with seven innings of sterling pitching in the Saturday night win over the Bears. Deichmann finished the week hitting .353 (6-for-17) with his 5th home run of the season and four RBI.

#6 Arizona finished the week 2-1, facing competition from the SEC, Big 12 and Big Ten at the Frisco College Baseball Classic in Frisco, TX. The Wildcats blanked Arkansas 3-0 on Friday night as J.C. Cloney and Cameron Ming combined on a three-hit shutout. Cal Stevenson’s walk-off RBI double to center scored Matt Fraizer to lift Arizona past Oklahoma State, 10-9, on Saturday and Rio Gomez allowed one run over seven innings on Sunday, but took the loss in a 1-0 decision to Nebraska, snapping the Cats’ season-opening winning streak at ten.

Florida State improved to 9-2 after a 4-0 week that saw a one-run victory over Jacksonville and an offensive explosion in a three-game sweep of Oakland. The Noles scored three times in the top of the 8th to rally past the Dolphins 6-5 on Tuesday and mauled the visiting Grizzlies for 44 runs. 1B Quincy Nieporte went 4-for-7 in limited action with two homers and eight RBI for the series and Tyler Holton ran his record to 3-0 after his two-hit, 13-strikeout effort in Saturday’s 12-1 victory.

A 4-1 record couldn’t move Virginia past last week’s #8 ranking, but the gap between the top eight teams is squeezing tighter and tighter. The Wahoos dispatched William & Mary in an easy Tuesday effort before squaring off against Niagara and LaSalle at the Virginia Tournament in Charlottesville, VA. UVa split a pair with the Purple Eagles and crushed the Explorers by a combined score of 30-6. CF/P/DH Adam Haseley raked to the tune of .400 (8-for-20) for the week with two homers, two doubles, four RBI and eight runs scored and allowed, only, a pair of unearned runs over 6.1 innings to improve to 2-0 on the season in Sunday’s 18-3 win over winless LaSalle.

Baylor, unranked by most national publications, moves up seven spots to ninth after a strong 3-1 week, including a pair of wins over SEC clubs in Houston. The Bears bludgeoned Arkansas-Pine Bluff 17-3 on Tuesday before heading to Minute Maid Park where Nick Lewis pitched seven innings of shutout ball in Friday’s 4-0 win over Ole Miss. Following a 4-0 loss to LSU, Baylor looked like they would head home with two straight losses as Texas A&M led 3-1 heading to the home half of the ninth. However, it was deja vu all over again for the Aggies, as the bullpen was tagged for five ninth inning runs for the second time in less than 24 hours, this time, capped by SS Tucker Cascadden’s walk-off grand slam and a 6-3 Bears win.

Central Florida, also, advances seven places to round out Week 4’s top-ten. The Knights lost their first game of the season on Tuesday, 4-3, in the first half of a home-and-home with #2 Florida, but exacted revenge, blistering the Gators, 11-2, on the following evening. The Knights, then, swept Stony Brook at the UCF Baseball Complex, including a walk-off win on Sunday. SS Kam Gellinger hit .471 (8-for-17) over the five-games and capped his week with a bases-loaded, walk-off single to beat the Seawolves on Sunday. LF Kyle Marsh was a beast all week, hitting .500 (9-for-18) with two doubles, two homers and ten RBI.

Oklahoma vaults eight places to 11th following a 5-0 week, Clemson moves from 20th to 12th on the heels of their series win over South Carolina, Texas A&M drops three spots, despite their bullpen implosion, to 13th, Texas Tech jumps four notches to 14th on the strength of their showing in Houston and South Carolina retreats a pair of positions to 15th.

East Carolina, riding an eight-game winning streak, returns to the rankings at 16th, Michigan State, after a 3-0 week, climbs four spots to 17th, Saint Louis’ undefeated week advances the Billikens four places to 18th, Wright State, boasting one of the nation’s toughest schedules cracks the top-20 at #19, up four from last week, and South Florida swept Toledo to move from 24th to 20th.

Despite an 0-4 week, Mississippi sits at #21, down 12 from last week, St. John’s moves up three to #22, Louisiana-Lafayette rejoins the fray at #23, North Carolina plummets 13 places to 24th and, barely hanging on, is Southern Mississippi at #25, a slip of 11 positions.

Dropping out of the rankings this week are North Carolina State (#12) and Vanderbilt (#15).

1. TCU (10-1, 0-0 Big 12) This week (4): vs. Dallas Baptist (8-3, 0-0 MVC) 3/7; vs. UC Irvine (6-4, 0-0 Big West) 3/10-12
(LW – 1) Last week (4-0): vs. Rice (4-8, 0-0 C-USA) W 13-5; **Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at Houston, TX** vs. #5 LSU (9-3, 0-0 SEC-W) W 9-6; vs. #10 Texas A&M (9-3, 0-0 SEC-W) W 11-10 (15); vs. #9 Mississippi (7-4, 0-0 SEC-W) W 5-3

2. Florida (10-2, 0-0 SEC-E) This week (5): at/vs. Florida Gulf Coast (10-2, 0-0 Atlantic Sun) 3/7-8; vs. Seton Hall (4-6, 0-0 Big East) 3/10-12
(LW – 2) Last week (4-1): vs./at #17 Central Florida (11-1, 0-0 AAC) W 4-3, L 11-2; vs. Columbia (0-3, 0-0 Ivy-Gehrig) W 7-0, W 7-2, W 8-4

3. Oregon State (10-1, 0-0 PAC-12) This week (5): vs. Portland (1-9, 0-0 WCC) 3/7; vs. Ball State (7-4, 0-0 MAC-W) 3/9-11
(LW – 3) Last week (3-0): vs. UC Davis (3-6, 0-0 Big West) W 4-0, W 14-2, W 4-1

4. Louisville (11-0, 0-0 ACC-A) This week (5): at Eastern Kentucky (6-6, 0-0 OVC) 3/7; vs. Fort Wayne (3-9, 0-0 Summit) 3/8; vs. Pittsburgh (7-4, 0-0 ACC-C) 3/10-12
(LW – 4) Last week (4-0): vs. Morehead State (7-5, 0-0 OVC) W 20-2; vs. Eastern Michigan (2-11, 0-0 MAC-W) W 13-0, W 3-2 (13), W 8-7

5. LSU (9-3, 0-0 SEC-W) This week (5): vs. San Diego (6-3, 0-0 WCC) 3/7; at McNeese State (8-4, 0-0 Southland) 3/8; vs. Wichita State (7-3, 0-0 MVC) 3/10-12
(LW – 5) Last week (2-2): vs. Nicholls State (7-5, 0-0 Southland) W 3-2; **Shriners Hospital for Children College Classic at Houston, TX** vs. #1 TCU (10-1, 0-0 Big 12) L 9-6; vs. #16 Baylor (11-1, 0-0 Big 12) W 4-0; vs. #18 Texas Tech (11-2, 0-0 Big 12) L 5-4

6. Arizona (10-1, 0-0 PAC-12) This week (4): at #14 Texas Tech (11-2, 0-0 Big 12) 3/7; vs. Hartford (1-5, 0-0 America East) 3/10-12
(LW – 6) Last week (2-1): **Frisco College Baseball Classic at Frisco, TX** vs. Arkansas (8-3, 0-0 SEC-W) W 3-0; vs. Oklahoma State (6-5, 0-0 Big 12) W 10-9; vs. Nebraska (3-6, 0-0 Big Ten) L 1-0

7. Florida State (9-2, 0-0 ACC-A) This week (5): at #10 Central Florida (11-1, 0-0 AAC) 3/7-8; vs. Boston College (4-5, 0-0 ACC-A) 3/10-12
(LW – 7) Last week (4-0): at Jacksonville (6-6, 0-0 Atlantic Sun) W 6-5; vs. Oakland (1-10, 0-0 Horizon) W 18-10, W 12-1, W 14-6

8. Virginia (11-1, 0-0 ACC-C) This week (4): at George Washington (3-9, 0-0 Atlantic 10) 3/7; at #24 North Carolina (9-3, 0-0 ACC-C) 3/10-12
(LW – 8) Last week (4-1): vs. William & Mary (6-4, 0-0 CAA) W 11-3; **Virginia Tournament at Charlottesville, VA** vs. Niagara (6-4, 0-0 Metro Atlantic) W 5-3, L 8-5; vs. LaSalle (0-11, 0-0 Atlantic 10) W 12-3, W 18-3

9. Baylor (11-1, 0-0 Big 12) This week (4): at Sam Houston State (8-4, 0-0 Southland) 3/7; vs. Houston (7-3, 0-0 AAC) 3/10-12
(LW – 16) Last week (3-1): vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2-8, 2-1 SWAC-W) W 17-3; **Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at Houston, TX** vs. #9 Mississippi (7-4, 0-0 SEC-W) W 4-0; vs. #5 LSU (9-3, 0-0 SEC-W) L 4-0; vs. #10 Texas A&M (9-3, 0-0 SEC-W) L 6-3

10. Central Florida (11-1, 0-0 AAC) This week (5): vs. #7 Florida State (9-2, 0-0 ACC-A) 3/7-8; vs. Central Michigan (3-7, 0-0 MAC-W) 3/10-12
(LW – 17) This week (4-1): at/vs. #2 Florida (10-2, 0-0 SEC-E) L 4-3, W 11-2; vs. Stony Brook (1-8, 0-0 America East) W 7-3, W 8-4, W 3-2

11. Oklahoma (13-1, 0-0 Big 12) This week (5): vs. Wichita State (7-3, 0-0 MVC) 3/7; vs. Buffalo (4-5, 0-0 MAC-E) 3/9-11
(LW – 19) Last week (5-0): vs. Arkansas-Little Rock (6-6, 0-0 Sun Belt) W 10-5; vs. Central Connecticut State (4-5, 0-0 Northeast) W 3-0, W 13-2, W 6-1, W 11-2

12. Clemson (8-3, 0-0 ACC-A) This week (4): vs. #17 Michigan State (9-1, 0-0 Big Ten) 3/8 **at Fluor Field – Greenville, SC**; vs. Notre Dame (3-8, 0-0 ACC-A) 3/10-12
(LW – 20) Last week (3-1): vs. Wofford (3-8, 0-0 Southern) W 9-2; vs./** at Fluor Field – Greenville, SC**/at #13 South Carolina (7-5, 0-0 SEC-E) L 2-0, W 8-7, W 5-3 (11)

13. Texas A&M (9-3, 0-0 SEC-W) This week (5): vs. UT Rio Grande Valley (10-2, 0-0 WAC) 3/7-8; vs. Brown (0-3, 0-0 Ivy-Rolfe) 3/10-12
(LW – 10) Last week (3-2): vs. Prairie View A&M (1-12, 0-0 SWAC-W) W 9-2; vs. Incarnate Word (8-5, 0-0 Southland) W 12-5; **Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at Houston, TX** vs. #18 Texas Tech (11-2, 0-0 Big 12) W 9-0; vs. #1 TCU (10-1, 0-0 Big 12) L 11-10 (15); vs. #16 Baylor (11-1, 0-0 Big 12) L 6-3

14. Texas Tech (11-2, 0-0 Big 12) This week (4): vs. #6 Arizona (10-1, 0-0 PAC-12) 3/7; vs. UTSA (6-5, 0-0 C-USA) 3/10-12
(LW – 18) Last week (3-1): vs. New Mexico (7-3, 3-0 MWC) W 7-2; **Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at Houston, TX** vs. #10 Texas A&M (9-3, 0-0 SEC-W) L 9-0; vs. #9 Mississippi (7-4, 0-0 SEC-W) W 5-1; vs. #5 LSU (9-3, 0-0 SEC-W) W 5-4

15. South Carolina (7-5, 0-0 SEC-E) This week (5): vs. The Citadel (3-7, 0-0 Southern) 3/7; vs. Winthrop (5-6, 0-0 Big South) 3/8; vs. #17 Michigan State (9-1, 0-0 Big Ten) 3/10-12
(LW – 13) Last week (2-2): vs. Appalachian State (5-6, 0-0 Sun Belt) W 8-4; at/vs.**Fluor Field – Greenville, SC**/vs. #20 Clemson (8-3, 0-0 ACC-A) W 2-0, L 8-7, L 5-3 (11)

16. East Carolina (8-3, 0-0 AAC) This week (5): at College of Charleston (7-4, 0-0 CAA) 3/7-8; vs. Charlotte (9-3, 0-0 C-USA) 3/10-12
(LW – NR) Last week (4-0): vs. Elon (6-6, 0-0 CAA) W 7-2; **LeClair Classic at Greenville, NC** vs. Western Carolina (4-6, 0-0 Southern) W 5-4; vs. #25 St. John’s (10-1, 0-0 Big East) W 7-4; vs. Appalachian State (5-6, 0-0 Sun Belt) W 4-0

17. Michigan State (9-1, 0-0 Big Ten) This week (4): vs. #12 Clemson (8-3, 0-0 ACC-A) 3/8 **at Fluor Field, Greenville, SC**; at #15 South Carolina (7-5, 0-0 SEC-E) 3/10-12
(LW – 21) Last week (3-0): **First Pitch Invitational at Greenville, SC** at Furman (8-3, 0-0 Southern) W 3-2; vs. Presbyterian (6-7, 0-0 Big South) W 10-2; vs. Tennessee-Martin (5-4, 0-0 OVC) W 6-1

18. Saint Louis (10-1, 0-0 Atlantic 10) This week (4): at SIU Edwardsville (8-4, 0-0 OVC) 3/8; vs. Northern Illinois (2-9, 0-0 MAC-W) 3/10-12
(LW – 22) Last week (4-0): at Oklahoma State (6-5, 0-0 Big 12) W 10-7; vs. Fairleigh Dickinson (0-9, 0-0 Northeast) W 5-2, W 8-0, W 7-5

19. Wright State (7-4, 0-0 Horizon) This week (5): at Kentucky (7-5, 0-0 SEC-E) 3/7; **Dayton/Wright State Tournament at Dayton, OH** vs. Western Illinois (0-10, 0-0 Summit) 3/10; vs. Ohio (7-5, 0-0 MAC-E) 3/11; vs. Dayton (3-6, 0-0 Atlantic 10) 3/12
(LW – 23) Last week (4-1): at Gardner-Webb (5-8, 0-0 Big South) L 9-8, W 8-6; **Upstate/Wofford Tournament at Spartanburg, SC** at USC Upstate (5-8, 0-0 Atlantic Sun) W 5-1; at Wofford (3-8, 0-0 Southern) W 3-0; vs. Pittsburgh (7-4, 0-0 ACC-C) W 3-1

20. South Florida (10-1, 0-0 AAC) This week (5): vs. Jacksonville (6-6, 0-0 Atlantic Sun) 3/7; vs. Villanova (1-9, 0-0 Big East) 3/8; vs. Valparaiso (4-5, 0-0 Horizon) 3/10-12
(LW – 24) Last week (3-0): vs. Toledo (1-10, 0-0 MAC-W) W 4-3 (13), W 12-3, W 6-3

21. Mississippi (7-4, 0-0 SEC-W) This week (5): vs. Georgia State (6-4, 0-0 Sun Belt) 3/7-8; vs. Furman (8-3, 0-0 Southern) 3/10-12
(LW – 9) Last week (0-4): vs. Memphis (7-3, 0-0 AAC) L 9-6; **Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at Houston, TX** vs. #16 Baylor (11-1, 0-0 Big 12) L 4-0; vs. #18 Texas Tech (11-2, 0-0 Big 12) L 5-1; vs. #1 TCU (10-1, 0-0 Big 12) L 5-3

22. St. John’s (10-1, 0-0 Big East) This week (4): at Iona (3-3, 0-0 Metro Atlantic) 3/7; at Liberty (7-4, 0-0 Big South) 3/10-12
(LW – 25) Last week (3-1): at #11 North Carolina (9-3, 0-0 ACC-C) W 5-4; **LeClair Classic at Greenville, NC** vs. Appalachian State (5-6, 0-0 Sun Belt) W 7-3; at East Carolina (8-3, 0-0 AAC) L 7-4; vs. Western Carolina (4-5, 0-0 Southern) W 9-1

23. Louisiana-Lafayette (6-4, 0-0 Sun Belt) This week (4): at Tulane (3-8, 0-0 AAC) 3/7; vs. St. Peter’s (0-0, 0-0 Metro Atlantic) 3/10-12
(LW – NR) Last week (3-1): at Northwestern State (4-6, 0-0 Southland) W 8-6; vs. #14 Southern Mississippi (8-3, 0-0 C-USA) W 3-1, W 5-4, L 15-11 (11)

24. North Carolina (9-3, 0-0 ACC-C) This week (4): vs. VCU (6-5, 0-0 Atlantic 10) 3/7; vs. #8 Virginia (11-1, 0-0 ACC-C) 3/10-12
(LW – 11) Last week (2-3): vs. Winthrop (5-6, 0-0 Big South) W 11-0; vs. #25 St. John’s (10-1, 0-0 Big East) L 5-4; vs. Long Beach State (6-5, 0-0 Big West) L 5-2, L 4-1, W 8-5

25. Southern Mississippi (8-3, 0-0 C-USA) This week (4): at New Orleans (9-3, 0-0 Southland) 3/7; vs. Xavier (5-6, 0-0 Big East) 3/10-12
(LW – 14) Last week (2-2): vs. Tulane (3-8, 0-0 AAC) W 2-1; at Louisiana-Lafayette (6-4, 0-0 Sun Belt) L 3-1, L 5-4, W 15-11 (11)

Dropped Out: #12 North Carolina State, #15 Vanderbilt

Also Receiving Consideration:

Arkansas (8-3, 0-0 SEC-W), Auburn (9-3, 0-0 SEC-W), Charlotte (9-3, 0-0 C-USA), Coastal Carolina (9-5, 0-0 Sun Belt), Dallas Baptist (8-3, 0-0 MVC), Florida Gulf Coast (10-2, 0-0 Atlantic Sun), Georgia Tech (9-2, 0-0 ACC-C), Houston (7-3, 0-0 AAC), James Madison (8-2, 0-0 CAA), Kansas State (9-2, 0-0 Big 12), Louisiana Tech (11-1, 0-0 C-USA), Michigan (9-3, 0-0 Big Ten), Missouri (10-1, 0-0 SEC-E), Missouri State (10-1, 0-0 MVC), North Carolina State (6-5, 0-0 ACC-A), Saint Mary’s (7-3, 0-0 WCC), Sam Houston State (8-4, 0-0 Southland), Stanford (9-3, 0-0 PAC-12), Tennessee (9-1, 0-0 SEC-E), Vanderbilt (7-5, 0-0 SEC-E)

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2017 Week 3 College Baseball Top-25

Top-ranked TCU leads six ranked teams into Minute Maid Park in Houston for this weekend's Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic

Top-ranked TCU leads six ranked teams into Minute Maid Park in Houston for this weekend’s Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic

TCU hangs on to the top spot in this week’s rankings, despite losing a 13-9 slugfest to then 18th-ranked Arizona State in the lid-lifter of the teams’ weekend opener at Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth, TX. During a 3-1 week which began with a 7-2 road win over UT Arlington at Clay Gould Ballpark, Luken Baker slugged a pair of home runs and drove in six for the Horned Frogs, who overcame eight errors against the Sun Devils to take the final two games of the series.

After a one-run loss to Jacksonville in their first mid-week contest of 2017, #2 Florida swept #17 Miami-Florida at McKethan Stadium, allowing, only, two runs in the series. While the Gators’ bats were stymied for most of the three-game set, Florida’s starting pitching carried the load, posting a 0.41 ERA in 22 innings, allowing 11 hits and striking out 26 Hurricanes batters. In the 1-0 win on Friday night, Gators’ skipper Kevin O’Sullivan notched his 400th career victory in Gainesville.

Oregon State notched a 4-1 week in Surprise, AZ to remain third in the rankings. The Beavers beat Indiana to wrap up the Sanderson Ford Classic on Monday and, then, took three of four at the Big Ten/PAC-12 Challenge over the weekend. The two-time College World Series champs swept a pair from Nebraska and split two games with Ohio State. Jake Thompson won twice for Oregon State, beating Indiana on Monday and Ohio State on Sunday. Thompson gave up five hits and two runs over 13.1 innings while striking out 15.

Fourth-ranked Louisville remained undefeated with a 4-0 campaign after blasting Eastern Kentucky and sweeping Omaha with ease. 1B/DH Brendan McKay hit .692 (9-for-13) with a homer and five RBI while pitching five innings for the win on Friday over the Mavericks. The Cardinals blanked Omaha over the final two games, allowing six hits and fanning 26.

LSU rounds out the top-five for the second consecutive week following a 4-1 record. The Tigers fell to in-state rival New Orleans 11-8 on Tuesday, but rebounded with an easy win over Hofstra and by crushing Maryland in a three-game sweep. RF Greg Deichmann hit .333 during the week with two home runs, eight RBI and four runs scored. Jared Poche’ was LSU’s pitching star of the week, allowing one hit over eight innings in the Tigers’ 14-0 win on Saturday.

2016 College World Series runner-up Arizona slugged their way to a 5-0 week, nipping Eastern Kentucky 9-8 in a mid-week tilt and battering McNeese State in a four game sweep over the weekend to move up three spots to sixth. CF Jared Oliva went 10-for-21 (.476) at the dish with a pair of homers and nine RBI to lead the Wildcats’ offense while Michael Flynn was a beast out of the bullpen in long relief, allowing four hits and fanning nine in 9.1 scoreless innings, including one hit over six innings to pick up the victory on Friday in a 8-3 win over the Cowboys.

Florida State holds steady in seventh after winning three of their Week 2 contests. The Seminoles fell to South Florida 4-2 on Tuesday, after the bullpen allowed four runs in the top of the ninth to blow a 2-0 lead. Mike Martin’s club rebounded by bludgeoning Samford in a three-game sweep, outscoring the Bulldogs 37-7. Tyler Holton twirled seven innings of two-hit ball and struck out 11 in Saturday’s 8-0 win and RF Rhett Applin posted a .455 mark at the plate (5-for-11) with a homer, five RBI and drawing four walks.

Virginia moves up five spots to 8th after remaining undefeated with a 4-0 campaign. In a 9-7 win over VMI on Tuesday, skipper Brian O’Connor picked up his 600th career victory after his Cavaliers rallied for four runs in the home half of the eighth inning to erase a 7-5 deficit. CF Adam Haseley hit .571 (8-for-14) with two homers and seven RBI for the week while allowing two runs and three hits over seven innings to earn the victory in the Wahoos’ 18-2 win over Rutgers on Sunday, capping a three-game sweep.

Mississippi stayed among the ranks of the undefeated after blasting Arkansas State and sweeping UNC Wilmington at Swayze Field. OF Will Golsan went 4-for-5 with three doubles, two RBI and four runs scored in the Rebels’ 16-4 win over the Red Wolves while David Parkinson, James McArthur and Brady Feigl, each, tossed solid starts to sweep the Seahawks over the weekend. The trio of starters allowed eight hits and three earned runs over 17 innings with 23 strikeouts to vault the Rebels six spots into ninth.

Moving up four spots to round out the top-ten is Texas A&M, who battled to a 3-1 week, which started with a 12-inning, 6-5 win over Stephen F. Austin at Blue Bell Park and finished with a series win over Pepperdine. After staking the Lumberjacks to a 5-0 lead after three innings, the Aggies crawled back to force extra frames and won in the 12th inning as Braden Schumake scored on a wild pitch by Josh Ponder. Despite an 0-for-4 day at the plate in the Aggies’ 2-1 loss on Saturday, Schumake was the Week 2 offensive star for Texas A&M, hitting .474 (9-for-19) with two doubles, a triple, one homer and four RBI. Brig Hill tossed 7.2 innings of shutout ball on Friday, striking out ten for the Aggies’ top individual pitching performance.

Elsewhere:

North Carolina moved to 7-0 and rises five places to 11th, North Carolina State took two of three from Austin Peay to remain 12th, South Carolina drops seven spots to 13th after struggling to a 3-2 week, Southern Mississippi rises six to 14th after a 3-1 week and Vanderbilt falls from 8th to 15th after losing two of three at home to Illinois-Chicago to end a 2-2 week.

Undefeated Baylor makes its 2017 debut at #16, Central Florida, also undefeated, moves from 23rd to 17th, Texas Tech and Oklahoma, both 8-1, debut at #18 and #19, respectively, and Clemson returns to the rankings at #20.

Michigan State rises two spots to 21st, Saint Louis moves up three places to 22nd, Wright State falls from 21st to 23rd, South Florida, at 7-1, debuts at #24 and undefeated St. John’s rounds out the top-25.

Dropping out of the rankings, this week, are #10 Cal State Fullerton, #11 Sam Houston State, #17 Miami-FL, #18 Arizona State, #19 Washington and #24 Louisiana-Lafayette.

A huge event in college baseball takes place at Minute Maid Park in Houston this weekend: the annual Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic will feature six teams, all ranked in this week’s top-25, from the Big 12 and SEC. Representing the Big 12 are #1 TCU, #16 Baylor and #18 Texas Tech while #5 LSU, #9 Mississippi and #10 Texas A&M will carry the SEC flag into what could be a preview of 75% of the 2017 College World Series.

1. TCU (6-1, 0-0 Big 12) This week (4): vs. Rice (3-5, 0-0 C-USA) 2/28; **Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at Houston, TX** vs. #5 LSU (7-1, 0-0 SEC-W) 3/3; vs. #10 Texas A&M (6-1, 0-0 SEC-W) 3/4; vs. #9 Mississippi (7-0, 0-0 SEC-W) 3/5
(LW – 1) Last week (3-1): vs. UT Arlington (2-6, 0-0 Sun Belt) W 7-2; vs. #18 Arizona State (4-2, 0-0 PAC-12) L 13-9, W 8-4, W 5-2

2. Florida (6-1, 0-0 SEC-E) This week (5): vs./at #17 Central Florida (7-0, 0-0 AAC) 2/28-3/1; vs. Columbia (0-0, 0-0 Ivy-Gehrig) 3/3-5
(LW – 2) Last week (3-1): vs. Jacksonville (5-2, 0-0 Atlantic Sun) L 3-2, PPD; vs. #17 Miami-FL (2-4, 0-0 ACC-C) W 1-0, W 2-0, W 6-2

3. Oregon State (7-1, 0-0 PAC-12) This week (3): vs. UC Davis (3-2, 0-0 Big West) 3/3-5
(LW – 3) Last week (4-1): **Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic at Surprise, AZ** vs. Indiana (3-3-1, 0-0 Big Ten) W 4-1; **Big Ten/PAC-12 Challenge – Surprise, AZ** vs. Nebraska (2-4, 0-0 Big Ten) W 10-1, W 5-2; vs. Ohio State (3-5, 0-0 Big Ten) L 6-1, W 5-1

4. Louisville (7-0, 0-0 ACC-A) This week (4): vs. Morehead State (5-3, 0-0 OVC) 3/1; vs. Eastern Michigan (2-5, 0-0 MAC-W) 3/3-5
(LW – 4) Last week (4-0): vs. Eastern Kentucky (2-7, 0-0 OVC) W 19-3; vs. Omaha (1-7, 0-0 Summit) W 7-2, W 10-0, W 6-0

5. LSU (7-1, 0-0 SEC-W) This week (4): vs. Nicholls State (4-3, 0-0 Southland) 2/28; **Shriners Hospital for Children College Classic at Houston, TX** vs. #1 TCU (6-1, 0-0 Big 12) 3/3; vs. #16 Baylor (8-0, 0-0 Big 12) 3/4; vs. #18 Texas Tech (8-1, 0-0 Big 12) 3/5
(LW – 5) Last week (4-1): vs. New Orleans (6-2, 0-0 Southland) L 11-8; vs. Hofstra (2-5, 0-0 CAA) W 8-1; vs. Maryland (1-5, 0-0 Big Ten) W 6-1, W 14-0, W 9-5

6. Arizona (8-0, 0-0 PAC-12) This week (3): **Frisco College Baseball Classic at Frisco, TX** vs. Arkansas (6-0, 0-0 SEC-W) 3/3; vs. Oklahoma State (4-3, 0-0 Big 12) 3/4; vs. Nebraska (2-4, 0-0 Big Ten) 3/5
(LW – 9) Last week (5-0): vs. Eastern Kentucky (3-5, 0-0 OVC) W 9-8; vs. McNeese State (4-4, 0-0 Southland) W 10-3, W 8-3, W 12-3, W 12-5

7. Florida State (5-2, 0-0 ACC-A)
This week (4): at Jacksonville (5-2, 0-0 Atlantic Sun) 2/28; vs. Oakland (1-7, 0-0 Horizon) 3/3-5
(LW – 7) Last week (3-1): vs. South Florida (7-1, 0-0 AAC) L 4-2; vs. Samford (2-4, 0-0 Southern) W 16-3, W 8-0, W 13-4

8. Virginia (7-0, 0-0 ACC-C) This week (5): vs. William & Mary (3-3, 0-0 CAA) 2/28; **Virginia Tournament at Charlottesville, VA** vs. Niagara (3-3, 0-0 Metro Atlantic) 3/3-4; vs. LaSalle (0-7, 0-0 Atlantic 10) 3/4-5
(LW – 13) Last week (4-0): vs. VMI (3-5, 0-0 Southern) W 9-7; vs. Rutgers (1-5, 0-0 Big Ten) W 7-3, W 12-4, W 18-2

9. Mississippi (7-0, 0-0 SEC-W) This week (4): vs. Memphis (4-2, 0-0 AAC) 2/28; **Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at Houston, TX** vs. #16 Baylor (8-0, 0-0 Big 12) 3/3; vs. #18 Texas Tech (8-1, 0-0 Big 12) 3/4; vs. #1 TCU (6-1, 0-0 Big 12) 3/5
(LW – 15) Last week (4-0): vs. Arkansas State (6-3, 0-0 Sun Belt) W 16-4; vs. UNC Wilmington (3-3, 0-0 CAA) W 7-2, W 8-4, W 8-6

10. Texas A&M (6-1, 0-0 SEC-W) This week (5): vs. Prairie View A&M (1-8, 0-0 SWAC-W) 2/28; vs. Incarnate Word (5-4, 0-0 Southland) 3/1; **Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at Houston, TX** vs. #18 Texas Tech (8-1, 0-0 Big 12) 3/3; vs. #1 TCU (6-1, 0-0 Big 12) 3/4; vs. #16 Baylor (8-0, 0-0 Big 12) 3/5
(LW – 14) Last week (3-1): vs. Stephen F. Austin (2-6, 0-0 Southland) W 6-5 (12); vs. Pepperdine (4-2, 0-0 WCC) W 3-0, L 2-1, W 10-6

11. North Carolina (7-0, 0-0 ACC-C) This week (5): vs. Winthrop (4-2, 0-0 Big South) 2/28; vs. #25 St. John’s (7-0, 0-0 Big East) 3/1; vs. Long Beach State (4-3, 0-0 Big West) 3/3-5
(LW – 16) Last week (4-0): vs. Gardner-Webb (2-6, 0-0 Big South) W 11-1; vs. Radford (1-6, 0-0 Big South) W 2-0, W 9-3, W 7-5

12. North Carolina State (4-2, 0-0 ACC-A) This week (5): at UNC Greensboro (2-5, 0-0 Southern) 2/28; vs. Charlotte (6-2, 0-0 C-USA) 3/1; **USA Baseball-Irish Classic at Raleigh, NC** vs. Rhode Island (3-4, 0-0 Atlantic 10) 3/3; vs. Maryland (1-5, 0-0 Big Ten) 3/4; vs. UMass Lowell (3-4, 0-0 America East) 3/5
(LW – 12) Last week (2-1): vs. Austin Peay (4-3, 0-0 OVC) W 9-3, W 6-3, L 7-3

13. South Carolina (5-3, 0-0 SEC-E) This week (4): vs. Appalachian State (4-3, 0-0 Sun Belt) 2/28; at/vs.**Fluor Field – Greenville, SC**/vs. #20 Clemson (5-2, 0-0 ACC-A) 3/3-5
(LW – 6) Last week (3-2): vs. Charlotte (6-2, 0-0 C-USA) W 5-4; vs. Kansas State (6-2, 0-0 Big 12) L 6-5; vs. #21 Wright State (3-3, 0-0 Horizon) W 4-3, W 10-5, L 5-1

14. Southern Mississippi (6-1, 0-0 C-USA) This week (4): vs. Tulane (1-6, 0-0 AAC) 3/1; at Louisiana-Lafayette (3-3, 0-0 Sun Belt) 3/3-5
(LW – 20) Last week (3-1): at Alabama (3-4, 0-0 SEC-W) L 12-5; vs. Evansville (1-6, 0-0 MVC) W 14-10, W 9-2, W 18-2

15. Vanderbilt (4-3, 0-0 SEC-E) This week (5): vs. Southeastern Louisiana (4-2, 0-0 Southland) 2/28-3/1; vs. Cal State Northridge (3-4, 0-0 Big West) 3/3-5
(LW – 8) Last week (2-2): vs. Evansville (1-6, 0-0 MVC) W 7-4; vs. Illinois-Chicago (4-3, 0-0 Horizon) L 5-3 (10), W 6-2, L 5-2 (11)

16. Baylor (8-0, 0-0 Big 12) This week (4): vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-6, 0-0 SWAC-W) 2/28; **Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at Houston, TX** vs. #9 Mississippi (7-0, 0-0 SEC-W) 3/3; vs. #5 LSU (7-1, 0-0 SEC-W) 3/4; vs. #10 Texas A&M (6-1, 0-0 SEC-W) 3/5
(LW – NR) Last week (5-0): vs. Nevada (2-6, 0-0 MWC) W 6-0; vs. Texas State (3-5, 0-0 Sun Belt) W 4-0; vs. South Alabama (4-3, 0-0 Sun Belt) W 3-2, W 10-9, W 9-7

17. UCF (7-0, 0-0 AAC) This week (5): at/vs. #2 Florida (6-1, 0-0 SEC-E) 2/28-3/1; vs. Stony Brook (1-5, 0-0 America East) 3/3-5
(LW – 23) This week (4-0) vs. North Florida (4-4, 0-0 Atlantic Sun) W 3-2; vs. Manhattan (0-3, 0-0 Metro Atlantic) W 13-3, W 10-1, W 7-2

18. Texas Tech (8-1, 0-0 Big 12) This week (4): vs. New Mexico (4-2, 0-0 MWC) 2/28; **Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at Houston, TX** vs. #10 Texas A&M (6-1, 0-0 SEC-W) 3/3; vs. #9 Mississippi (7-0, 0-0 SEC-W) 3/4; vs. #5 LSU (7-1, 0-0 SEC-W) 3/5
(LW – NR) Last week (5-0): vs. New Mexico State (6-3, 0-0 WAC) W 16-1; vs. California (2-5, 0-0 PAC-12) W 4-2, W 5-1, W 3-2 (11), W 11-2

19. Oklahoma (8-1, 0-0 Big 12) This week (5): vs. Arkansas-Little Rock (2-5, 0-0 Sun Belt) 2/28; vs. Central Connecticut State (4-1, 0-0 Northeast) 3/3-5
(LW – NR) Last week (5-0): vs. Grambling (3-5, 0-0 SWAC-W) W 11-2, W 10-2; **19 Ways Invitational at Norman, OK** vs. Villanova (0-7, 0-0 Big East) W 9-2, W 17-1; vs. Northern Illinois (2-5, 0-0 MAC-W) W 10-3; vs. Boston College (2-4, 0-0 ACC-A) W 5-4

20. Clemson (5-2, 0-0 ACC-A) This week (4): vs. Wofford (2-5, 0-0 Southern) 2/28; vs./vs.**Fluor Field – Greenville, SC**/at #13 South Carolina (5-3, 0-0 SEC-E) 3/3-5
(LW – NR) Last week (4-0): vs. Western Carolina (4-3, 0-0 Southern) W 11-5; vs. Elon (3-4, 0-0 CAA) W 1-0, W 13-5, W 3-0

21. Michigan State (6-1, 0-0 Big Ten) This week (3): **First Pitch Invitational at Greenville, SC** at Furman (5-2, 0-0 Southern) 3/3; vs. Presbyterian (4-4, 0-0 Big South) 3/4; vs. Tennessee-Martin (5-1, 0-0 OVC) 3/5
(LW – 22) Last week (2-1): at UNC Greensboro (2-5, 0-0 Southern) W 5-4, W 22-16, L 4-1

22. Saint Louis (6-1, 0-0 Atlantic 10) This week (4): at Oklahoma State (4-3, 0-0 Big 12) 3/1; vs. Fairleigh Dickinson (0-6, 0-0 Northeast) 3/3-5
(LW – 25) Last week (2-1): **Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament at Santa Clara, CA** vs. Michigan (5-2, 0-0 Big Ten) L 6-1; at Santa Clara (1-5, 0-0 WCC) W 5-3; vs. Creighton (1-5, 0-0 Big East) W 7-3

23. Wright State (3-3, 0-0 Horizon) This week (5): at Gardner-Webb (2-6, 0-0 Big South) 2/28-3/1; **Upstate/Wofford Tournament at Spartanburg, SC** at USC Upstate (3-4, 0-0 Atlantic Sun) 3/3; at Wofford (2-5, 0-0 Southern) 3/4; vs. Pittsburgh (6-1, 0-0 ACC-C) 3/5
(LW – 21) Last week (1-2): at #6 South Carolina (5-3, 0-0 SEC-E) L 4-3, L 10-5, W 5-1

24. South Florida (7-1, 0-0 AAC) This week (3): vs. Toledo (1-7, 0-0 MAC-W) 3/3-5
(LW – NR) Last week (5-0): at #7 Florida State (5-2, 0-0 ACC-A) W 4-2; vs. Miami-OH (0-7, 0-0 MAC-E) W 5-1, W 7-2, W 3-2, W 11-2

25. St. John’s (7-0, 0-0 Big East) This week (4): at #11 North Carolina (7-0, 0-0 ACC-C) 3/1; **LeClair Classic at Greenville, NC** vs. Appalachian State (4-3, 0-0 Sun Belt) 3/3; at East Carolina (4-3, 0-0 AAC) 3/4; vs. Western Carolina (4-3, 0-0 Southern) 3/5
(LW – NR) Last week (3-0): **Caravelle Resort Baseball at the Beach at Myrtle Beach, SC** at Coastal Carolina (4-4, 0-0 Sun Belt) W 7-4; **Lexington County vs. Cancer at Lexington, SC** vs. Kansas State (6-2, 0-0 Big 12) W 9-2; vs. UMBC (0-3, 0-0 America East) W 15-3, W 8-0

Dropped Out: #10 Cal State Fullerton, #11 Sam Houston State, #17 Miami-FL, #18 Arizona State, #19 Washington, #24 Louisiana-Lafayette

Also Receiving Consideration:

Arkansas (6-0, 0-0 SEC-W), Auburn (7-1, 0-0 SEC-W), Central Arkansas (5-2, 0-0 Southland), East Carolina (4-3, 0-0 AAC), Florida Atlantic (4-1-1, 0-0 C-USA), Georgia Tech (6-1, 0-0 ACC-C), Houston (5-2, 0-0 AAC), Jacksonville (5-2, 0-0 Atlantic Sun), James Madison (6-1, 0-0 CAA), Kansas State (6-2, 0-0 Big 12), Louisiana-Lafayette (3-3, 0-0 Sun Belt), Louisiana Tech (7-0, 0-0 C-USA), Mercer (7-0, 0-0 Southern), Miami-FL (2-4, 0-0 ACC-C), Michigan (5-2, 0-0 Big Ten), Mississippi State (6-3, 0-0 SEC-W), Missouri State (6-1, 0-0 MVC), New Mexico (4-2, 0-0 MWC), Oral Roberts (6-1, 0-0 Summit), Stanford (5-2, 0-0 PAC-12), Tennessee (6-1, 0-0 SEC-E), UAB (5-2, 0-0 C-USA), UCLA (4-2, 0-0 PAC-12), Virginia Tech (7-1, 0-0 ACC-C), Wichita State (6-0, 0-0 MVC)

Arkansas State (6-3, 0-0 Sun Belt), Ball State (4-3, 0-0 MAC-W), Butler (5-3, 0-0 Big East), CSU Bakersfield (6-2, 0-0 WAC), Cal State Fullerton (4-3, 0-0 Big West), Coastal Carolina (4-4, 0-0 Sun Belt), College of Charleston (4-3, 0-0 CAA), Connecticut (4-3, 0-0 AAC), Dallas Baptist (5-2, 0-0 MVC), Davidson (5-2, 0-0 Atlantic 10), East Tennessee State (6-2, 0-0 Southern), Florida Gulf Coast (6-2, 0-0 Atlantic Sun), Furman (5-2, 0-0 Southern), High Point (4-3, 0-0 Big South), Houston Baptist (5-3, 0-0 Southland), Indiana (3-3-1, 0-0 Big Ten), Iowa (4-3, 0-0 Big Ten), Jacksonville State (4-2, 0-0 OVC), Kennesaw State (4-3, 0-0 Atlantic Sun), Kent State (6-1, 0-0 MAC-E), Lamar (6-2, 0-0 Southland), Liberty (4-3, 0-0 Big South), Lipscomb (5-2, 0-0 Atlantic Sun), Long Beach State (4-3, 0-0 WCC), Memphis (4-2, 0-0 AAC), Minnesota (4-1, 0-0 Big Ten), Missouri (7-1, 0-0 SEC-E), Morehead State (5-3, 0-0 OVC), Murray State (5-2, 0-0 OVC), New Orleans (6-2, 0-0 Southland), North Dakota State (4-3, 0-0 Summit), Ohio (5-3, 0-0 MAC-E), Oklahoma State (4-3, 0-0 Big 12), Old Dominion (4-2, 0-0 C-USA), Oregon (4-2, 0-0 PAC-12), Pepperdine (4-2, 0-0 WCC), Pittsburgh (6-1, 0-0 ACC-C), St. Mary’s (4-2, 0-0 WCC), Sacramento State (6-1, 0-0 WAC), Sam Houston State (3-4, 0-0 Southland), San Diego (4-2, 0-0 WCC), San Francisco (5-3, 0-0 WCC), South Alabama (4-3, 0-0 Sun Belt), Southeastern Louisiana (4-2, 0-0 Southland), Southeastern Missouri State (5-2, 0-0 OVC), Southern California (5-2, 0-0 PAC-12), Southern Illinois (4-3, 0-0 MVC), Tennessee Tech (6-1, 0-0 OVC), Tennessee-Martin (5-1, 0-0 OVC), Texas (5-3, 0-0 Big 12), UC Riverside (4-2, 0-0 Big West), UC Santa Barbara (4-3, 0-0 Big West), UNC Wilmington (3-3, 0-0 CAA), UT Rio Grande Valley (8-0, 0-0 WAC), Utah (5-2, 0-0 PAC-12), Washington (4-3, 0-0 PAC-12), West Virginia (4-2, 0-0 Big 12), Western Carolina (4-3, 0-0 Southern), Winthrop (4-2, 0-0 Big South)

2017 College Baseball Pre-Season Top-25

Expectations are high for Jim Schlossnagle's squad as TCU is the consensus #1 team in the nation. (photo courtesy of Texas Christian University Athletics & gofrogs.com)

Expectations are high for Jim Schlossnagle’s squad as TCU is the consensus #1 college baseball team in the nation. (photo courtesy of Texas Christian University Athletics & gofrogs.com)

 

1. TCU (49-18, 15-9 Big 12) 2016 – College World Series
2017 Opening Week: (3) vs. Penn State (28-27, 12-12 Big Ten) 2/17-19

2. Florida (52-16, 19-10 SEC-E) 2016 – College World Series
2017 Opening Week: (3) vs. William & Mary (31-31, 14-9 CAA) 2/17-19

3. Oregon State (35-19, 16-14 PAC-12) 2016 – missed post-season
2017 Opening Week: (3) **Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic – Surprise, AZ** vs. Duke (33-24, 14-15 ACC-C) 2/17, 2/19; vs. Gonzaga (36-21, 18-9 WCC) 2/18

4. South Carolina (46-18, 20-9 SEC-E) 2016 – Columbia Super Regional
2017 Opening Week: (3) vs. UNC Greensboro (38-21, 15-9 Southern) 2/17-19

5. Florida State (41-22, 16-10 ACC-A) 2016 – Gainesville Super Regional
2017 Opening Week: (3) vs. VCU (38-19, 15-7 Atlantic 10) 2/17-19

6. Louisville (50-14, 22-8 ACC-A) 2016 – Louisville Super Regional
2017 Opening Week: (3) **Clearwater Tournament – Clearwater, FL** vs. Alabama State (38-17, 24-0 SWAC-E) 2/17; vs. Maryland (30-27, 13-11 Big Ten) 2/18; vs. Ball State (32-26, 15-9 MAC-W) 2/19

7. LSU (45-21, 19-11 SEC-W) 2016 – Baton Rouge Super Regional
2017 Opening Week: (3) **LSU Tournament – Baton Rouge, LA** vs. Air Force (30-27, 12-18 MWC) 2/17, 2/19; vs. Army (16-32, 6-13 Patriot) 2/18

8. Clemson (44-20, 16-14 ACC-A) 2016 – Clemson Regional
2017 Opening Week: (3) vs. Wright State (46-17, 23-6 Horizon) 2/17-19

9. Vanderbilt (43-19, 18-12 SEC-E) 2016 – Nashville Regional
2017 Opening Week: (3) at San Diego (27-29, 13-14 WCC) 2/17-19

10. Cal State Fullerton (36-23, 17-7 Big West) 2016 – Starkville Regional
2017 Opening Week: (3) vs. Stanford (31-23, 15-15 PAC-12) 2/17-19

11. Sam Houston State (42-22, 24-6 Southland) 2016 – Lafayette Regional
2017 Opening Week: (3) vs. Nevada (37-24, 20-10 MWC) 2/17-19

12. East Carolina (38-23-1, 15-8-1 AAC) 2016 – Lubbock Super Regional
2017 Opening Week: (3) at #22 Mississippi (43-19, 18-12 SEC-W) 2/17-19

13. Coastal Carolina (55-18, 21-3 Big South) 2016 – College World Series Champion
2017 Opening Week: (3) **Caravelle Resort Baseball at the Beach – Conway, SC** vs. Richmond (28-24, 11-13 Atlantic 10) 2/17; vs. Western Carolina (31-31, 15-9 Southern) 2/18; vs. James Madison (24-31, 13-11 CAA) 2/19

14. North Carolina State (38-22, 15-13 ACC-A) 2016 – Raleigh Regional
2017 Opening Week: (3) at Hawai’i (23-30, 12-12 Big West) 2/17-19

15. Arizona (49-24, 16-14 PAC-12) 2016 – College World Series Runner-up
2017 Opening Week: (3) vs. Eastern Kentucky (24-31, 13-17 OVC) 2/17-19

16. Louisiana-Lafayette (43-21, 21-9 Sun Belt) 2016 – Lafayette Regional
2017 Opening Week: (3) **Southeastern Louisiana Tournament – Hammond, LA** at Southeastern Louisiana (40-21, 22-8 Southland) 2/17; vs. Murray State (27-29, 15-15 OVC) 2/18; vs. Hofstra (15-37, 5-18 CAA) 2/19

17. Virginia (38-22, 19-11 ACC-C) 2016 – Charlottesville Regional
2017 Opening Week: (3) **The Citadel Tournament – Charleston, SC** vs. Liberty (31-28, 12-12 Big South) 2/17; at The Citadel (17-42, 6-18 Southern) 2/18; vs. Kansas (20-35-1, 6-17 Big 12) 2/19

18. Long Beach State (38-22, 16-9 Big West) 2016 – Coral Gables Regional
2017 Opening Week: (3) vs. Oklahoma (30-27-1, 11-13 Big 12) 2/17-19

19. Miami-FL (50-14, 21-7 ACC-C) 2016 – College World Series
2017 Opening Week: (3) vs. Rutgers (27-28, 9-15 Big Ten) 2/17-19

20. Texas A&M (49-16, 20-10 SEC-W) 2016 – College Station Super Regional
2017 Opening Week: (3) vs. Bowling Green (17-37, 7-17 MAC-E) 2/17-19

21. UC Santa Barbara (43-20-1, 13-11 Big West) 2016 – College World Series
2017 Opening Week: (3) vs. Loyola Marymount (26-27, 13-14 WCC) 2/17-19

22. Mississippi (43-19, 18-12 SEC-W) 2016 – Oxford Regional
2017 Opening Week (3) vs. #12 East Carolina (38-23-1, 15-8-1 AAC) 2/17-19

23. North Carolina (34-21, 13-17 ACC-C) 2016 – missed post-season
2017 Opening Week: (3) vs. Kentucky (32-25, 15-15 SEC-E) 2/17-19

24. Washington (33-23, 17-13 PAC-12) 2016 – Nashville Regional
2017 Opening Week: (3) at Santa Clara (23-29, 10-17 WCC) 2/17-19

25. Oklahoma State (43-22, 16-8 Big 12) 2016 – College World Series
2017 Opening Week: (3) at Grand Canyon (25-28-1, 13-14 WAC) 2/17-19

Also Receiving Consideration:

Arizona State (36-23, 16-14 PAC-12), Bryant (47-12, 26-4 NEC), California (32-21, 14-16 PAC-12), College of Charleston (31-26-1, 12-12 CAA), Creighton (38-17, 13-5 Big East), Dallas Baptist (44-19, 15-5 MVC), Florida Atlantic (39-19, 21-8 C-USA), Georgia Tech (38-25, 13-16 ACC-C), Gonzaga (36-21, 18-9 WCC), Houston (36-23, 11-12 AAC), Indiana (32-24, 15-9 Big Ten), Kent State (44-14, 20-4 MAC-E), Michigan (36-21, 13-10 Big Ten), Mississippi State (44-18-1, 21-9 SEC-W), Nebraska (37-22, 16-8 Big Ten), Ohio State (44-20-1, 15-9 Big Ten), Rice (38-24, 19-10 C-USA), Southeastern Louisiana (40-21, 22-8 Southland), Southern Mississippi (41-20, 20-10 C-USA), Stanford (31-23, 15-15 PAC-12), Texas (25-32, 10-14 Big 12), Texas Tech (47-20, 19-5 Big 12), Tulane (41-21, 15-7 AAC), UCLA (25-31, 12-18 PAC-12), UNC Wilmington (41-19, 16-6 CAA)

Top-50 Country Songs of 2016

While 2016 wasn’t a banner year for country music, I consider it “above average”. If there was a major knock on one of the top radio formats in the country, it was that newer artists’ music tended to be passed over for more established acts. This criticism is borne out in most airplay publications, where the vast majority of spins were given to well-known artists while up-and-comers fought for the leftover scraps (mostly on late night/overnight where nationally syndicated shows rule the roost).

1. Thomas Rhett – “Die A Happy Man”

2. Dierks Bentley – “Somewhere On A Beach”

3. Old Dominion – “Snapback”

4. Chris Young & Cassadee Pope – “Think Of You”

5. Jon Pardi – “Head Over Boots”

6. Chris Lane – “Fix”

7. Eric Church – “Record Year”

8. Tim McGraw – “Humble and Kind”

9. Kelsea Ballerini – “Peter Pan”

10. Thomas Rhett – “T-Shirt”

11. Dustin Lynch – “Mind Reader”

12. Jason Aldean – “Lights Come On”

13. Cole Swindell – “You Should Be Here”

14. Tucker Beathard – “Rock On”

15. Maren Morris – “My Church”

16. Florida Georgia Line – “Confession”

17. Justin Moore – “You Look Like I Need A Drink”

18. RaeLynn – “Love Triangle”

19. Chris Stapleton – “Parachute”


20. Rascal Flatts – “I Like The Sound Of That”


21. Jake Owen – “American Country Love Song”


22. Granger Smith – “Backroad Song”


23. Sam Hunt – “Make You Miss Me”


24. Carrie Underwood – “Church Bells”


25. Keith Urban – “Wasted Time”


26. Luke Bryan – “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day”


27. Randy Houser – “We Went”


28. Florida Georgia Line – “H.O.L.Y.”


29. LoCash – “I Love This Life”


30. Runaway June – “Lipstick”


31. Brett Young – “Sleep Without You”


32. Blake Shelton – “Came Here To Forget”


33. Lauren Alaina – “Road Less Traveled”


34. Trent Harmon – “There’s A Girl”


35. William Michael Morgan – “I Met A Girl”


36. Chase Bryant – “Little Bit Of You”


37. Dan + Shay – “From The Ground Up”


38. Billy Currington – “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To”


39. Stephanie Quayle – “Drinking With Dolly”


40. Cole Swindell – “Middle Of A Memory”


41. LoCash – “I Know Somebody”


42. Carrie Underwood – “Heartbeat”


43. Brothers Osborne – “Stay A Little Longer”


44. Brett Eldredge – “Drunk On Your Love”


45. Farewell Angelina – “Hillbilly 401K”


46. Old Dominion – “Song For Another Time”


47. Kelsea Ballerini – “Dibs”


48. Granger Smith – “If The Boot Fits”


49. Thomas Rhett – “Star Of The Show”


50. Dustin Sonnier – “Whiskey Makes Her Miss Me”

My Top-50 Rock Songs of 2016

Finally, 2016 has come to an end. While it was a horrible year for celebrity deaths and the political system in the U.S., rock music had a great year. While it will take some time to determine if any of this year’s releases will, eventually, become staples in the classic rock format (15-20 years down the line), these 50 selections will stand as my top choices for 2016.

 

1. Volbeat – “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown”


2. The Pretty Reckless – “Take Me Down”


3. Disturbed – “The Sound of Silence”


4. Shinedown – “State of My Head”


5. Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Dark Necessities”


6. Bring Me The Horizon – “Happy Song”


7. Chevelle – “Joyride (Omen)”


8. Red Sun Rising – “Emotionless”


9. Halestorm – “Mayhem”


10. Foo Fighters – “Saint Cecilia”


11. Muse – “Reapers”


12. 3 Doors Down – “In The Dark”


13. Five Finger Death Punch – “Wash It All Away”


14. Shinedown – “Asking For It”


15. Pop Evil – “Take It All”


16. Breaking Benjamin – “Angels Fall”


17. Five Finger Death Punch – “My Nemesis”


18. Adelitas Way – “Ready For War (Pray For Peace)”


19. Skillet – “Feel Invincible”


20. Blink-182 – “Bored To Death”


21. Pop Evil – “Footsteps”


22. Disturbed – “The Light”


23. Sixx:AM – “Rise”


24. Ghost – “From The Pinnacle To The Pit”


25. Breaking Benjamin – “Failure”


26. Pop Evil – “Ways To Get High”


27. Zac Brown Band (featuring Chris Cornell) – “Heavy Is The Head”


28. Korn – “Rotting In Vain”


29. Disturbed – “Open Your Eyes”


30. Papa Roach – “Falling Apart”


31. Five Finger Death Punch – “I Apologize”


32. Green Day – “Bang Bang”


33. A Day To Remember – “Paranoia”


34. Nothing More – “Here’s To The Heartache”


35. Metallica – “Hardwired”


36. Deftones – “Phantom Bride”


37. Thrice – “Black Honey”


38. Shinedown – “Cut The Cord”


39. HELLYEAH – “I Don’t Care Anymore”


40. Highly Suspect – “Lydia”


41. 3 Doors Down – “Still Alive”


42. Volbeat – “Seal The Deal”


43. Ghost – “Square Hammer”


44. Trivium – “Until The World Goes Cold”


45. Prophets of Rage – “Prophets of Rage”


46. From Ashes to New – “Through It All”


47. Bring Me The Horizon – “Throne”


48. Disturbed – “The Vengeful One”


49. Highly Suspect – “My Name Is Human”


50. Deftones – “Prayers/Triangles”

 

2016 FCS Week 10 Top-25 Rankings

Senior RB Jonah Hodges rushed for 175 yards and two touchdowns in San Diego's 27-3 win at Marist, launching the Toreros into this week's rankings. (photo courtesy of scottphoto.net and usdtoreros.com)

Senior RB Jonah Hodges rushed for 175 yards and two touchdowns in San Diego’s 27-3 win at Marist, launching the Toreros into this week’s rankings. (photo courtesy of scottphoto.net and usdtoreros.com)

Week 9 yielded few surprises as teams around the country position themselves for post-season consideration, whether it be for an automatic bid, a hosting gig or an at-large berth, culminating in the championship game on January 7 in Frisco, TX. Only one team dropped from the rankings this week while a west coast team makes its 2016 debut.

Week 9 Roundup

Eli Jenkins passed for two touchdowns and rushed for a third as top-ranked Jacksonville State remained unbeaten in the OVC with an easy 47-14 win over Eastern Illinois at Burgess-Snow Field in Jacksonville, AL.

Jeremiah Briscoe threw for 325 and five touchdowns in little more than a half of action and Davion Davis caught six passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns as #2 Sam Houston State continued their streak of not trailing for a second of the 2016 season with a 66-17 demolition of Texas Southern in non-conference action at Bowers Stadium in Huntsville, TX.

Cam Jackson rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns as #3 The Citadel stayed undefeated by piling up 427 rushing yards and breezed to a 45-10 victory over East Tennessee State at Johnson Hagood Stadium in Charleston, SC.

Jake Kolbe threw two touchdown passes and ran for a third and La’Darius Newbold added a 92-yard interception return for a late touchdown to seal the deal as Illinois State upset #4 South Dakota State 38-21 at Hancock Stadium in Normal, IL.

Chase Morlock and King Frazier, each, rushed for a touchdown and #5 North Dakota State’s defense intercepted four Eli Dunne passes en route to a 24-20 win over Northern Iowa at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, IA.

Shane Bucenell threw three touchdown passes and London Johnson passed for a score and rushed for two more to lead #6 Charleston Southern past Bucknell 49-28 in non-conference action at Buccaneer Field in Charleston, SC.

Gage Gubrud passed for 327 yards and four touchdowns and All-World receiver Cooper Kupp caught eight passes for 140 yards and three scores to lead #7 Eastern Washington past #24 Montana 35-16 on the red turf of Roos Field in Cheney, WA.

Richardre Bagley rushed for 126 yards and two touchdowns and Alejandro Bennifield threw two touchdown passes as #8 Chattanooga survived a 277-yard, 2-touchdown performance from Western Carolina running back Detrez Newsome in a 38-25 victory at Whitmire Stadium in Cullowhee, NC.

Jah-Maine Martin rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns while Kenneth Daniels added 100 yards on the ground and two scores to lead #10 Coastal Carolina to a 48-17 road win over Presbyterian at Bailey Memorial Stadium in Clinton, SC.

Bryan Schor threw for 306 yards and five touchdowns and #11 James Madison’s defense held visiting Rhode Island to 102 yards of offense, including quarterback Jordan Vazzano to 4-of-25 passing for 12 yards and five interceptions, as the Dukes dismantled the Rams 84-7 at Bridgeforth Stadium in Harrisonburg, VA.

Tarik Cohen rushed for 145 yards and three touchdowns as #13 North Carolina A&T ran past Florida A&M 42-17 at Aggie Stadium in Greensboro, NC and remained undefeated in the MEAC.

John Santiago returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and Brady Oliveira added a 17-yard touchdown run to lift #14 North Dakota past Weber State 27-19 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, ND to keep the Fighting Hawks unbeaten in the Big Sky.

Dano Graves threw three touchdown passes and five different Mustangs rushed for touchdowns as #15 Cal Poly rolled up 674 yards of offense, 527 on the ground, in a 59-47 shootout win over Sacramento State at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento, CA.

Trevor Knight tossed three touchdown passes and #22 New Hampshire’s defense intercepted four passes, including a 43-yard pick-six by Prince Smith, Jr. as the Wildcats moved into second place in the Colonial with a 43-14 win over #16 Stony Brook at Cowell Stadium in Durham, NH.

Darien Townsend’s 79-yard punt return for a touchdown with 9:19 to play provided #17 Youngstown State their first lead of the day and proved to be the game-winner in the Penguins’ 13-10 win over Indiana State at Stambaugh Stadium in Youngstown, OH.

Hayden Hildebrand passed for 207 yards and three touchdowns and Tyler Williams returned an interception 32 yards for another score as #18 Central Arkansas stayed undefeated in the Southland with a 45-10 win over Southeastern Louisiana at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond, LA.

Sean McGuire hit Joey Borsellino for a 2-yard touchdown pass on third-and-goal with 32 seconds remaining on the clock as #19 Western Illinois rallied from a 31-14 halftime deficit to beat South Dakota 35-34 at the DakotaDome in Vermillion, SD.

DeVante Kincade carved Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s defense for a career-high 457 passing yards and six touchdowns, part of Grambling State’s 743 yards of total offense, as the Tigers demolished the Golden Lions 70-0 in front of 18,543 fans at Robinson Stadium in Grambling, LA.

Nick Fitzgerald passed for 417 yards and five touchdowns and added 119 rushing yards and two scores on the ground as Mississippi State held off #21 Samford 56-41 at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, MS. In the loss, Devlin Hodges threw for 468 yards and four touchdowns while Karel Hamilton caught 14 passes for 213 yards and two scores.

Joseph Viviano III accounted for two touchdowns and 267 combined yards to keep #23 Harvard undefeated in the Ivy League with a 23-21 victory over Dartmouth at Memorial Field in Hanover, NH.

Nick Shafnisky threw for 238 yards and a score while rushing for 108 yards and three touchdowns and Dominick Bragalone added a career-high 192 rushing yards and three touchdowns to lead #25 Lehigh to a 58-37 victory over Fordham at Goodman Stadium in Bethlehem, PA.

Joining the top-25 this week is San Diego, who rode the legs of Jonah Hodges to the tune of 175 rushing yards and two touchdowns in a 27-3 road win over Marist at Tenney Stadium in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Week 10 Rankings

1. Jacksonville State (7-1, 4-0 OVC) This week: at Southeast Missouri State (3-5, 3-2 OVC) Sat 11/05 2:00PM ET
(LW – 1) defeated Eastern Illinois (5-4, 3-3 OVC) 47-14

2. Sam Houston State (8-0, 6-0 Southland) This week: vs. McNeese State (5-4, 4-3 Southland) Sat 11/05 7:00PM ET
(LW – 2) defeated Texas Southern (3-5, 3-3 SWAC-W) 66-17

3. The Citadel (8-0, 6-0 Southern) This week: vs. #21 Samford (6-2, 4-1 Southern) Sat 11/05 2:00PM ET
(LW – 3) defeated East Tennessee State (3-5, 1-5 Southern) 45-10

4. North Dakota State (7-1, 4-1 MVFC) This week: vs. #16 Youngstown State (6-2, 4-1 MVFC) Sat 11/05 3:30PM ET
(LW – 5) won at Northern Iowa (3-5, 2-3 MVFC) 24-20

5. Eastern Washington (7-1, 5-0 Big Sky) This week: at #15 Cal Poly (6-2, 4-1 Big Sky) Sat 11/05 9:05PM ET
(LW – 7) defeated #24 Montana (5-3, 2-3 Big Sky) 35-16

6. Charleston Southern (5-2, 2-0 Big South) This week: vs. Gardner-Webb (3-6, 1-2 Big South) Sat 11/05 12:00PM ET
(LW – 6) defeated Bucknell (3-5, 2-1 Patriot) 49-28

7. Chattanooga (8-1, 6-1 Southern) This week: IDLE
(LW – 8) won at Western Carolina (1-7, 0-6 Southern) 38-25

8. Richmond (7-1, 4-1 Colonial) This week: vs. #10 James Madison (7-1, 5-0 Colonial) Sat 11/05 3:30PM ET
(LW – 9) IDLE

9. Coastal Carolina (6-2, IND) This week: vs. Monmouth (4-5, 0-4 Big South) Sat 11/05 2:00 PM
(LW – 10) defeated Presbyterian (2-6, 1-2 Big South) 48-17

10. James Madison (7-1, 5-0 Colonial) This week: at #8 Richmond (7-1, 4-1 Colonial) Sat 11/05 3:30PM ET
(LW – 11) defeated Rhode Island (1-8, 0-6 Colonial) 84-7

11. Villanova (6-2, 4-1 Colonial) This week: at Maine (5-3, 4-1 Colonial) Sat 11/05 12:00PM ET
(LW – 12) IDLE

12. North Carolina A&T (7-1, 5-0 MEAC) This week: vs. South Carolina State (3-4, 3-1 MEAC) Sat 11/05 1:00PM ET
(LW – 13) defeated Florida A&M (3-6, 3-3 MEAC) 42-17

13. South Dakota State (5-3, 4-1 MVFC) This week: vs. Missouri State (4-4, 2-3 MVFC) Sat 11/05 3:00PM ET
(LW – 4) lost at Illinois State (4-5, 2-4 MVFC) 38-21

14. North Dakota (7-2, 6-0 Big Sky) This week: at Northern Colorado (5-3, 3-2 Big Sky) Sat 11/05 2:05PM ET
(LW – 14) defeated Weber State (5-3, 4-1 Big Sky) 27-19

15. Cal Poly (6-2, 4-1 Big Sky) This week: vs. #5 Eastern Washington (7-1, 5-0 Big Sky) Sat 11/05 9:05PM ET
(LW – 15) won at Sacramento State (1-8, 1-5 Big Sky) 59-47

16. Youngstown State (6-2, 4-1 MVFC) This week: at #4 North Dakota State (7-1, 4-1 MVFC) Sat 11/05 3:30PM ET
(LW – 17) defeated Indiana State (4-5, 2-4 MVFC) Sat 10/29 4:00PM ET

17. Central Arkansas (7-1, 6-0 Southland) This week: at Stephen F. Austin (4-4, 3-3 Southland) Sat 11/05 4:00PM ET
(LW – 18) won at Southeastern Louisiana (4-4, 4-2 Southland) 45-10

18. Western Illinois (6-2, 3-2 MVFC) This week: vs. Illinois State (4-5, 2-4 MVFC) Sat 11/05 2:00PM ET
(LW – 19) won at South Dakota (4-4, 3-2 MVFC) 35-34

19. Grambling State (6-1, 5-0 SWAC-W) This week: at Alabama A&M (3-5, 3-4 SWAC-E) Sat 11/05 3:00PM ET
(LW – 20) defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-7, 1-5 SWAC-W) 70-0

20. New Hampshire (6-3, 5-1 Colonial) This week: IDLE
(LW – 22) defeated #16 Stony Brook (5-3, 4-1 Colonial) 43-14

21. Samford (6-2, 4-1 Southern) This week: at #3 The Citadel (8-0, 6-0 Southern) Sat 11/05 2:00PM ET
(LW – 21) lost at Mississippi State (3-5, 1-3 SEC-W) 56-41

22. Harvard (6-1, 4-0 Ivy) This week: vs. Columbia (2-5, 1-3 Ivy) Sat 11/05 1:00PM ET
(LW – 23) won at Dartmouth (3-4, 0- Ivy) 23-21

23. Lehigh (7-2, 4-0 Patriot) This week: vs. Bucknell (3-5, 2-1 Patriot) Sat 11/05 12:30PM ET
(LW – 25) defeated Fordham (5-3, 2-1 Patriot) 58-37

24. San Diego (7-1, 6-0 Pioneer) This week: vs. Puebla (8-0, CONADEIP) Sat 11/05 9:00PM ET
(LW – NR) won at Marist (4-4, 4-1 Pioneer) 27-3

25. Stony Brook (5-3, 4-1 Colonial) This week: vs. William & Mary (3-5, 1-4 Colonial) Sat 11/05 2:00PM ET
(LW – 16) lost at #22 New Hampshire (6-3, 5-1 Colonial) 43-14

Dropped out: #24 Montana

Also Receiving Consideration:

Dayton (7-2, 5-1 Pioneer), Duquesne (5-3, 2-1 NEC), Maine (5-3, 4-1 Colonial), Montana (5-3, 2-3 Big Sky), North Carolina Central (6-2, 5-0 MEAC), Northern Arizona (4-4, 3-2 Big Sky), Pennsylvania (5-2, 4-0 Ivy), Prairie View A&M (5-3, 5-1 SWAC-W), Princeton (5-2, 3-1 Ivy), St. Francis (PA) (6-3, 4-0 NEC), South Dakota (4-4, 3-2 MVFC), Southern (5-2, 5-0 SWAC-W), Tennessee-Martin (5-4, 4-1 OVC), Weber State (5-3, 4-1 Big Sky), Wofford (5-3, 3-2 Southern)

2016 FCS Week 9 Top-25 Rankings

Jaylen Hill (#11) roars past Devin Borders (#88) with one of three pick-sixes on the day for top-ranked Jacksonville State in their 24-7 win at Eastern Kentucky. (photo courtesy of jsugamecocksports.com)

Jaylen Hill (#11) roars past Devin Borders (#88) with one of three pick-sixes on the day for top-ranked Jacksonville State in their 24-7 win at Eastern Kentucky. (photo courtesy of jsugamecocksports.com)

Week 8 of the FCS schedule showed little change in the rankings, as the top 11 teams scored victories. Two other matchups of top-25 teams, in the MVFC, went the way of the higher ranked squads and two teams fall out of this week’s rankings, replaced by one team returning and another making its 2016 debut.

Week 8 Wrap-Up

Joel McCandless, Jaylen Hill and Reggie Hall each returned an interception for a touchdown and Josh Clemons rushed for 149 yards as top-ranked Jacksonville State defeated Eastern Kentucky 24-7 in Richmond, KY.

Jeremiah Briscoe threw for 419 yards and three touchdowns, two to Deon Hutchinson, to lead #2 Sam Houston State past Nicholls State 38-21 in Southland action in Thibodaux, LA.

Kailik Williams returned an interception 13 yards for a pick-six with 5:57 left in regulation and Cody Clark’s 21-yard field goal in overtime held up following a forced fumble as #3 The Citadel stayed undefeated with a 24-21 win over Wofford in Spartanburg, SC.

Taryn Christion passed for 189 yards and two touchdowns and Brady Mengarelli rushed for 74 yards and a score to keep #4 South Dakota State undefeated in the MVFC with a 24-10 win over #14 Youngstown State in Brookings, SD.

King Frazier rushed for 89 yards and two touchdowns as five-time defending FCS champion #5 North Dakota State defeated #17 Western Illinois 21-13 in Macomb, IL.

#6 Charleston Southern’s defense held Presbyterian to 102 yards of total offense and Robert Mitchell rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns in the Buccaneers’ 38-3 blowout win over the Blue Hose in Charleston, SC.

Gage Gubrud shredded Montana State’s defense for 520 passing yards and four touchdowns as #7 Eastern Washington stayed undefeated in the Big Sky with a 41-17 victory on Bozeman, MT.

Richardre Bagley rushed for 189 yards and two touchdowns and Alejandro Bennifield added a rushing and passing score to lead #8 Chattanooga to a 30-13 over VMI at historic Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, TN.

Kyle Lauletta passed for 223 yards and two touchdowns and Deontez Thompson added a 116 yards rushing and score as #9 Richmond breezed past Elon 35-7 in Elon, NC.

Alex Searce notched a pick-six and added an end zone fumble recovery for a second score as #10 Coastal Carolina held off Central Connecticut State 33-25 in Conway, SC.

#11 Richmond was idle and will look to stay undefeated in the Colonial against hapless Rhode Island on Saturday.

Blake Kemp passed for four first half touchdowns and Corbin Jountti rushed for two scores in Northern Arizona’s 45-34 upset of #12 Montana in Flagstaff, AZ.

Aaron Forbes ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns as #13 Villanova waltzed past Albany 24-13 at Villanova Stadium in Philadelphia to remain within a half-game of the top spot in the Colonial.

Tarik Cohen rushed for 133 yards, passing the 5,000 rushing yards mark, and Lamar Reynard threw for 191 yards and three scores to keep #15 North Carolina A&T in the FCS post-season host discussion with a 34-7 win over Howard in Washington, DC.

Keaton Studsrud rushed for a score and threw two touchdown passes, including the game-winner to Josh Seibel with 14:09 to play, as #16 North Dakota avoided a road upset and stayed undefeated in the Big Sky with a 28-21 victory at Idaho State in Pocatello, ID.

Dano Graves rushed for two touchdowns and Kyle Lewis sealed the victory with a 91-yard run with less than three minutes to play as #18 Cal Poly defeated UC Davis 21-16 in San Luis Obispo, CA.

#19 Stony Brook’s defense forced five turnovers, including Jaheem Woods’ 55-yard fumble return for a score only 1:12 into the game, and Stacey Bedell rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns in the Seawolves’ 28-3 demolition of Delaware in Newark, DE.

Hayden Hildebrand passed a touchdown and Keshawn Ledet added a rushing score as #20 Central Arkansas held off Lamar 22-12 in Conway, AR and stayed undefeated in the Southland.

DeVante Kincade threw for 326 yards and four touchdowns and Martez Carter added 91 rushing yards and a score as #21 Grambling State pummeled winless Mississippi Valley State 59-10 in Itta Bena, MS.

Devlin Hodges completed 32 of 49 passes for 375 yards and two touchdowns, both to Karel Hamilton, who caught 16 passes for 208 yards to lead #22 Samford past Western Carolina 30-17 in Birmingham, AL.

Joseph Viviano III passed for 215 yards and two touchdowns and scored the winning touchdown in overtime from one yard out to inch Harvard past #23 Princeton 23-20 at Princeton Stadium.

Jesse Blackburn caught an 87-yard touchdown pass from KD Humphries and Mareio McGraw bolted for a 77-yard scoring run as Murray State rallied from a 9-point fourth quarter deficit to upset #24 Eastern Illinois 40-38 in Charleston, IL.

Prince Smith, Jr. returned an interception 16 yards for a touchdown and Ryan Sosnak returned a fumble 39 yards to paydirt to lift #25 New Hampshire to a 21-7 win over Towson at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson, MD.

While Harvard reenters the rankings, Lehigh makes its 2016 debut as Brad Mayes passed for 287 yards and three touchdowns and Dominick Bragalone rushed for 182 yards and two scores in the Mountain Hawks’ 46-14 drilling of Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.

Week 9 Rankings

1. Jacksonville State (6-1, 3-0 OVC) This week: vs. Eastern Illinois (5-3, 3-2 OVC) Sat 10/29 3:00PM ET
(LW – 1) won at Eastern Kentucky (2-5, 1-3 OVC) 24-7

2. Sam Houston State (7-0, 6-0 Southland) This week: vs. Texas Southern (3-4, 3-3 SWAC-W) Sat 10/29 7:00PM ET
(LW – 2) won at Nicholls State (3-4, 3-2 Southland) 38-21

3. The Citadel (7-0, 5-0 Southern) This week: vs. East Tennessee State (3-4, 1-4 Southern) Sat 10/29 2:00PM ET
(LW – 3) won at Wofford (4-3, 2-2 Southern) 24-21 (OT)

4. South Dakota State (5-2, 4-0 MVFC) This week: at Illinois State (3-5, 1-4 MVFC) Sat 10/29 3:00PM ET
(LW – 4) defeated #14 Youngstown State (5-2, 3-1 MVFC) 24-10

5. North Dakota State (6-1, 3-1 MVFC) This week: at Northern Iowa (3-4, 2-2 MVFC) Sat 10/29 7:00PM ET
(LW – 5) won at #17 Western Illinois (5-2, 2-2 MVFC) 21-13

6. Charleston Southern (4-2, 2-0 Big South) This week: vs. Bucknell (3-4, 2-1 Patriot) Sat 10/29 11:45AM ET
(LW – 6) defeated Presbyterian (2-5, 1-2 Big South) 38-3

7. Eastern Washington (6-1, 4-0 Big Sky) This week: vs. #24 Montana (5-2, 2-2 Big Sky) Sat 10/29 3:35PM ET
(LW – 7) won at Montana State (2-6, 0-5 Big Sky) 41-17

8. Chattanooga (7-1, 5-1 Southern) This week: at Western Carolina (1-6, 0-5 Southern) Sat 10/29 3:30PM ET
(LW – 8) defeated VMI (3-4, 1-3 Southern) 30-13

9. Richmond (7-1, 4-1 Colonial) This week: IDLE
(LW – 9) won at Elon (2-5, 1-3 Colonial) 35-7

10. Coastal Carolina (5-2, 0-0 IND) This week: vs. Presbyterian (2-5, 1-2 Big South) Sat 10/29 2:00PM ET
(LW – 10) defeated Central Connecticut State (1-6, 0-2 NEC) 33-25

11. James Madison (6-1, 4-0 Colonial) This week: vs. Rhode Island (1-7, 0-5 Colonial) Sat 10/29 3:30PM ET
(LW – 11) IDLE

12. Villanova (6-2, 4-1 Colonial) This week: IDLE
(LW – 13) defeated Albany (4-3, 1-3 Colonial) 24-13

13. North Carolina A&T (6-1, 4-0 MEAC) This week: vs. Florida A&M (3-5, 3-2 MEAC) Sat 10/29 1:00PM ET
(LW – 15) won at Howard (1-7, 1-4 MEAC) 34-7

14. North Dakota (6-2, 5-0 Big Sky) This week: vs. Weber State (5-2, 4-0 Big Sky) Sat 10/29 2:00PM ET
(LW – 16) won at Idaho State (2-5, 1-3 Big Sky) 28-21

15. Cal Poly (5-2, 3-1 Big Sky) This week: at Sacramento State (1-7, 1-4 Big Sky) Sat 10/29 9:00PM ET
(LW – 18) defeated UC Davis (2-6, 1-4 Big Sky) 21-16

16. Stony Brook (5-2, 4-0 Colonial) This week: at #22 New Hampshire (5-3, 4-1 Colonial) Sat 10/29 2:00PM ET
(LW – 19) won at Delaware (2-5, 0-4 Colonial) 28-3

17. Youngstown State (5-2, 3-1 MVFC) This week: vs. Indiana State (4-4, 2-3 MVFC) Sat 10/29 4:00PM ET
(LW – 14) lost at #4 South Dakota State (5-2, 4-0 MVFC) 24-10

18. Central Arkansas (6-1, 5-0 Southland) This week: at Southeastern Louisiana (4-3, 4-1 Southland) Sat 10/29 8:00PM ET
(LW – 20) defeated Lamar (3-4, 3-2 Southland) 22-12

19. Western Illinois (5-2, 2-2 MVFC) This week: at South Dakota (4-3, 3-1 MVFC) Sat 10/29 3:00PM ET
(LW – 17) lost to #5 North Dakota State (6-1, 3-1 MVFC) 21-13

20. Grambling State (5-1, 4-0 SWAC-W) This week: vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-6, 1-4 SWAC-W) Sat 10/29 3:00PM ET
(LW – 21) won at Mississippi Valley State (0-8, 0-6 SWAC-E) 59-10

21. Samford (6-1, 4-1 Southern) This week: at Mississippi State (2-5, 1-3 SEC-W) Sat 10/29 3:30PM ET
(LW – 22) defeated Western Carolina (1-6, 0-5 Southern) 30-17

22. New Hampshire (5-3, 4-1 Colonial) This week: vs. #16 Stony Brook (5-2, 4-0 Colonial) Sat 10/29 12:00PM ET
(LW – 25) won at Towson (1-6, 0-4 Colonial) 21-7

23. Harvard (5-1, 3-0 Ivy) This week: at Dartmouth (3-3, 0-3 Ivy) Sat 10/29 1:30PM ET
(LW – NR) won at #23 Princeton (4-2, 2-1 Ivy) 23-20 (OT)

24. Montana (5-2, 2-2 Big Sky) This week: at #7 Eastern Washington (6-1, 4-0 Big Sky) Sat 10/29 3:35PM ET
(LW – 12) lost at Northern Arizona (4-4, 3-2 Big Sky) 45-34

25. Lehigh (6-2, 3-0 Patriot) This week: vs. Fordham (6-2, 3-0 Patriot) Sat 10/29 12:30PM ET
(LW – NR) won at Holy Cross (3-5, 1-2 Patriot) 46-14

Dropped out: #23 Princeton, #24 Eastern Illinois

Also Receiving Consideration:

Dayton (6-2, 4-1 Pioneer), Eastern Illinois (5-3, 3-2 OVC), Fordham (5-2, 2-0 Patriot), North Carolina Central (6-2, 5-0 MEAC), Northern Arizona (4-4, 3-2 Big Sky), Northern Iowa (3-4, 2-2 MVFC), Pennsylvania (4-2, 3-0 Ivy), Princeton (4-2, 2-1 Ivy), Sacred Heart (6-1, 1-1 NEC), St. Francis (PA) (5-3, 3-0 NEC), San Diego (6-1, 5-0 Pioneer), South Dakota (4-3, 3-1 MVFC), Southern (4-2, 4-0 SWAC-W), Tennessee State (5-2, 2-1 OVC), Weber State (5-2, 4-0 Big Sky)