FARGO — North Dakota State is ranked No. 2 in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee top 10 rankings, which were released Thursday, April 1, on ESPNU.
The rankings were unveiled during the Kentucky-Mississippi State baseball game and are going to be the only committee rankings for the spring season before the 16-team FCS playoff field is announced later this month.
James Madison, which NDSU defeated to win the 2019 FCS national title, was the top-ranked team. The Dukes (4-0) have had four of their games postponed this spring due to COVID-19. They earned a 38-10 home victory against William & Mary on March 27.
NDSU (5-1) has had two consecutive games affected this spring season due to COVID-19 test protocols. The Bison had their March 27 game at South Dakota canceled and their April 3 home game against South Dakota State moved to April 17. The Bison last played on March 20, earning a 34-13 victory against the University of North Dakota.
SDSU (4-1) was third in the rankings, while Sam Houston State (4th) and UND (5th) rounded out the top five. Weber State, Delaware, VMI, UC Davis and Murray State were also in the top 10.
The Bison have won three consecutive games and are next scheduled to play at Northern Iowa on April 10, before their rescheduled game against SDSU.
The FCS selection show is scheduled for April 18 when the 16-team field is set to be announced. The bracket is slated to include 11 automatic bids for conference champions and five at-large berths. The first round of the playoffs are slated for the weekend of April 24. The FCS championship game is scheduled for May 16 in Frisco, Texas. The title game is set to be televised at 1 p.m. on ABC.
The Bison are tied with SDSU, UND and Missouri State for first place in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. All four teams have 4-1 league records.
SDSU has won three consecutive games, but has had two consecutive games affected this spring. The Jackrabbits had their March 27 game against Illinois State canceled after the Redbirds opted out of the remainder of the spring season. They also had their April 3 game against NDSU rescheduled due to positive COVID-19 tests in the Bison program.
UND hasn't played since its road loss against the Bison. Since then, the Fighting Hawks have two games called off and one rescheduled. They are scheduled to next play April 17 at Youngstown State. One of the games UND lost was against Illinois State.