(Stats Perform) -- If the elbow room in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 seems tight, consider the Missouri Valley Football Conference, which added a seventh team in the national media rankings on Monday, Oct. 11.

South Dakota entered the rankings at No. 21, joining the biggest conference haul since the MVFC twice had seven during the spring season. The group also included North Dakota State (3), Southern Illinois (4), South Dakota State (7), Northern Iowa (16), Missouri State (20) and North Dakota (22). Southern Illinois (5-1, 3-0) is first in the MVFC standings after posting a 42-41, overtime win at then-No. 2 SDSU.

Defending national champion Sam Houston (5-0) strengthened its hold on the No. 1 ranking after posting an FCS-high 16th straight win, and Eastern Washington (6-0) moved up to No. 2 -- its highest ranking since the final 2018 season poll. Montana (4-1) moved up one spot to fifth, while Villanova (4-1) moved up five spots to sixth after a 28-27 win at then-No. 3 James Madison.

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Nine different conferences are represented in the rankings, including the Big Sky and CAA with five teams each.

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 (Oct. 11)

1. Sam Houston (5-0, 3-0 AQ7), 1,229 points (39 first-place votes)

Previous Ranking: 1; Week 6 Result: 41-7 win over Lamar

2. Eastern Washington (6-0, 3-0 Big Sky), 1,186 (9)

Previous Ranking: 4; Week 6 Result: 63-17 win at Northern Colorado

3. North Dakota State (5-0, 2-0 Missouri Valley), 1,174 (2)

Previous Ranking: 5; Week 6 Result: 34-20 win over then-No. 16 Northern Iowa

4. Southern Illinois (5-1, 3-0 Missouri Valley), 1,081

Previous Ranking: 8; Week 6 Result: 42-41 OT win at then-No. 2 South Dakota State

5. Montana (4-1, 2-1 Big Sky), 996

Previous Ranking: 6; Week 6 Result: 31-14 win over Dixie State

6. Villanova (4-1, 2-0 CAA), 977

Previous Ranking: 11; Week 6 Result: 28-27 win at then-No. 3 James Madison

7. South Dakota State (4-1, 1-1 Missouri Valley), 972

Previous Ranking: 2; Week 6 Result: 42-41 OT loss to then-No. 8 Southern Illinois

8. James Madison (4-1, 2-1 CAA), 906

Previous Ranking: 3; Week 6 Result: 28-27 loss to then-No. 11 Villanova

9. Montana State (5-1, 3-0 Big Sky), 881

Previous Ranking: 10; Week 6 Result: 45-7 win over Cal Poly

10. ETSU (6-0, 3-0 Southern), 796

Previous Ranking: 12; Week 6 Result: 48-21 win over The Citadel

11. Southeastern Louisiana (4-1, 2-0 Southland), 741

Previous Ranking: 14; Week 6 Result: 58-48 win at then-No. 25 Nicholls

12. Rhode Island (5-0, 3-0 CAA), 694

Previous Ranking: 18; Week 6 Result: 22-15 win over then-No. 9 Delaware

13. UC Davis (5-1, 2-1 Big Sky), 564

Previous Ranking: 7; Week 6 Result: 27-17 loss at Idaho State

14. Delaware (3-2, 2-1 CAA), 559

Previous Ranking: 9; Week 6 Result: 22-15 loss at then-No. 18 Rhode Island

15. Kennesaw State (4-1, 1-0 Big South), 543

Previous Ranking: 17; Week 6 Result: 34-15 win at Hampton

16. Northern Iowa (3-2, 1-1 Missouri Valley), 410

Previous Ranking: 16; Week 6 Result: 34-20 loss at then-No. 5 North Dakota State

17. UT Martin (4-1, 1-0 Ohio Valley), 409

Previous Ranking: 21; Week 6 Result: 48-24 win over Murray State

18. UIW (4-1, 2-0 Southland), 344

Previous Ranking: 20; Week 6 Result: Open week

19. Weber State (2-3, 1-1 Big Sky), 330

Previous Ranking: 19; Week 6 Result: Open week

20. Missouri State (3-2, 2-1 Missouri Valley), 285

Previous Ranking: 15; Week 6 Result: 41-33 loss at Youngstown State

21. South Dakota (4-2, 2-1 Missouri Valley), 229

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked; Week 6 Result: 20-13 win over then-No. 13 North Dakota

22. North Dakota (2-3, 0-2 Missouri Valley), 216

Previous Ranking: 13; Week 6 Result: 20-13 loss at South Dakota

23. New Hampshire (3-2, 2-1 CAA), 124

Previous Ranking: 22; Week 6 Result: Open week

24. Jacksonville State (3-3, 1-0 AQ7), 122

Previous Ranking: 24; Week 6 Result: 28-24 win over then-No. 23 Stephen F. Austin

25. Princeton (4-0, 1-0 Ivy), 88

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked; Week 6 Result: 31-28 win at Monmouth

Dropped Out: Stephen F. Austin (23), Nicholls (25)

Others Receiving Votes (schools listed on two or more ballots): Mercer 78, Jackson State 63, VMI 60, Duquesne 48, Harvard 36, William & Mary 28, Central Arkansas 21, Youngstown State 20, Stephen F. Austin 11, Nicholls 10, Eastern Kentucky 9, Prairie View A&M 8

Stats Perform FCS Top 25 Voters - Stats Perform: Craig Haley, Gary Reasons. ASUN: Patrick McCoy, Mike Parris. Big Sky Conference: Doug Kelly, Tyson Rodgers, Larry Weir. Big South Conference: Brian Cleary, Matt Harmon, Mark Simpson. CAA Football: Scott Klatzkin, Greg Madia, 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: Tad Maury, Ralph Ventre. Ohio Valley Conference: Neal Bradley, Kyle Schwartz. Patriot League: Eric Malanowski, Ryan Sakamoto. Pioneer Football League: Cody Bush, Jack Cronin. Southern Conference: David Fox, Jeff Hartsell, Phil Perry. Southland Conference: Zack Carlton, Josh Yonis. Southwestern Athletic Conference: Ronnie Johnson, Travis Jarome, Andrew Roberts. Western Athletic Conference: Josh Criswell, Chris Thompson. National Representatives: Josh Buchanan, Riley Corcoran, Sam Herder, Emory Hunt, Brett Huston, Kyle Kensing, Brandon Lawrence, Jon Passman, Lawrence Smith, Phil Sokol, Reggie Thomas, Jamie Williams.