FARGO -- A loss against a rival dropped North Dakota State two spots in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee playoff rankings, which were released Thursday night on ESPNU.

NDSU was ranked fourth, behind No. 1 James Madison (9-0), No. 2 Jacksonville State (8-1) and No. 3 Central Arkansas (8-1). The Bison were ranked No. 2 last week in the first FCS playoff rankings. Jacksonville State and Central Arkansas moved ahead of NDSU.

No. 5 Sam Houston State (8-1), No. 6 Elon (8-1), No. 7 South Dakota State (7-2), No. 8 Wofford (8-1), No. 9 South Dakota (7-2) and No. 10 North Carolina A&T (9-0) rounded out the rankings.

The Bison lost their first game this season last Saturday, losing 33-21 against rival SDSU in Brookings.

NDSU (5-1 MVFC) can clinch at least a share of the Missouri Valley Football Conference championship with a victory Saturday against South Dakota. The Bison host the Coyotes (4-2 MVFC) at 2:30 p.m. at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.

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This was the second of two FCS playoff rankings before the final 24-team field is selected on Sunday, Nov. 19. The Bison have two regular-season games remaining.


Click here for last week's rankings.