FCS champ North Dakota State is No. 1

Defending FCS national champion North Dakota State is back to No. 1 in The Sports Network FCS Top 25.

No doubt the Bison believed they had never left the top perch.

The national voting panel reacted to North Dakota State beating yet another FBS program on Saturday by moving the Bison past Sam Houston State in the new poll on Monday.

NDSU (2-0) collected 94 of the 161 first-place votes and 3,946 points. Sam Houston State (1-0), which had been atop the poll since the preseason, received 61 first-place votes and 3,897 points.

Sam Houston State had 22 more first-place votes after the first week of the season. This week's switch occurred as a result of the Bison's 22-7 win at Colorado State on Saturday. Sam Houston State opened its season with a 54-7 win over Division II Incarnate Word - a tuneup for Saturday's visit to Baylor.

"You're going to play as you practice. Our guys are about business," North Dakota State coach Craig Bohl said after his Missouri Valley Football Conference program earned its sixth win over an FBS opponent since 2006 - the most among FCS schools.

"I want to be real clear, this didn't happen by chance. It was a methodical plan that those guys put together all week long and came out and performed really well."

The Citadel coach Kevin Higgins probably was thinking the same about his team Saturday after it beat then-No. 3 Georgia Southern, 23-21, in a Southern Conference opener.

On Monday, The Citadel made one of the poll's other significant moves by entering the rankings at No. 21 - the Bulldogs' first appearance in the Top 25 since the Oct. 13, 2008 rankings.

After Georgia Southern dropped eight spots, Montana State (2-0) moved up one spot to No. 3. The Bobcats struggled past Drake, 34-24, in coach Rob Ash's return game against the Bulldogs program he guided from 1989-2006.

Also moving up one spot each were No. 4 James Madison (2-0), which plays Virginia Tech this weekend; No. 5 Youngstown State (2-0); No. 6 Old Dominion (2-0); and No. 7 Northern Iowa (1-1).

Appalachian State (1-1) moved up three spots to No. 8 after its 35-27 victory over fellow FCS power Montana. It was the Mountaineers' first win over Montana in a series that includes two wins by the Grizzlies in the playoffs.

No. 9 Wofford (2-0) and No. 10 Eastern Washington (1-1) rounded out the Top 10.

They were followed by No. 11 Georgia Southern (1-1), No. 12 Towson (0-1), No. 13 Delaware (2-0), No. 14 Montana (1-1), No. 15 Illinois State (2-0), No. 16 Lehigh (2-0), No. 17 Stony Brook (2-0), No. 18 New Hampshire (1-1), No. 19 McNeese State (2-0) and No. 20 Eastern Kentucky (1-1).

After No. 21 The Citadel (2-0), the Top 25 wrapped up with No. 22 Indiana State (1-1), No. 23 Stephen F. Austin (1-1), No. 24 Jacksonville State (1-1) and No. 25 Maine (0-1).

The only team to fall from the Top 25 was Central Arkansas. The Bears, No. 25 a week ago, received the most votes among teams outside the rankings.

A national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries select the 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.

During the regular season, the Top 25 will be released every Monday afternoon, except for the final weekend of the regular season, when it will be released Sunday morning, Nov. 18, prior to the selection of the FCS playoff field.

The Sports Network will release a final Top 25 following the FCS championship game, which will be held Jan. 5 in Frisco, Texas.