N.C. A&T soars to No. 5 in STATS FCS Top 25 | KFAN +

posted by Aj Mansour - 

Photo: Getty Images

(STATS) - It's easy to see why North Carolina A&T first-year coach Sam Washington would like for his team to compete in the FCS playoffs and not just in the annual Celebration Bowl. 

The defending MEAC champ is off to a start like any other FCS team, already beating Top 10 and FBS opponents to extend the nation's longest winning streak to 14. The Aggies (2-0), ranked 14th in the preseason, jumped up to No. 5 in the STATS FCS Top 25 on Monday, even receiving two first-place votes. 

"We have a bunch of guys who have a will to win," Washington said after N.C. A&T defeated East Carolina 28-23 on Sunday. The Aggies have beaten an FBS program in three straight seasons. 

"You can see that will to win every time these guys step on the field. When you have a bunch of guys who are willing to fight until the final whistle, you can't help but be successful." 

N.C. A&T got a jump on the season in Week 0, beating then-No. 6 Jacksonville State 20-17. 

The MEAC champion competes in the Celebration Bowl instead of the playoffs. Washington called the playoffs "the ultimate goal of this football team" this past offseason. For now, N.C. A&T's highest national ranking since 1993 can be satisfying. 

North Dakota State, the 2017 FCS champion, remained No. 1 in the national media poll following a 49-3, season-opening win over Cal Poly. The first four spots were unchanged with James Madison second followed by South Dakota State and Sam Houston State. 

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

The STATS FCS Top 25 for Sept. 3: 

1. North Dakota State (1-0), 3,997 points - 157 first-place votes Previous Ranking: 1; Last Week's Result: 49-3 win over Cal Poly 

2. James Madison (0-1), 3,700 - 1 first-place vote Previous Ranking: 2; Last Week's Result: 24-13 loss to North Carolina State 

3. South Dakota State (0-0), 3,619 Previous Ranking: 3; Last Week's Result: at Iowa State, canceled, severe weather 

4. Sam Houston State (0-0), 3,410 Previous Ranking: 4; Last Week's Result: Bye 

5. North Carolina A&T (2-0), 3,103 - 2 first-place votes Previous Ranking: 14; Last Week's Result: 28-23 win over East Carolina 

6. Eastern Washington (1-0), 2,930 Previous Ranking: 9; Last Week's Result: 58-13 win over Central Washington 

7. Kennesaw State (0-1), 2,807 Previous Ranking: 5; Last Week's Result: 24-20 loss to Georgia State 

8. Wofford (1-0), 2,637 Previous Ranking: 10; Last Week's Result: 28-21 win over The Citadel 

9. Samford (1-0), 2,398 Previous Ranking: 11; Last Week's Result: 66-9 win over Shorter 

10. Weber State (0-1), 2,388, Previous Ranking: 8; Last Week's Result: 41-10 loss to Utah 

11. Nicholls (0-1), 2,297 Previous Ranking: 18; Last Week's Result: 26-23 win over Kansas 

12. Villanova (1-0), 2,169 Previous Ranking: 19; Last Week's Result: 19-17 win over Temple 

13. Jacksonville State (0-1), 2,116 Previous Ranking: 6; Last Week's Result: Bye 

14. Montana (1-0), 1,716 Previous Ranking: 24; Last Week's Result: 26-23 win over Northern Iowa 

15. Elon (0-1), 1,586 Previous Ranking: 12; Last Week's Result: 34-14 loss to South Florida 

16. McNeese (1-0), 1,493 Previous Ranking: 17; Last Week's Result: 17-14 win over Northern Colorado 

17. Central Arkansas (0-1), 1,253 Previous Ranking: 16; Last Week's Result: 38-27 loss to Tulsa 

18. Northern Arizona (1-0), 1,142 Previous Ranking: NR; Last Week's Result: 30-10 win over UTEP 

19. Illinois State (1-0), 974 Previous Ranking: 21; Last Week's Result: 46-0 win over St. Xavier 

20. New Hampshire (0-1), 964 Previous Ranking: 7; Last Week's Result: 35-7 loss to Maine 

21. Northern Iowa (0-1), 921 Previous Ranking: 13; Last Week's Result: 26-23 loss to Montana 

22. Maine (1-0), 568 Previous Ranking: NR; Last Week's Result: 35-7 win over New Hampshire 

23. South Dakota (0-1), 538 Previous Ranking: NR; Last Week's Result: 27-24 loss to Kansas State 

24. Stony Brook (0-1), 433 Previous Ranking: 20; Last Week's Result: 38-0 loss to Air Force 

25. Furman (0-1), 432 Previous Ranking: 23; Last Week's Result: 48-7 loss to Clemson Others 

Receiving Votes: UC Davis 417, Delaware 361, Austin Peay 343, Rhode Island 178, Montana State 169, Yale 141, Sacramento State 136, San Diego 117, Grambling State 94, Southern Utah 67, Colgate 50, Richmond 44, Butler 42, Western Illinois 42, North Alabama 33, North Dakota 28, Tennessee State 22, Lehigh 21, Youngstown State 21, Prairie View A&M 16, Western Carolina 16, Southeastern Louisiana 10, Chattanooga 9, Monmouth 8, Southern Illinois 5, Howard 5, Idaho 4, Alabama State 3, Central Connecticut State 3, Fordham 2, Duquesne 1, Harvard 1 

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