CARBONDALE — South Dakota, which was picked seventh in the Missouri Valley Football Conference's preseason poll, continued to defy the odds Saturday against third-ranked Youngstown State.
The sixth-ranked Coyotes held off the Penguins 31-28 in front of a sold-out crowd in Vermillion, and hopped Southern Conference leader Wofford to reach No. 4 in both of the major top 25 polls released Monday. South Dakota (5-0, 2-0 MVFC) achieved its highest ranking as an FCS program and remained tied with second-ranked North Dakota State (5-0, 2-0) atop the league standings.
Wofford (5-0, 2-0 Southern Conference) beat No. 22 Western Carolina 35-28 in overtime at home and remained fifth in the coaches poll and the STATS top 25.
Youngstown State (3-2, 1-1) fell five spots to No. 8 in both polls, just behind No. 7 South Dakota State (4-1, 1-1), which defeated SIU 49-14 Saturday. The Jackrabbits moved up two spots in the coaches poll and one spot in the STATS list, which is done by a national panel of media, sports information directors and other dignitaries.
James Madison (5-0), the leader of the Colonial Athletic Association, remained atop both polls after its bye week and will get a visit from ESPN's "College GameDay" this weekend. The Dukes, who have won 17 straight games, got 4,192 points and 160 of the 168 first-place votes to finish ahead of the Bison in the STATS poll. North Dakota State got the other eight first-place votes.
Jacksonville (Alabama) State was third, followed by South Dakota, Wofford, Central Arkansas (4-1), South Dakota State and Youngstown State, Sam Houston State and Eastern Washington.
Western Illinois (4-1, 1-1), which beat Northern Iowa on the road, moved up one spot to No. 15 in the STATS poll and No. 17 in the coaches list. Illinois State (4-1, 2-0), which lost its first game of the season at Northern Arizona Saturday, fell six spots in the STATS poll to No. 17 and eight spots to 15th in the coaches list.
SIU (2-3, 0-2) hosts the Redbirds Saturday at 2 p.m. at Saluki Stadium for Homecoming.
Northern Iowa (2-3, 1-1) received votes in both polls. The Panthers were 27th in the coaches poll and 38th in the STATS poll.
Three new teams entered the two major top 25 polls. McNeese (5-1) came in at No. 22 in the STATS poll, followed by Montana (4-2) at No. 24 and North Carolina Central (4-1) at No. 25. The Citadel (3-2) was 23rd.
Northern Arizona (3-2) entered the coaches poll at No. 24 in the coaches poll, followed by Western Carolina (4-2) at No. 25.