Who knew Hornets were dangerous to trees? In a bit of a serendipitous moment, the student bested the teacher as former Sacramento State and current Stanford coach Troy Taylor was defeated by his former program, 30-23.
Hornets coach Andy Thompson got his team to go into Palo Alto and show the same grit, resolve and fight that they showed under Taylor during his tenure, getting the upset thanks in part to the outstanding play of quarterback Kaiden Bennett.
Big Sky programs have flexed their muscles against Football Bowl Subdivision counterparts during the early parts of the season. Two weeks ago, it was Idaho that beat Nevada; the Vandals also held a 17-0 halftime lead against Cal this past weekend.
And what a way to set up what should be a clash of titans: Sacramento State travels to the Kibbie Dome to take on Idaho this weekend. The Pac-12 has reportedly looked towards the Mountain West for sustainability. Maybe it should look toward the Big Sky instead.
Meanwhile, the Campbell Camels enter the top 25 after their impressive win over the Monmouth Hawks. More needs to be said about the job former NFL and Nebraska legend Mike Minter has done with his boys from Buies Creek, North Carolina. This team looks like an FBS squad with the way it's built. This Camels team has the look of a significant player in the Coastal Athletic Association this season.
|1. South Dakota State||3-0||The Jackrabbits were tested two weeks ago vs. Montana State and will get another big test this weekend against North Dakota.|
|2. Sacramento State||3-0||Kudos to the Hornets for getting the upset over Stanford in a game in which they -- not the Cardinal -- looked like a Pac-12 team.|
|3. North Dakota State||3-0||I thought the Bison answered the call rather well vs. an excellent Central Arkansas squad. They looked in control throughout.|
|4. William & Mary||3-0||Credit Charleston Southern for how it played against the Tribe, but also give credit to William & Mary for finding a way to win in a 15-7 rock fight.|
|5. Montana State||2-1||Run game and defense travels well in football. We'll see if that'll be the case for the Bobcats as they hit the road this week against Weber State.|
|6. Holy Cross||2-1||The Crusaders quickly forgot about the Boston College game and showed up in a great way vs. a tough Yale squad, getting the win 49-24.|
|7. Idaho||2-1||The Vandals were up 17-0 on Cal only to see it slip away in the second half. This is still a team that's a serious title contender.|
|8. Incarnate Word||2-1||It'll be interesting to watch how the Cardinals operate over the next couple of weeks. They have North American (NAIA) this weekend, and then an open week before taking on Southeastern Louisiana.|
|9. Montana||2-1||From an offensive perspective, it's a bit concerning that the Grizzlies had to come from behind against the reigning Division II national champions, Ferris State, last weekend.|
|10. Weber State||2-1||The Wildcats have a big game on deck this weekend against Montana State. A win would catapult this team up the rankings.|
|11. New Hampshire||2-1||Running back Dylan Laube followed up his insane day vs. Central Michigan with another insane statistical day vs. Dartmouth. Laube ran for 180 yards on the ground a week after catching 12 passes for 285 yards. Put him on your NFL Draft radars.|
|12. Southern Illinois||3-0||From being down 15-0 in the first half to being down 12 points in the fourth quarter, the Cardiac Salukis found a way to beat Southeast Missouri State 26-25.|
|13. Furman||2-1||It was the Tyler Huff show vs. Kennesaw State as the senior quarterback ran for four touchdowns on top of throwing for 237 yards in a 31-28 upset.|
|14. UC Davis||2-1||The Aggies leaned on the playmaking ability of running back Lan Larison, who led the team in both rushing and receiving against Southern Utah.|
|15. North Carolina Central||2-1||Obviously, UCLA was going to be a tough matchup for the Eagles. I feel sorry for what the Eagles will do to Mississippi Valley State this weekend as they look to get back on the right track.|
|16. North Dakota||2-1||The Fighting Hawks were competitive early against Boise State last weekend. The schedule doesn't get any easier as they travel to Brookings to take on South Dakota State.|
|17. Rhode Island||2-1||Off to a 2-0 start in conference play, the Rams get a chance to make a statement this weekend as they travel to Villanova. I like the makeup of this Rams squad this season.|
|18. Florida A&M||2-1||After knocking off West Florida last weekend, the Rattlers jump back into SWAC play against Alabama State. Can quarterback Jeremy Moussa stack back-to-back solid performances?|
|19. Mercer||2-1||The Bears were able to find their offensive rhythm against Morehead State last weekend. That needs to be the case when they take on Furman on Saturday.|
|20. Campbell||2-1||I absolutely love the way the Camels are built. Coach Mike Minter has done a great job in building this program into one that can win anywhere and play any type of game necessary.|
|21. Delaware||2-1||The Blue Hens return to the top 25 after their victory over St. Francis. It'll be interesting to see how they gameplan defensively against Laube, the Wildcats' do-everything tailback.|
|22. Western Carolina||2-1||With their only loss coming to Arkansas in Week 1, the Catamounts have won consecutive games against both Samford and Eastern Kentucky, both of which were in our top 25 at some juncture. Could the Cats be for real?|
|23. Youngstown State||2-1||The Penguins are off in Week 4 but return for an underrated matchup against Northern Iowa in Week 5. It's a game to watch, both in the Missouri Valley Football Conference and for race to the Division I playoffs.|
|24. Fordham||2-1||Coming off of a bye week, the Rams take on a quality Stonehill team that is making a lot of noise in the Northeast Conference this season.|
|25. Stephen F. Austin||2-1||The Lumberjacks just keep chopping wood, working themselves into the top 25 this week with their impressive start to the year.|