Last Saturday's first loss of the season for North Dakota State dropped the Bison in the playoff rankings that were released Thursday night on ESPNU.

NDSU fell to South Dakota State last Saturday, 33-21. The loss dropped the Bison two spots to 4th in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee playoff rankings. NDSU had previously been ranked 2nd in the FCS playoff rankings the week before. It was the first week that such rankings had been released (not to be confused with the STATS FCS Top 25 rankings).

The top three ranked ahead of NDSU are:

  1. James Madison (9-0)
  2. Jacksonville St. (8-1)
  3. Central Arkansas (8-1)

Jacksonville St. and Central Arkansas both leapfrogged the Bison in the FCS playoff rankings.

With a victory at home this Saturday against South Dakota, NDSU (5-1 in the conference) can clinch at least a share of the Missouri Valley Football Conference Championship. That game is at 2:30 on Saturday afternoon at the Fargodome.

The final 24-team field for the FCS playoffs will be selected on Sunday, November 19th.