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Week Three Underdogs Poll

Welcome to Week Three of the Underdogs Poll where the top dogs maintain control and an FCS power stakes their claim.

Hello, NDSU! The Bison become the first FCS program to etch out a spot on the Group of Five poll.
Hello, NDSU! The Bison become the first FCS program to etch out a spot on the Group of Five poll.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
1 Houston (12)* 120 1
2 Boise State 89 2
3 San Diego State 88 3
4 South Florida 87 4
5 Toledo 58 6
6 Western Michigan 49 8
7 BYU 34 5
8 Central Michigan 32 10
9 Navy 28 11
10 Western Kentucky 19 14
11 East Carolina 9 12
12 Georgia Southern 7 13
13 Cincinnati 6 15
14 North Dakota State 4 NR
15 Air Force 3 NR
Dropped out: Southern Mississippi, Appalachian State | Others receiving votes: Memphis (2), Akron (1), Army (1)

What is the Underdogs Poll? Every week, writers and editors from SB Nation's Group of Five blogs -- Bull Run, The Daily Stampede, Down the Drive, Hustle Belt, Miner Rush, Mountain West Connection, The UConn Blog, Underdog Dynasty, and Vanquish the Foe -- put their heads together to determine the best of the best, week in and week out, from the teams we cover. The poll is hosted by Mountain West Connection. You can find their take on this week's poll at this link.

It was a quiet week for the Underdogs in our weekly Group of Five poll. While Houston remains firmly planted at the #1 spot, we haven't seen much movement from the teams we cover this week. With the polls mostly static, I believe the big story is FCS powerhouse North Dakota State making the first ever appearance of an FCS program in our poll. In all honesty, I believe they're still being underrated.

The undefeated Bisons' 23 - 21 road win against the Iowa Hawkeyes (ranked #13 at kickoff) isn't just one of the best non-power five wins of the year, it might be the most impressive victory of the entire season. With the Bisons sitting just on the edge of the Associated Press top 25 I feel that NDSU should be much higher up the list of G5 programs in this poll. Does anyone have any doubt that the Bison could easy dispatch Central Michigan or Navy? This humble voter sure doesn't.

While North Dakota State basks in glory, the Southern Miss Golden Eagles suffered a defeat awful enough to have them completely drop off the poll despite being ranked seventh last week. The Troy Trojans avenged a tough, close loss to Clemson by taking their frustration out on USM. Troy running back Jordan Chunn churned his way through the Golden Eagle defense, amassing 176 yards on 36 carries despite poor conditions in Hattiesburg.

Peculiarly enough, the Trojans didn't gather a single vote in the poll despite just a six point loss at Clemson and their big win over the CUSA West favorite. Perhaps a miss on the part of the voters? Troy has a pretty favorable schedule over the next couple of weeks as they should be able to head into a November 12th matchup with Appalachian State with a 7-2 schedule.

Underdogs of the Week

Quinton Flowers, QB, South Florida - 12-of-24, 183 passing yards, one touchdown; 51 yards rushing in a 45-20 win at Syracuse

I'Tavius Mathers, RB, Middle Tennessee State - 27 carries, 157 rushing yards; four catches, 107 receiving yards; four total touchdowns in a 41-21 win at Bowling Green

Nicholas Norris, WR, Western Kentucky - 11 catches, 187 receiving yards, one touchdown in a 31-24 win at Miami (OH)

Dalton Sturm, QB, Texas-San Antonio - 19-of-37, 229 passing yards; 82 yards rushing; four total touchdowns in a 32-28 loss vs. Arizona State

Greg Ward Jr., QB, Houston - 24-of-36, 326 passing yards, 73 yards rushing; three total touchdowns in a 40-16 win at Cincinnati

Darnell Woolfork, RB, Army - 15 carries, 71 rushing yards, three touchdowns in a 66-14 win at UTEP

Games to Watch This Week

Vanderbilt @ Western Kentucky: 3:30 pm CST (CBSSN) - The Commodores travel to Bowling Green in yet another nationally-televised showcase for Jeff Brohm's offense. The Hilltoppers are favored by a touchdown as they seek to follow up on their 14-12 win over the Commodores in 2015.

Louisiana Tech @ Middle Tennessee: 6:00 pm CST (ASN) - Conference USA play kicks off this week and this cross-division game should be popcorn-worthy. The Bulldogs' defense has looked strong through three games while Brent Stockstill and the Blue Raiders offense can put numbers on the board with ease.

Florida State @ South Florida: 11:00 am CST (ABC) - The Seminoles travel to Raymond James Stadium still reeling from an embarrassing performance against Lamar Jackson and his Louisville squad. Don't be shocked if the Bulls make it 4-0 with a huge in-state win if Dalvin Cook continues to disappoint.

Georgia Southern @ Western Michigan: 6:00 pm CST (ESPN3) - As far as cross-conference Group of Five games go it's hard to beat a match up between PJ Fleck's burgeoning powerhouse Broncos and Underdog stalwart Georgia Southern. Both programs head into the game with undefeated records so something has to give.