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Towson with ball. Evan Lappen photo

While most of the top colleges in the country, the true National Championship contenders, are stand-alones in their conference, there is one conference that has two perennial powerhouses. That leaves us looking at massive wins week after week from top-five teams, except when Towson and Salisbury play.

In the WIIL, UW-Whitewater's closest divisional competitor, UW-Stout, is still 50 points away. Whitewater won't see Illinois State, which it beat 24-0 in last year's WIIL final, until the conference playoffs, since ISU is in another division. In the Northern Lights, Duluth's closest game was a 49-point victory over Northern Iowa. Notre Dame doesn't have a serious challenger in the MARC, and James Madison is four-tries-worth of points better than its closest competitor in the Cardinals Conference. 

In the Potomac, Salisbury, the owner of more DII National Championships than anyone, has enjoyed a long reign. But Towson has knocked on the door for years, making multiple Final Four appearances. Oct. 11, for the first time since 2011, the Tigers beat Salisbury. The win is huge, not only in the Potomac, but in our rankings. It's the most impressive result in DII this season - the equivalent of a National Semifinal win, so Towson moves up to No. 2.

Rejoining the rankings after being pulled out due to a mistake on our part is Colorado College. The program is isolated as the only DII team in its region, so we made the mistake of labeling CC as NSCRO. The Tigers are a DII independent, however, and a non-conference win over Saint Louis University, an annual playoff participant, means Colarado College is back and a force to be reckoned with.

SLU bounced back from the road loss to Colorao College to crush conference rival Principia 68-0, knocking the Thunderchickens out of the Top 25. SLU is a good program, but not one with the firepower of Whitewater, Duluth, James Madison, Salisbury or Towson, who might beat someone by 68, but see that team remain in the rankings. 

Taking Principia's place is East Carolina. The Pirates are undefeated in the Southern Conference. Also ranked out of the Southern are UNC-Wilmington and Furman, who meet this weekend in a clash of undefeateds. 

RankPrevTeamRecent Results
11UM-DuluthBeat Bemidji
25TowsonBeat Salisbury
32UW-WhitewaterBeat UW-Stout
44James MadisonBeat Virginia Tech
53SalisburyLost to Towson
66Notre Dame CollegeBeat Scranton
79Illinois StateBeat DePaul
87Old DominionLost to James Madison
9Unr.Colorado CollegeBeat SLU
108SLULost to Colorado College
1110UW-StoutLost to Whitewater
1211UNC WilmingtonBeat College of Charleston
1312Northern IowaBeat St. Cloud
1414VermontBeat Boston U.
1515Rhode IslandBeat Coast Guard
1617WinonaBeat NDSU
1718VassarBeat New Paltz
1819FairfieldBeat Seton Hall
1921XavierBeat Marshall
2022Louisiana TechForfeit over Troy
2123FurmanBeat Lander
2216NorwichBeat New Hampshire
2324Coast GuardLost to Rhode Island
2425GeorgetownBeat UMBC
25Unr.East CarolinaBeat Western Carolina