Rhode Island's effort at Central Michigan in Week One of the season caused national voters to take notice, as the Rams received nine votes in the latest STATS FCS Top 25 Poll, which was released Monday.
Rhode Island took the FBS level Chippewas to triple overtime last Thursday before falling, 30-27. The Rams battled back from a 14-point, fourth quarter deficit to force overtime. Rhody twice led in overtime, but Central Michigan was able to come back each time.
It is the first time in more than a decade the Rams have received Top 25 votes. The Rams have not appeared in the FCS Top 25 since they finished the 2001 season ranked No. 21 in the country. That year, Rhode Island finished 8-3 under Tim Stowers after beginning the season 7-0. In 2005, the Rams began the season 3-0, including a win over No. 7 William & Mary, but did not crack the top 25.
Defending national champion James Madison was the consensus No. 1 for the second straight week, receiving 152 out of 163 first-place votes to easily outpace No. 2 North Dakota State. Also in the top 25 from the CAA were No. 6 Villanova, No. 9 Richmond and No. 12 New Hampshire.
Rhode Island was among six other CAA Football schools to receive votes, joining Albany (186), Delaware (38), Stony Brook (29), Maine (10) and William & Mary (3).