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FCS Playoff Committee places UND No. 5 in first and only midseason ranking

The Fighting Hawks are one of three Missouri Valley Football Conference teams in the Top 5.

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Fighting Hawks quarterback Tommy Schuster gets into position in the second quarter of a Missouri Valley Football conference game against the N.D. State Bison at the Fargodome on Saturday, March 20, 2021. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

The UND football team is ranked No. 5 in the NCAA Football Championship Committee top 10 rankings, which were released Thursday night on ESPNU.

The rankings will be the only ones released midseason before the 16-team playoff field is announced later this month.

James Madison is ranked No. 1, although the Dukes (4-0) have had four games postponed this spring due to COVID-19.

North Dakota State is ranked second, followed by South Dakota State, Sam Houston State and UND.

The Fighting Hawks are two spots behind SDSU, despite a 28-17 UND win over the Jackrabbits on Feb. 27.

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Weber State comes in with a No. 6 ranking, followed by Delaware, VMI, UC Davis and Murray State.

The Fighting Hawks will go nearly a month between games due to COVID-19 issues. UND last played at North Dakota State on March 20. Since, the Hawks rescheduled a game with Youngstown State (now April 17) and canceled a game with Missouri State for this weekend in Grand Forks.

UND also had an April 10 matchup at Illinois State canceled by the Redbirds when the school opted out of the spring season midway through the schedule.

The Selection Show for the FCS playoff bracket is April 18 at 10:30 a.m. on ESPNU.

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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