A Top 25 national ranking is great, but for Football Championship Series teams around the country, seeing your name on another list is far more meaningful.

The first FCS Playoff rankings of 2017 are out and both South Dakota State and South Dakota are in the Top Ten.

The Jackrabbits are seventh, the Coyotes ninth in the initial ranking, which comes less than two weeks before the unveiling of the 24-team post season bracket.

  1. James Madison
  2. Jacksonville State
  3. Central Arkansas
  4. North Dakota State
  5. Sam Houston State
  6. Elon
  7. South Dakota State
  8. Wofford
  9. South Dakota
  10. North Carolina A&T

Even though SDSU and USD are only separated by two spots, that gap is significant.

The eight highest seeds are awarded first-round byes in the post season, meaning the Coyotes are one position away from the promised land.

But with two games to play, all that can change.

South Dakota (7-2/4-2 MVFC) has two chances to greatly improve their standing. The Coyotes finish the season with head-to-head games against two of the teams ahead of them - North Dakota State and South Dakota State.

The Jackrabbits (7-2/4-2 MVFC) have a home date with Illinois State before closing out the regular season in Vermillion.

The 24-team playoff field will officially be released Sunday, November 19, at 10:00 AM, on ESPNU.