FCS college football Week 9 preview

FCS' 2021 spring season continues to make us say, "Wait, WHAT?" The season's eighth full week was no exception.

Kennesaw State was favored over Monmouth in the de facto Big South title game, and Monmouth won, 42-17. In Sunday's Northeast Conference Championship, road underdog Sacred Heart lost a two-score lead in the fourth quarter but completed a fourth-and-14 bomb in overtime and won. Third-ranked Weber State moved to 5-0 and won the Big Sky with its fourth straight by-the-skin-of-the-teeth escape, this one over Idaho State. North Dakota State thought seriously about losing to Northern Iowa. Southeastern Louisiana overcame a double-digit deficit against Nicholls, then almost blew one as well. Mercer upset ETSU. Morehead State upset Valparaiso. Presbyterian upset Davidson. Alabama A&M hung 533 yards and 52 points on a cratering Jackson State defense. Of 26 weekend games, 11 were decided by one score.

The spring season has managed to pack a full season's worth of drama into just a couple of months, and we're only just beginning. Quite a few playoff spots are on the line in Week 9 -- playoff selection is on Sunday -- and we've got five ranked-versus-ranked battles to look forward to. Let's preview maybe the spring's most dramatic weekend yet.

Finally, the Dakota Marker

No. 4 SDSU at No. 2 NDSU (3:30 p.m., ESPN+)

On March 20, in a pair of battles between top-10 Missouri Valley teams, No. 6 South Dakota State pummeled No. 5 Southern Illinois, 44-3, while No. 4 North Dakota State pushed second-ranked upstart North Dakota around, 34-13. But these teams have combined to play just two games in the three weekends since -- an SIU loss to Missouri State on March 27 and NDSU's 23-20 win over Northern Iowa last Saturday.