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Bison picked to win another Missouri Valley Football Conference crown

ST. LOUIS – Three-time defending conference and national champion North Dakota State has been picked to win the Missouri Valley Football Conference title this season, according to a poll of the league’s coaches, media and sports information directors.

NDSU has won 24 straight games and 43 of its last 45 games posting 14-1, 14-1 and 15-0 records in the last three seasons. The Bison earned 24 of a possible 39 first-place votes and 370 total points ahead of second-place South Dakota State and third-place Northern Iowa.

NDSU also had a league-high eight players on the preseason all-conference team, including fullback Andrew Bonnet, wide receiver Zach Vraa, left guard Zack Johnson (expected to miss the season with a knee injury), defensive end Kyle Emanuel, linebacker Carlton Littlejohn, strong safety Colten Heagle and punter Ben LeCompte. Free safety and punt returner Christian Dudzik was an honorable mention pick.

Here is the preseason poll:

Team (first-place votes) Points

1. North Dakota State (24) 370

2. South Dakota State (8) 330

3. Northern Iowa (7) 324

4. Youngstown State 240

5. Southern Illinois 237

6. Illinois State 197

7. Missouri State 180

8. South Dakota 121

9. Western Illinois 96

10. Indiana State 50