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Bison ranked No. 1 in preseason FCS poll

NDSU received 52 of 54 first-place votes. South Dakota State received the other two first-place votes and was ranked second. NDSU and SDSU were among the five Missouri Valley Football Conference teams ranked in the top 25.

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North Dakota State's Christian Watson holds the title trophy after the win over Montana State in the FCS championship game at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022.
David Samson/The Forum
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FARGO — As expected, North Dakota State was ranked No. 1 in the Stats Perform FCS Preseason Top 25 poll, released Monday. The Bison received 52 of 54 first-place votes from national media.

Coming off a 14-1 national championship season, NDSU's ninth in the last 11 years, the Bison's top billing is not a surprise. NDSU returns 13 full-time starters from the team that whipped Montana State 38-10 in the Football Championship Subdivision title game last January.

It's the seventh time NDSU has received the preseason No. 1 ranking.

South Dakota State received the other two first-place votes and was ranked second.

NDSU and SDSU were among the five Missouri Valley Football Conference teams ranked in the top 25. Missouri State clocked in at No. 5, Southern Illinois at No. 9 and Northern Iowa at No. 21.

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South Dakota was among the other schools receiving votes.

The Bison open the season Sept. 3 against Drake at the Fargodome.

The Big Sky Conference had the most teams in the top 25 with six. Montana was ranked No. 3 and Montana State No. 4.

Ten different conferences were represented in the rankings.

A national media panel selects the Stats Perform FCS Top 25. A first-place vote is worth 25 points, a second-place vote 24 points, all the way down to one point for a 25th-place vote.

Stats Perform FCS Preseason Top 25

1. North Dakota State (14-1, 7-1 Missouri Valley), 1,348 points (52 first-place votes)

Season Opener: Sept. 3 vs. Drake

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2. South Dakota State (11-4, 5-3 Missouri Valley), 1,285 (2)

Season Opener: Sept. 3 at Iowa

3. Montana (10-3, 6-2 Big Sky), 1,218

Season Opener: Sept. 3 vs. Northwestern State

4. Montana State (12-3, 7-1 Big Sky), 1,203

Season Opener: Sept. 3 vs. McNeese

5. Missouri State (8-4, 6-2 Missouri Valley), 1066

Season Opener: Sept. 1 at Central Arkansas

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6. Villanova (10-3, 7-1 CAA), 997

Season Opener: Sept. 2 vs. Lehigh

7. Sacramento State (9-3, 8-0 Big Sky), 991

Season Opener: Sept. 3 vs. Utah Tech

8. Kennesaw State (11-2, 6-0 Big South), 959

Season Opener: Sept. 1 at Samford

9. Southern Illinois (8-5, 5-3 Missouri Valley), 915

Season Opener: Sept. 3 at UIW

10. Stephen F. Austin (8-4, 4-2 ASUN-WAC), 813

Season Opener: Aug. 27 vs. Jacksonville State (in Montgomery, Alabama)

11. ETSU (11-2, 7-1 Southern), 750

Season Opener: Sept. 1 vs. Mars Hill

12. Chattanooga (6-5, 5-3 Southern), 562

Season Opener: Sept. 3 vs. Wofford

13. Eastern Washington (10-3, 6-2 Big Sky), 538

Season Opener: Sept. 3 vs. Tennessee State

14. UIW (10-3, 7-1 Southland), 533

Season Opener: Sept. 3 vs. Southern Illinois

15. Jackson State (11-2, 8-0 SWAC), 515

Season Opener: Sept. 4 vs. Florida A&M (in Miami Gardens, Florida)

16. Holy Cross (10-3, 6-0 Patriot), 503

Season Opener: Sept. 2 at Merrimack

17. Southeastern Louisiana (9-4, 6-2 Southland), 440

Season Opener: Sept. 3 at Louisiana

18. UT Martin (10-3, 5-1 Ohio Valley), 404

Season Opener: Sept. 1 vs. Western Illinois

19. Delaware (5-6, 3-5 CAA), 401

Season Opener: Sept. 3 at Navy

20. Weber State (6-5, 5-3 Big Sky), 391

Season Opener: Sept. 1 vs. Western Oregon

21. Northern Iowa (6-6, 4-4 Missouri Valley), 289

Season Opener: Sept. 3 at Air Force

22. Rhode Island (7-4, 4-4 CAA), 242

Season Opener: Sept. 1 at Stony Brook

23. Mercer (7-3, 6-2 Southern), 215

Season Opener: Aug. 27 vs. Morehead State

24. Richmond (6-5, 4-4 CAA), 166

Season Opener: Sept. 3 at Virginia

25. UC Davis (8-4, 5-3 Big Sky), 153

Season Opener: Sept. 3 at California

Others Receiving Votes (schools listed on two or more ballots): South Dakota (7-5, 5-3 Missouri Valley) 151, Eastern Kentucky (7-4, 4-2 ASUN-WAC) 129, Florida A&M (9-3, 7-1 SWAC) 78, William & Mary (6-5, 4-4 CAA) 66, Dartmouth (9-1, 6-1 Ivy) 59, Monmouth (7-4, 6-1 Big South) 23, Harvard (8-2, 5-2 Ivy) 19, Princeton (9-1, 6-1 Ivy) 18, Central Arkansas (5-6, 3-3 ASUN-WAC) 14, Furman (6-5, 4-4 Southern) 14, South Carolina State (7-5, 5-0 MEAC) 13, Sacred Heart (8-4, 6-1 Northeast) 12, Elon (6-5, 5-3 CAA) 8, North Carolina A&T (5-6, 3-4 Big South) 4

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