FARGO — North Dakota State is ranked No. 1 while fellow Missouri Valley Football Conference schools South Dakota State and Northern Iowa are ranked No. 2 and No. 3 respectively in HERO Sports Top-25 preseason poll.

Missouri Valley schools Illinois State and Southern Illinois are ranked No. 12 and No. 22 in the poll.

In 2019, four Missouri Valley teams finished the season ranked in the Top 10, while NDSU went wire-to-wire as the nation’s top team, capping its perfect 16-0 season with a 28-20 win against No. 2 James Madison in the title game. The 16-0 season marked the first in college football in the modern era and the first since Yale in 1894. In the process, NDSU extended its winning streak to an FCS-record 37-straight games.

HERO Sports Top 25 Preseason poll

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1. North Dakota State

2. South Dakota State

3. Northern Iowa

4. Sacramento State

5. James Madison

6. Weber State

7. Montana

8. Villanova

9. Montana State

10. Central Arkansas

11. Kennesaw State

12. Illinois State

13. Austin Peay

14. Furman

15. Delaware

16. Princeton

17. New Hampshire

18. Eastern Washington

19. North Carolina A&T

20. Florida A&M

21. The Citadel

22. Southern Illinois

23. Sam Houston State

24. Albany

25. Yale

Also receiving votes: Alcorn State, Chattanooga, Dartmouth, Elon, Nicholls, Portland State, Southeast Missouri, Tennessee-Martin, Wofford.