FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The back-to-back Football Championship Subdivision winner is picked by coaches as the No. 1 team in a preseason poll.
North Dakota State received 23 of 26 first-place votes in the poll, which is based on a voting panel of FCS coaches.
The Bison return 18 starters from a team that went 14-1 and rolled over Sam Houston State in the championship game at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas, in January.
Montana State was picked No. 2, followed by Eastern Washington, Sam Houston and Wofford. Other first place votes went to Montana State, Sam Houston and No. 19 Eastern Kentucky.
Other Missouri Valley Football Conference teams ranked are South Dakota State at No. 7, Illinois State at No. 10, Northern Iowa at No. 16, and Youngstown State at No. 24.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.