Once Again North Dakota State Is the Team to Beat in the Missouri Valley
One of the safest bets on planet Earth over the last seven years has been picking the regular-season champion of the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
Every year since 2012, North Dakota State has been selected as the preseason favorite to claim the crown and in each of those years, the Bison have delivered with either an outright title or a share of the championship.
So it's no surprise that NDSU is at the top of the heap on the 2019 preseason media poll for the MVFC, their eighth straight selection, grabbing 32 of the 40 first-place votes.
The Bison are not only the defending Missouri Valley champs but also the defending FCS champs after finishing the season 15-0.
South Dakota State is in their traditional second-place spot on the preseason poll. The Jackrabbits collected four first-place votes after a 10-3 season in 2018, which saw them advance to the FCS semifinals before being eliminated by NDSU.
Both the Jackrabbits and Bison have huge question marks at quarterback heading into 2019. SDSU is looking to replace Taryn Christion and NDSU is trying to find someone to fill the shoes of Easton Stick.
Illinois State (3) and Indiana State (1) captured the remaining first-place votes in the poll.
South Dakota is sixth in the preseason poll. The Coyotes took a bit of a step backward in 2018, going just 4-7 one year after the school's first-ever appearance in the FCS Playoffs.