The 2019 South Dakota State football team has plenty of question marks heading into the new season but that uncertainty isn't affecting the Jackrabbits' stature in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).

SDSU has matched its best-ever preseason ranking with a number-three spot on the  STATS FCS media poll.

The Jackrabbits even grabbed first-place vote check in third in the poll for the second year in a row. Defending national champion North Dakota State collected 142 of 160 first-place votes to top the poll. James Madison received 14 first-place votes and is second.

Eastern Washington and UC Davis round out the top five.

Three other Missouri Valley teams landed in the Top 25 - Illinois State (15), Indiana State (16), and Northern Iowa (18).

South Dakota State finished 2018 with a 10-3 record, falling in the national semifinals for the second straight year.

Since then, the Jackrabbits have graduated quarterback Taryn Christion and will be debuting new offensive and defensive coordinators in 2019.

The new season kicks off in Minneapolis, Thursday, August 29, with a game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

2019 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

  • August 29 - at Minnesota
  • September 7 - LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY (Dairy Drive)
  • September 14 - at Drake
  • September 21 - SOUTHERN UTAH (Beef Bowl)
  • October 5 - SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (Hobo Day)
  • October 12 - at Youngstown State
  • October 19 - at Indiana State
  • October 26 - NORTH DAKOTA STATE (Dakota Marker/Hall of Fame Game)
  • November 2 - at Missouri State
  • November 9 - ILLINOIS STATE (Military Appreciation)
  • November 16 - NORTHERN IOWA (Precision Ag Bowl/Senior Day)
  • November 23 - at South Dakota

The 12-game regular season is SDSU's longest in five years.