It's not exactly a shock to see that the defending national champion North Dakota State Bison are the preseason pick to win the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

The Bison received all 39 first-place votes in the preseason poll. It is only the second time in league history that a team has received every first-place vote. The only other time was in 2013 when NDSU was the unanimous pick and went on to 15-0 record en route to a third consecutive national championship (they would win five straight during that stretch). Voting was done by coaches from the conference, sports information directors, and media.

NDSU is coming off a 14-1 season in which they claimed their seventh consecutive conference title and sixth NCAA national championship in the past seven seasons.

The Bison were followed in the preseason poll by South Dakota State, Northern Iowa, Youngstown State, and Northern Illinois to round out the top five. The poll can be seen below:

 

2018 Missouri Valley Football Conference Preseason Poll
Team (First-Place Votes) Pts
1. North Dakota State (39) 390
2. South Dakota State 340
3. Northern Iowa 270
4. Youngstown State 258
5. Illinois State 248
6. South Dakota 206
7. Western Illinois 163
8. Southern Illinois 139
9. Missouri State 90
10. Indiana State 41

NDSU will open their season at home again Cal Poly on September 1st. The Bison's first four games will be played at home, ending with their first conference game of the season coming against rival South Dakota State on September 29th. Four of NDSU's final seven games will be played on the road before the team closes out the regular season at home November 17th against Southern Illinois.