Penguins tabbed 7th in MVFC poll; North Dakota State seen as favorite

North Dakota State has been tabbed as the Missouri Valley Football Conference pre-season favorite in a poll conducted by league coaches, media and sports information directors.

NDSU has been picked first in the pre-season poll for eight-straight seasons. North Dakota State has earned the league title for eight-straight years, four times sharing it with another league school. This year, NDSU received 32 of 40 first-place votes and 392 total points in the poll. Youngstown State was picked to finish seventh.

South Dakota State earned the second spot in the poll, finishing with 348 total points while picking up four first-place votes. Illinois State (289 points), Indiana State (279 points) and UNI (266 points) were tightly bunched for the third-, fourth- and fifth-place spots, while Illinois State (3) and Indiana State (1) also received first-place mentions.

The second five is led by South Dakota, which came in sixth place in the poll with 176 points. Youngstown State has been picked seventh (153 points), followed by Western Illinois (128), Southern Illinois (89) and Missouri State (80).

In 2018, three MVFC teams earned selections to the NCAA Division I Championship, two advanced to the playoff semifinals and North Dakota State won its seventh national championship in eight years. The 2019 season begins in Week Zero, as Youngstown State faces Samford in Montgomery, Ala., in the Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff on ESPN.

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