MADISON, S.D. – For the third straight year, Valley City State (N.D.) was picked as the preseason favorite to win the North Star Athletic Association Football conference title, the preseason coaches' poll was announced Monday. The preseason poll was voted by the league coaches. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.
The Vikings tallied five first-place votes and earned 33 points in the NSAA Football Coaches' Preseason Poll. VCSU won the league title for two consecutive years and qualified for the 2015 NAIA Football National Playoffs. Valley City State lost to Carroll (Mont.) in the opening round of the national playoffs last season.
Dickinson State (N.D.) picked the final two first-place votes, collecting 30 points to finish second in the poll. Jamestown (N.D.) finished third with 26 points.
Presentation (S.D.) holds a slim margin for fourth place over Dakota State (S.D.). The Saints garnered 21 points while the Trojans recorded 20 points in the coaches' poll.
Waldorf (Iowa) placed sixth in the preseason poll with 10 points, followed by Mayville State (N.D.) seventh with 7 points.
To earn an automatic bid to the NAIA Football Playoffs, a team need to be in the 'Top 20' in the national poll and win the conference title.
Dickinson State starts their season on Aug. 22 as they host Montana State-Northern.
Six other NSAA conference members will kick off their 2015 season on Aug. 29 with Presentation visiting Briar Cliff (Iowa), Mayville State hosting St. Mary (Kan.), VCSU traveling to UJ in a non-conference game, Dakota State hosting Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) and Waldorf welcoming Kansas Wesleyan.
The NSAA conference season begins on Sept. 12 as Dakota State host Waldorf in a night game at 6 p.m. The football conference season ends on Nov. 8 with the NSAA Bowl game at the Fargodome in Fargo, N.D.
Below is the complete results of 2015 NSAA Football Coaches' Preseason Poll:
|Rank||School (1st Place Votes in Parenthesis)||Points|
|1||Valley City State (N.D.) (5)||33|
|2||Dickinson State (N.D.) (2)||30|
|5||Dakota State (S.D.)||20|
|7||Mayville State (N.D.)||7|
Nick Huntimer, North Star Athletic Association Sports Information Director