(STATS) — Where the STATS FCS Top 25 got started in the preseason Monday was similar to where it ended in January.
Not surprisingly, defending FCS national champion North Dakota State was an overwhelming No. 1 choice in the national media poll, collecting 151 of the 157 first-place votes and 3,919 points. The Bison were followed by national runner-up James Madison, which gained the other six first-place votes, and fellow semifinalists South Dakota State and Sam Houston State as the top four spots remained unchanged from the final 2017 rankings.
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"In the same respect, what you've done in the past doesn't help you as far as what you're gonna do this year," NDSU fifth-year coach Chris Klieman said.
Eight teams that finished in the Top 10 remain there to open the 2018 season, including Kennesaw State (5), Jacksonville State (6), Weber State (8) and Wofford (10).
2017 #FCS finalists @NDSUfootball and @JMUFootball go 1-2 in @FCS_STATS Preseason Top 25. Where's your favorite team? @ValleyFootball @CAAFootball @SouthlandSports @BigSouthSports @OVCSports @BigSkyFB @SoConSports @MEACSports @FCS_Football @FCS_Fans_Nation https://t.co/muuOJHfLmP pic.twitter.com/LEonKD3EOU— FCS Football (@FCS_STATS) August 6, 2018
Eight FCS conferences placed teams in the preseason rankings, led by the CAA with six, the Missouri Valley Football Conference with five and the Southland Conference with four.
A national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries select the STATS FCS Top 25. A first-place vote is worth 25 points, a second-place vote 24 points, all the way down to one point for a 25th-place vote.
The Top 25 will be released every Monday afternoon during the regular season, except for Sunday morning, Nov. 18, prior to the selection of the 24-team FCS playoff field. A final Top 25 will follow the FCS championship game, which will be held Jan. 5 in Frisco, Texas.
Here is the complete STATS FCS Top 25, released Monday, Aug. 6:
|1||North Dakota State (151)||3919||14-1||1|
|2||James Madison (6)||3764||14-1||2|
|3||South Dakota State||3470||11-3||3|
|4||Sam Houston State||3228||12-2||4|
|14||North Carolina A&T||1480||12-0||7|