FARGO, N.D. (AP) Five-time defending national champion North Dakota State has been tabbed as the favorite to win this year's Missouri Valley Football Conference title.

The Bison earned 37 of a possible 39 first-place votes in the preseason poll conducted among the league's coaches, sports information directors and select media representatives.

Northern Iowa received the other two first-place votes to finish second in the poll, followed by South Dakota State, Illinois State and Youngstown State.

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Rounding out the top 10 are Western Illinois, South Dakota, Southern Illinois, Indiana State and Missouri State.

NDSU captured its fifth consecutive Football Championship Subdivision crown in January with a 37-10 win over Jacksonville State.

This is the fifth straight season that the Bison have topped the conference preseason poll.