FCS Coaches Preseason Top 25 Poll - WP

North Dakota State Starts No. 1 In First-Ever AFCA FCS Coaches Top 25 Poll

North Dakota State ended the 2017 season winning their sixth FCS national title in seven years. The Bison begin 2018 the same way they ended last year, at No. 1. North Dakota State becomes the first team ranked No. 1 in the first-ever AFCA FCS Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. The AFCA begins administration of the FCS poll for the first time, which had been run by the Southern Conference. The AFCA also administers coaches’ polls in Division II and Division III.

Related Article: AFCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll: Defending Champ Texas A&M-Commerce Starts 2018 at No. 1

Last season’s national runner-up, James Madison, starts the season at No. 2. The Dukes are followed by South Dakota State at No. 3, Sam Houston State at No. 4 and Kennesaw State rounding out the Top 5.

There are two Top 25 matchups in the first week of action with No. 6 Jacksonville State and No. 14 North Carolina A&T starting the year off on August 25 in the Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff. The second matchup comes a week later on September 1 when No. 11 Northern Iowa travels to No. 25 Montana.

2018 American Football Coaches Association Preseason FCS Coaches’ Poll August 13, 2018
RankSchool (1st Place Votes)2017 RecordPts.2017 Rank*Season OpenerHead Coach
1North Dakota St. (23)14-16471Sept. 1 vs. Cal PolyChris Klieman
2James Madison (3)14-16232Sept. 1 at NC StateMike Houston
3South Dakota St.11-35794Sept. 1 at Iowa St.John Stiegelmeier
4Sam Houston St.12-25573Sept. 8 vs. Prairie View A&MK.C. Keeler
5Kennesaw St.12-25439Aug. 30 at Georgia St.Brian Bohannon
6Jacksonville St.10-353010Aug. 25 vs. No. 14 North Carolina A&TJohn Grass
7Eastern Washington7-445422Sept. 1 vs. Central WashingtonAaron Best
8Weber St.11-34465Aug. 30 at UtahJay Hill
9New Hampshire9-543015Aug. 30 at MaineSean McDonnell
10Samford8-439317Aug. 30 vs. ShorterChris Hatcher
11Wofford10-33407Sept. 1 vs. The CitadelJosh Conklin
12Northern Iowa8-533819Sept. 1 at No. 25 MontanaMark Farley
13Elon8-431921Sept. 1 at South FloridaCurt Cignetti
14North Carolina A&T12-02926Aug. 25 vs. No. 6 Jacksonville St.Sam Washington
15Central Arkansas10-22698Sept. 1 at TulsaNathan Brown
16Delaware7-4257NRAug. 30 vs. Rhode IslandDanny Rocco
17Nicholls St.8-424123Sept. 1 at KansasTim Rebowe
18McNeese St.9-218718Sept. 1 at Northern ColoradoLance Guidry
19Villanova5-6165NRSept. 1 at TempleMark Ferrante
20Illinois St.6-5144NRSept. 1 vs. Saint XavierBrock Spack
21Furman8-512820Sept. 1 at ClemsonClay Hendrix
22Stony Brook10-312011Sept. 1 at Air ForceChuck Priore
23Austin Peay8-4119NRSept. 1 at GeorgiaWill Healy
24Youngstown St.6-588NRSept. 1 vs. ButlerBo Pelini
25Montana7-467NRSept. 1 vs. No. 11 Northern IowaBobby Hauck

*– Ranking in final FCS Coaches Poll of 2017

Others Receiving Votes: Idaho, 41; Northern Arizona, 36; Yale, 22; Grambling St., 14; Monmouth (N.J.), 12; Southern Utah, 11; Sacramento St., 9; Colgate, 8; South Dakota, 6; San Diego, 5; Richmond, 4; Western Illinois, 3; Western Carolina, 2; Lehigh, 1.

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