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Hero Sports: Montana State No. 3, Montana No. 16 in preseason Top 25

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Posted at 1:38 PM, Jun 01, 2023

BILLINGS — Montana State is ranked No. 3 and Montana is No. 16 in a preseason FCS Top 25 poll released Thursday by Hero Sports.

Montana State went 12-2 last year and appeared in the FCS semifinals for the third consecutive season. MSU earned a share of the Big Sky title — its first since 2012 — by going 8-0 in conference games. The 2023 season will mark Brent Vigen's third as head coach.

Montana is coming off an 8-5 season in which it advanced to the playoff quarterfinals. The Grizzlies went 4-4 in Big Sky games. Bobby Hauck is back for his sixth season since returning as head coach in 2018.

Other Big Sky teams ranked in the Hero Sports poll are: No. 5 Idaho (tied with Furman), No. 10 Sacramento State, No. 11 Weber State (tied with Southeast Missouri), and No. 18 UC Davis.

Defending FCS champion South Dakota State is ranked No. 1 while perennial power North Dakota State came in at No. 2. Holy Cross, at No. 4, rounds out the top five.

In a separate preseason poll released by Athlon in May, the Bobcats were ranked No. 3 while the Grizzlies came in at No. 10.

Montana State opens the 2023 season at home on Sept. 2 against Utah Tech. Montana begins its season at home, also on Sept. 2, against Butler.