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Montana State No. 3, Montana No. 14 in STATS Perform preseason FCS Top 25 poll

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Posted at 12:17 PM, Aug 07, 2023

BILLINGS — The 2023 preseason FCS Top 25 poll was released Monday, and has Montana State ranked No. 3 and Montana slotted at No. 14.

The Bobcats are led by third-year coach Brent Vigen. They are coming off winning a share of the Big Sky crown in 2022, which was the program's first league title in 10 years.

MSU finished 12-2 overall, 8-0 in the league and advanced to the FCS playoff semifinals where it lost to eventual national champion South Dakota State, the unanimous No. 1-ranked team in the preseason poll.

In the past two seasons under Vigen, the Bobcats are a combined 24-5 overall and 15-1 in the Big Sky Conference with appearances in the semifinals last season and the FCS title game the year prior. The Cats were ranked No. 1 in the Big Sky's preseason coaches and media polls.

Montana is guided by Bobby Hauck, who is entering the sixth season of his second stint as head coach of the Grizzlies. The Griz went 8-5 overall last season (4-4 in the Big Sky) and made it to the FCS second round before bowing out versus North Dakota State.

UM is 36-17 overall and 20-12 in the past five seasons. The Grizzlies were ranked No. 3 in the Big Sky's preseason media poll and No. 6 in the preseason coaches poll.

Four other Big Sky Conference teams are ranked in the STATS tally: Idaho is No. 8, Sacramento State is No. 10, Weber State is No. 13 and UC Davis is No. 16.

STATS Perform 2023 FCS Preseason Top 25 Poll

1. South Dakota State (14–1, 8–0 Missouri Valley), 1,400 points (56 first-place votes)

2. North Dakota State (12–3, 7–1 Missouri Valley), 1,329

3. Montana State (12–2, 8–0 Big Sky), 1,294

4. William & Mary (11–2, 7–1 CAA), 1,172

5. Holy Cross (12–1, 6–0 Patriot), 1,113

6. Furman (10–3, 7–1 Southern), 1,035

7. UIW (12–2, 5–1 Southland), 935

8. Idaho (7–5, 6–2 Big Sky), 932

9. Samford (11–2, 8–0 Southern), 885

10. Sacramento State (12–1, 8–0 Big Sky), 881

11. New Hampshire (9–4, 7–1 CAA), 798

12. Southeast Missouri (9-3, 5–0 Ohio Valley), 768

13. Weber State (10–3, 6–2 Big Sky), 744

14. Montana (8–5, 4–4 Big Sky), 711

15. Southeastern Louisiana (9–4, 5–1 Southland), 710

16. UC Davis (6–5, 5–3 Big Sky), 513

17. North Dakota (7–5, 5–3 Missouri Valley), 479

18. Richmond (9–4, 6–2 CAA), 387

19. North Carolina Central (10–2, 4–1 MEAC), 330

20. Mercer (7–4, 5–3 Southern), 293

21. Rhode Island (7–4, 5–3 CAA), 169

22. Delaware (8-5, 4-4 CAA), 166

23. Northern Iowa (6-5, 5-3 Missouri Valley), 155

24. Eastern Kentucky (7-5, 3-2 ASUN), 137

25. Gardner-Webb (7-6, 5-0 Big South), 129

Others receiving votes: Central Arkansas (5–6, 3–2 ASUN) 110, Chattanooga (7-4, 5-3 Southern) 84, Jackson State (12-1, 8-0 SWAC) 71, Southern Illinois (5–6, 4–4 Missouri Valley) 66, Youngstown State (7-4, 5-3 Missouri Valley) 66, Florida A&M (9-2, 7-1 SWAC) 65, UT Martin (7–4, 5–0 Ohio Valley) 65, Elon (8-4, 6-2 CAA) 61, Austin Peay (7-4, 3-2 ASUN) 40, Fordham (9-3, 5-1 Patriot) 28, Yale (8-2, 6-1 Ivy) 18, Villanova (6-5, 4-4 CAA) 8, McNeese (4-7, 2-4 Southland) 7, Abilene Christian (7-4, 3-1 WAC) 6, St. Thomas (10-1, 8-0 Pioneer) 6, Saint Francis (9-3, 7-0 NEC) 5