MADISON, SD (PlayNorthStar.com) – The North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) football head coaches selected Dickinson State (ND) as the unanimous favorite to win the conference title for the eighth-straight year. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team in the preseason poll.
The Blue Hawks tallied six first-place votes, collecting 36 points to top the preseason poll. Dickinson State captured their seventh-straight NSAA football conference title in 2021 by going undefeated in eight league games (8-0) last season. DiSU earned the NSAA’s bid to the NAIA Football Championships Series (FCS) and fell to No. 3 ranked Grand View (IA) 38-13 in the opening round.
Dickinson State was ranked No. 15 in the postseason (final) NAIA Football FirstDown PlayBook Top 25 poll last season with an overall record of 8-3.
Valley City State (ND) and Waldorf (IA) are tied for second place in the poll, with each team receiving 28 points. The Vikings, who received votes in the final national football poll, picked up the final first place vote in the poll. VCSU went 6-2 in the league last season, while the Warriors finished with a mark of 5-3 to finish in a tie for third with Dakota State (SD).
The Trojans finishes fourth in the preseason poll with 22 points, followed by Mayville State (ND) in fifth with 15 points, Presentation College is sixth with 12 points, and Iowa Wesleyan sits seventh with six points.
To earn an automatic bid to the NAIA Football Playoffs, a team needs to be in the Top 20 in the national poll and must win the conference title. The NAIA FCS playoffs are set for Nov. 19 with the opening round games, followed by quarterfinals round on Nov. 26 and semifinals round on Dec. 3. The NAIA FCS championship game will be Dec. 17 at Durham County Memorial Stadium in Durham, NC.
Each North Star football member will be playing a total of six conference games during the season, with each team receiving a bye for one week. The league officially starts on October 1 with three games scheduled – Dickinson State at Dakota State, Presentation at Waldorf, and Mayville State at Iowa Wesleyan. Valley City State will be idle on Oct. 1 and opens their conference play at home versus Dakota State on Oct. 8.
The conference season ends on Nov. 12 with VCSU at MSU, PC at DiSU, and WU at DaSU. Iowa Wesleyan concludes their NSAA conference play on Nov. 5 at Waldorf.
Below are the complete results of 2022 NSAA Football Coaches’ Preseason Poll:
|Rank||School (First-Place Votes)||Points|
|1||Dickinson State (N.D.) (6)||36|
|T2||Valley City State (N.D.) (1)||28|
|4||Dakota State (S.D.)||22|
|5||Mayville State (N.D.)||15|