The North Dakota State Bison have been picked to win the Missouri Valley Football Conference in the closest preseason poll vote in league history over South Dakota State.

Out of 40 possible first place votes, the Bison earned 21, as well as 380 points total opposed South Dakota State's 19 first place votes and 379 total points. The preseason poll was voted on by league coaches, media, and sports information directors.

Coming in third in the voting is Youngstown State, which reached the FCS Championship. Northern Iowa and Illinois State followed at fourth and fifth respectively. Last season, Ilinois State joined NDSU, SDSU, and Youngstown State as teams who made the playoffs from the MVFC.

NDSU has won the conference championship in six straight seasons and shared the title with another school in four of those seasons. Out of 31 previous preseason polls, the favorite in the preseason has won the conference 19 times. For the conference as a whole, the league owns seven national titles in its 32 previous years of existence (entering its 33rd).

The results in the preseason voting are shown below.

2017 Missouri Valley Football Conference Preseason Poll
Team (First-Place Votes) Points
1. North Dakota State (21) 380
2. South Dakota State (19) 379
3. Youngstown State 290
4. Northern Iowa 255
5. Illinois State 246
6. Western Illinois 188
7. South Dakota 182
8. Southern Illinois 132
9. Missouri State 81
10. Indiana State 67