The first-ever American Football Coaches Association FCS Coaches Poll was released today (August 13th) and North Dakota State will enter the season ranked No. 1 overall.

The defending national champions from NDSU earned 23 of the 26 possible first-place votes. The other three went to last year's national runner-up, James Madison, which is ranked No. 2 at the start of the season. South Dakota State comes in just behind JMU to round out the top three.

The Missouri Valley Football Conference had five total teams ranked amongst the top 25 in the preseason coaches poll. The other three besides NDSU and SDSU are Northern Iowa (12th), Illinois State (20th), and Youngstown State (24th).

The is the first time the AFCA is administering the FCS Coaches Poll. The top 25 and other teams receiving votes can be seen below.

2018 AFCA FCS Coaches Preseason Poll
Team (First-Place Votes) W-L Pts Prev
1. North Dakota St. (23) 14-1 647 1
2. James Madison (3) 14-1 623 2
3. South Dakota St. 11-3 579 4
4. Sam Houston St. 12-2 557 3
5. Kennesaw St. 12-2 543 9
6. Jacksonville St. 10-3 530 10
7. Eastern Washington 7-4 454 22
8. Weber St. 11-3 446 5
9. New Hampshire 9-5 430 15
10. Samford 8-4 393 17
11. Wofford 10-3 340 7
12. Northern Iowa 8-5 338 19
13. Elon 8-4 319 21
14. North Carolina A&T 12-0 292 6
15. Central Arkansas 10-2 269 8
16. Delaware 7-4 257 NR
17. Nicholls St. 8-4 241 23
18. McNeese St. 9-2 187 18
19. Villanova 5-6 165 NR
20. Illinois St. 6-5 144 NR
21. Furman 8-5 128 20
22. Stony Brook 10-3 120 11
23. Austin Peay 8-4 119 NR
24. Youngstown St. 6-5 88 NR
25. Montana 7-4 67 NR

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.