CHICAGO, IL (KELO) — The South Dakota State University football team has attained its highest-ever ranking in a Football Championship Subdivision preseason poll, earning the No. 2 spot in the Stats Perform survey released Monday. The Jackrabbits’ previous high-water mark was a third-place showing in 2018, 2019 and 2021.

SDSU is coming off a 2021 season in which the Jackrabbits made their 10th consecutive appearance in the FCS playoffs and advanced to the national semifinal round for the fourth time in the last five years. The Jackrabbits finished with an 11-4 overall record, matching the program record for wins in a season. In Missouri Valley Football Conference play, SDSU tied for third place with a 5-3 mark before reeling off three consecutive playoff victories.

Defending national champion and league foe North Dakota State took the top spot in the Stats Perform poll with 52 first-place votes and 1,348 points. The Jackrabbits recorded the other two first-place votes and 1,285 points to take the second spot, followed by Montana (1,218 points) and Montana State (1,203 points). MVFC member Missouri State placed fifth with 1,066 points.

RankingTeamVotes
1 North Dakota State 1,348
2South Dakota State1,285
5Missouri State1,066
9Southern Illinois915
21Northern Iowa289
UnrankedSouth Dakota151

Southern Illinois (ninth, 915 points) and Northern Iowa (21st, 289 points) completed the league contingent in the poll, while South Dakota landed just outside the top 25 as the top team receiving votes.

South Dakota was just two votes shy of number 25, UC Davis.

The Jackrabbits are scheduled to kick off the 2022 campaign Sept. 3 at Iowa. SDSU’s home opener is set for Sept. 10 versus 25th-ranked UC Davis.