Five Big Sky Conference teams will begin the 2013 football season ranked in the FCS Coaches’ Poll Top 25.

Montana State, which has shared the league championship three straight seasons, was selected second, behind two-time defending national champion North Dakota State.

The Bison earned 23 first-place votes and 645 points. Montana State earned one first-place vote and 591 total points.

Eastern Washington, which shared the 2012 Big Sky Championship with Montana State and Cal Poly, is ranked third. The Eagles earned 549 total points.

Cal Poly, entering its second season as a Big Sky football member, is ranked 11th. The Mustangs finished 9-3 last season, going 7-1 in conference play.

Northern Arizona enters the season ranked 18th. The Lumberjacks went 8-3 in 2012, finishing 6-2 in conference.

Montana, coming off an uncharacteristic 5-6 season, is ranked 22nd.

The Big Sky and Missouri Valley each placed five teams in the preseason top five. The CAA is represented by six teams.

The FCS Coaches Poll is based exclusively on a voting panel of head coaches in the FCS under the cooperation of the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and is administered by the Southern Conference.

​Reach the Missoulian newsroom at @missoulian, at newsdesk@missoulian.com or at (406) 523-5240

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