Jacks ranked sixth in national poll
The South Dakota State University football team will enter the 2013 season with its highest national ranking as a member of the Football Championship Subdivison by holding down the sixth spot in The Sports Network Preseason Top 25.
The Jackrabbits return 15 starters to a squad that advanced to the second round of the FCS playoffs en route to a 9-4 overall record in 2012. SDSU's previous high national ranking in either of the most-recognized polls was a ninth-place showing in 2010 preseason polls by both The Sports Network and FCS Coaches, following the Jackrabbits' inaugural berth in the FCS playoffs in 2009.
Two-time defending national champion and Missouri Valley Football Conference rival North Dakota State received 127 of the 134 first-place votes to hold down the top spot. Montana State, Sam Houston State (Texas), Eastern Washington and Villanova (Pa.) were ranked 2-5.
SDSU, coached by John Stiegelmeier, is ranked seventh in the FCS Coaches Preseason Poll. The Jackrabbits also are ranked fourth by Lindy's College Football, ninth by College Sporting News and 10th by Athlon College Football.
The Jackrabbits open the 2013 season Aug. 31 by hosting Butler (Ind.). Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium.