Dickinson State (N.D.) tallied five first-place votes and 30 points, vying for their sixth straight North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) football conference title.
The 2020 NSAA Football Coaches’ Preseason Poll was announced Monday, voted by the league’s head coaches. The Blue Hawks captured their fifth straight North Star Athletic Association football conference title last season.
Dickinson State went 8-3 overall record and 6-1 record in the conference. The Blue Hawks qualified for the NAIA Football Championships Series (FCS), before losing to No. 1-ranked Morningside (Iowa) in the opening round. Dickinson State finished with a No. 17 ranking in the final NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 national poll. Valley City State (N.D.) earned its final first-place vote in the poll, collecting 25 points. Waldorf (Iowa) was third with 23 points, followed by Dakota State (S.D.) fourth with 17 points. Presentation (S.D.) edged Mayville State (N.D.) by one point (13-12) to finish fifth. Both VCSU and WU finished 5-2 record in the NSAA conference games last season, tying for second place in the conference standings.
The Warriors also finished No. 23 in the final NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 poll in 2019. To earn an automatic bid to the NAIA Football Playoffs, a team need to be in the ‘Top 20’ in the national poll and win the conference title. The NAIA FCS playoffs won’t be held this fall due to COVID-19, postponing its fall sports’ championships in the spring.
The North Star football schedule originally scheduled for seven games during the 2020 season. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the original NSAA’s 7-game schedule remains intact while adding two additional games within conference membership. Each NSAA member will be playing a total of nine conference games in 2020. The first allowable contest is set for Sept. 12 with three games scheduled: Dakota State hosts Dickinson State, while Valley City State travels to Presentation and Waldorf visits Mayville State. Below is the complete results of 2020 NSAA Football Coaches’
Rank School (First-Place Votes in parenthesis) Points
1 Dickinson State (N.D.) (5) 30
2 Valley City State (N.D.) (1) 25
3 Waldorf (Iowa) 23
4 Dakota State (S.D.) 17
5 Presentation (S.D.) 13
6 Mayville State (N.D.) 12