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    USD FB: Coyotes 16th in final FCS Coaches Poll; 15th in STATS

    VERMILLION, S.D.—South Dakota is ranked No. 16 in the final FCS Coaches Poll released Monday. The Coyotes were No. 15 in the final STATS poll.

    South Dakota (8-5) entered the rankings in early September following the team’s 35-27 win against Bowling Green that moved the team to 2-0. They have been ranked in 12 consecutive polls since.

    The Coyotes won their first six games of the 2017 season and were ranked No. 4 for two consecutive weeks. USD spent seven weeks inside the top 10 and entered the FCS playoffs as the No. 18-ranked team. South Dakota beat Nicholls 38-31 in its playoff debut before falling to Sam Houston State 54-42 in the round of 16. 

    North Dakota State (14-1), one of five Missouri Valley Football Conference teams who finished in the top 25, is ranked No. 1 following its 17-13 win against James Madison in Saturday’s national championship game. But the Bison aren’t a unanimous choice for the top spot. One of the 26 coaches stuck with James Madison while another chose North Carolina A&T, which capped an undefeated season with a win against Grambling State in the Celebration Bowl in mid-December. All 158 voters in the STATS FCS poll chose NDSU. 

    Other MVFC representatives in the top 25 of the coaches poll include South Dakota State (No. 4), Western Illinois (No. 12) and UNI (No. 19). Illinois State was No. 26 in the STATS rankings.

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