Defending Big Sky Conference champion Eastern Washington is ranked sixth in the preseason edition of the STATS Football Championship Subdivision poll.
The Eagles are one of four Big Sky teams ranked in the poll, which was released Monday.
Eastern, Montana State, Montana and Idaho State are all ranked in the poll, while Northern Arizona and Cal Poly received votes in the preseason rankings.
Four-time defending FCS national champion North Dakota State opens the season as the top team. The Bison were an overwhelming No. 1 in the national media poll, collecting 144 of the 147 first-place votes and 3,671 points. Illinois State received the other three first-place votes.
The Eagles finished last season at 11-3, losing to Illinois State in the FCS quarterfinals. Illinois State is ranked second in the preseason poll.
Montana State is ranked 11th, Montana 13th and Idaho State is 22nd, the Bengals’ first ranking in any national poll since 2003.
A national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries selects the STATS FCS Top 25.
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