UNI football earns a spot on the top 25 in Stats Perform preseason poll

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – UNI football cracked the top 25 in Stats Perform’s preseason poll with a spot at No. 21.

The Missouri Valley Football Conference has five programs represented with North Dakota State taking the top spot. Ten different conferences were represented in the rankings.

Head coach Mark Farley enters his 22nd season with the Panthers as the winningest coach in program history. He also leads the conference in wins. With a winning percentage of .644, he is 12th in the nation among all active FCS coaches for winning percentage.

The Panthers return four all-MVFC players with kicker Matthew Cooklinebacker Spencer Cuvelier and defensive back Benny Sapp III having earned first team distinctions last season and Deion McShane earned an honorable mention.

Sixteen Panthers have earned preseason honors, including multiple all-American teams for Cook, Cuvelier and Sapp.

UNI made its 22nd appearance in the FCS playoffs last season and topped two top-10 teams to earn National Team of the Week honors from Stats Perform.

UNI opens on the road with Air Force Sept. 3. The Panthers stay on the road to face an MVFC foe early with North Dakota before hosting Sacramento State, ranked No. 7 in the preseason poll at 4 pm Sept. 17.

Season tickets remain on sale. Fans also have the option to purchase mini packs, which allows for the choice of three home games. Single-game tickets are also now available. See your options by clicking here.

Fans are invited for a Fall Sport Kickoff that will include a kids clinic and free food. The event will be held at the Doug and Ann Goschke Outdoor Practice Facility starting at 5:30 pm Aug. 19.

To register for the event, click here.

1. North Dakota State (14-1, 7-1 Missouri Valley), 1,348 points (52 first-place votes)
Season Opener: Sept. 3 vs. Drake
2. South Dakota Statee (11-4, 5-3 Missouri Valley), 1,285 (2)
Season Opener: Sept. 3 at Iowa
3. Montana (10-3, 6-2 Big Sky), 1,218
Season Opener: Sept. 3 vs. Northwestern State
4. Montana State (12-3, 7-1 Big Sky), 1,203
Season Opener: Sept. 3 vs. McNeese
5. Missouri State (8-4, 6-2 Missouri Valley), 1,066
Season Opener: Sept. 1 at Central Arkansas
6. Villanova (10-3, 7-1 CAA), 997
Season Opener: Sept. 2 vs. Lehigh
7. Sacramento State (9-3, 8-0 Big Sky), 991
Season Opener: Sept. 3 vs. Utah Tech
8. Kennesaw State (11-2, 6-0 Big South), 959
Season Opener: Sept. 1 at Samford
9. Southern Illinois (8-5, 5-3 Missouri Valley), 915
Season Opener: Sept. 3 at UIW
10. Stephen F. Austin (8-4, 4-2 ASUN-WAC), 813
Season Opener: Aug. 27 vs. Jacksonville State (in Montgomery, Alabama)
11. ETSU (11-2, 7-1 Southern), 750
Season Opener: Sept. 1 vs. Mars Hill
12. Chattanooga (6-5, 5-3 Southern), 562
Season Opener: Sept. 3 vs. Wofford
13. Eastern Washington (10-3, 6-2 Big Sky), 538
Season Opener: Sept. 3 vs. Tennessee State
14. UIW (10-3, 7-1 Southland), 533
Season Opener: Sept. 3 vs. Southern Illinois
15. Jackson State (11-2, 8-0 SWAC), 515
Season Opener: Sept. 4 vs. Florida A&M (in Miami Gardens, Florida)
16. Holy Cross (10-3, 6-0 Patriot), 503
Season Opener: Sept. 2 at Merrimack
17. Southeastern Louisiana (9-4, 6-2 Southland), 440
Season Opener: Sept. 3 that Louisiana
18. UT Martin (10-3, 5-1 Ohio Valley), 404
Season Opener: Sept. 1 vs. Western Illinois
19. Delaware (5-6, 3-5 CAA), 401
Season Opener: Sept. 3 at Navy
20. Weber State (6-5, 5-3 Big Sky), 391
Season Opener: Sept. 1 vs. Western Oregon
21. Northern Iowa (6-6, 4-4 Missouri Valley), 289
Season Opener: Sept. 3 at the Air Force

22. Rhode Island (7-4, 4-4 CAA), 242
Season Opener: Sept. 1 at Stony Brook
23. Mercer (7-3, 6-2 Southern), 215
Season Opener: Aug. 27 vs. Morehead State
24. Richmond (6-5, 4-4 CAA), 166
Season Opener: Sept. 3 at Virginia
25. UC Davis (8-4, 5-3 Big Sky), 153
Season Opener: Sept. 3 at California
Others Receiving Votes (schools listed on two or more ballots): South Dakota (7-5, 5-3 Missouri Valley) 151, Eastern Kentucky (7-4, 4-2 ASUN-WAC) 129, Florida A&M (9-3 , 7-1 SWAC) 78, William & Mary (6-5, 4-4 CAA) 66, Dartmouth (9-1, 6-1 Ivy) 59, Monmouth (7-4, 6-1 Big South) 23, Harvard (8-2, 5-2 Ivy) 19, Princeton (9-1, 6-1 Ivy) 18, Central Arkansas (5-6, 3-3 ASUN-WAC) 14, Furman (6-5, 4- 4 Southern) 14, South Carolina State (7-5, 5-0 MEAC) 13, Sacred Heart (8-4, 6-1 Northeast) 12, Elon (6-5, 5-3 CAA) 8, North Carolina A&T (5-6, 3-4 Big South) 4

Stats Perform FCS Top 25 Voters – Stats Perform: Craig Haley, Gary Reasons. ASUN: John Bednarowski, Brian Morgan. Big Sky Conference: Doug Kelly, Tyson Rodgers, Larry Weir. Big South Conference: Brian Cleary, Mark Simpson. CAA Football: Matt Harmon, Scott Klatzkin, Rob Washburn. Ivy League: Rick Bender, Craig Larson. Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference: Bill Hamilton, Maurice Williams. Missouri Valley Football Conference: Dom Izzo, Mike Kern, Randy Reinhardt. Northeast Conference: Sarah Boissonneault, Randy Brochu. Ohio Valley Conference: Mike Bradd, Kyle Schwartz. Patriot League: Eric Malanowski, Ryan Sakamoto. Pioneer Football League: Cody Bush, Jack Cronin. Southern Conference: Jeff Hartsell, Scott Keeler, Phil Perry. Southland Conference: Matthew Bonnette, James Dixon, Josh Yonis. Southwestern Athletic Conference: Ronnie Johnson, Andrew Roberts, Jacob Shames. Western Athletic Conference: Eric Danner, Dennis Driscoll. National Representatives: Josh Buchanan, Zack Carlton, Riley Corcoran, Sam Herder, Emory Hunt, Kyle Kensing, Brandon Lawrence, Zach McKinnell, Brian McLaughlin, Jon Passman, Kent Schmidt, Lawrence Smith, Phil Sokol, Reggie Thomas, Ralph Ventre, Jamie Williams .

A national media panel selects the Stats Perform FCS Top 25. A first-place vote is worth 25 points, a second-place vote 24 points, all the way down to one point for a 25th-place vote.


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