PHILEDELPHIA, Pa. – The University of Northern Iowa football team was tabbed as the No. 17 ranked team in the FCS in the Sports Network Preseason Poll, it was announced today.
The Panthers were also selected as the No. 16 team in the FCS Coaches Poll earlier this month. UNI was ranked in 99 consecutive polls from 2004 to the middle of the 2012 season, tying the MVFC record for consecutive weeks in the top-25.
UNI is joined by three other MVFC schools in the Sports Network Preseason Poll with South Dakota State landing at No. 6, Illinois State at No. 13 and North Dakota State taking the top spot at No. 1.
UNI was picked to finish third in the MVFC this season and will return seven offensive and six defensive starters after ending the 2012 season on a three game winning streak.Head coach Mark Farley will enter his 13th season at the helm for the Panthers, winning at least a share of seven Missouri Valley Football Conference championships. Farley picked up his 100th career win during the 2012 season when UNI defeated Central State.
The Panthers will kickoff the 2013 season on Aug. 31 as they take on the Iowa State Cyclones in Ames, Iowa. The game is set to start at 7:00 p.m.