TERRE HAUTE —
Respect is fleeting.
After finishing in a tie for third place last season in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, the Indiana State Sycamores have been picked to finish sixth in the league in the upcoming 2013 season. The annual preseason poll of MVFC coaches, media and sports information directors was released this morning.
ISU wound up with records of 7-4 overall and 5-3 in the conference in 2012. At one point, the Sycamores won five consecutive games last season, including a 17-14 victory over the No. 1-ranked team in the Football Championship Subdivision — MVFC rival North Dakota State on the Bison’s home turf before a crowd of 18,164.
The Sycamores will operate under new coach Mike Sanford this season, who replaced Trent Miles, now the head coach at Georgia State.
North Dakota State, the defending conference champion, were the unanimous choice of preseason poll voters to repeat in 2013. Winners of 28 of their past 30 games (going 14-1 each year), the Bison earned 39 of a possible 39 first-place votes. The Bison return 18 total starters from a team that went 14-1 overall and 7-1 in the conference last year.
South Dakota State was picked to finish second, followed by Northern Iowa, Illinois State, Youngstown State and Indiana State.
2013 Valley Football Preseason Poll
Team (first-place votes) Points
1. North Dakota State (39) 390
2. South Dakota State 323
3. UNI 269
4. Illinois State 264
5. Youngstown State 253
6. Indiana State 197
7. Southern Illinois 188
8. Missouri State 123
9. Western Illinois 77
10. South Dakota 61