After a pair of solid seasons in 2016, Augustana University and the University of Sioux Falls are picked to finish in the top half of the NSIC standings in 2017.

The Vikings are fourth overall in the pre-season coaches poll, picking up a first place vote along the way. Augustana was 8-3 last season, winning eight or more games in back-to-back seasons since 2008-10.

Augie is second in the NSIC South pre-season poll, behind Minnesota State.

Defending NSIC champion Sioux Falls is fifth overall in the NSIC poll, grabbing a pair of first place votes. The Cougars were 12-1 last season, losing in the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs. They were ranked eighth in the final AFCA and Polls.

USF is third in the NSIC South pre-season poll.

Pre-Season Football Poll (first place votes)

    1. Minnesota State (4)
    2. Minnesota - Duluth (7)
    3. Bemidji State (2)
    4. Augustana (1)
    5. Sioux Falls (2)
    6. Winona State
    7. Minnesota State - Moorhead
    8. Southwest Minnesota State
    9. Northern State
    10. St. Cloud State
    11. Upper Iowa
    12. Wayne State
    13. Concordia - St. Paul
    14. Minot State
    15. Mary
    16. Minnesota - Crookston

Individually, USF running back Max Mickey is the pre-season Co-Offensive Player of the Year in the NSIC South.

The senior, from Holden, Missouri, set Cougar records in yards per carry, average yards per game and total yards in a season in 2016. He has 13 100-yard rushing games in his career (fourth most in USF school history), and is eighth all-time with 2,783 rushing yards.

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