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Led by national champion North Dakota State, three Missouri Valley Football Conference teams made the final STATS top 25 poll Monday.

The Bison (15-0) completed the fifth unbeaten and untied season in the 41-year history of the NCAA playoffs Saturday with a 38-24 win over Eastern Washington (12-3) in Frisco, Texas. NDSU finished off its second straight national championship and seventh in the last eight years.

Eastern Washington was second in the final poll, followed by national semifinalists South Dakota State (10-3) and Maine (10-4). Kennesaw State (11-2), which lost to South Dakota State in the quarterfinals, was fifth.

Northern Iowa (7-6) was 23rd. Indiana State (7-4) was just outside the top 25 at 26th, and Illinois State (6-5) also received votes. Notably, Southeast Missouri State (9-4) finished 15th in the final poll.

A national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries selected the STATS top 25 poll this season. A first-place vote was worth 25 points, a second-place vote 24 points, all the way down to one point for a 25th-place vote.

— Todd Hefferman

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Sports reporter

Todd Hefferman has covered SIU athletics since 2008. A University of Iowa grad, he is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and a Heisman Trophy voter.

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