The University of Northern Iowa football team has landed at the No. 9 spot on The Sports Network Preseason FCS Top 25.  UNI has been voted into the preseason top-10 in the last three seasons.

The Panthers are joined by Missouri Valley Conference foes North Dakota State (No. 2), South Dakota State (No. 10) and Youngstown State (No. 24).

The football program has already brought in several preseason accolades, including a No. 15 ranking in the FCS Coaches Poll.

UNI finished the 2013 season 7-5 overall, reaching as high of a national ranking as No. 4 after starting the season on a four-game winning streak. The Panthers spent seven weeks ranked in the top-15 and received votes from both polls the remaining five.

The Panthers will return 18 seniors to the field this year, including several key components to the team. Of the 95 man roster completing fall camp, 18 starters will return to the field.

Three of UNI’s 2014 opponents finished the 2013 season ranked in the final Top-25 polls. Head coach Mark Farley also currently holds a winning record against eight of the 12 teams the Panthers will face this season.

A national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries select the top-25 each season.

UNI will kick off the 2014 season against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Aug. 30. The game is set to start at 11 a.m.

The Sports Network Preseason FCS Top 25

Teams (First-place Votes)

1. Eastern Washington (82)

2. North Dakota State (62)

3. Southeastern Louisiana (2)

4. New Hampshire (1)

5. Montana

6. Jacksonville State

7. Coastal Carolina

8. McNeese State

9.University of Northern Iowa

10. South Dakota State

11. Fordham

12. Villanova

13. Towson

14. Chattanooga

15. Tennessee State

16. Eastern Illinois

17. Sam Houston State

18. Montana State

19. William & Mary

20. Richmond

21. Furman

22. Bethune-Cookman

23. Northern Arizona

24. Youngstown State

25. Maine