It is never too early for college football, which means it is not too early for the preseason top 25 polls.

Kennesaw State was ranked No. 8 in HERO Sports’ Football Championship Subdivision preseason poll, which was released Wednesday.

The Owls, coming off their third Big South Conference championship and an 11-2 season, will be making their debut in the new ASUN football conference this fall and will be one of the favorites to win the inaugural championship.

Defending national champion North Dakota State earned the No. 1 spot in the FCS poll, followed by South Dakota State, Montana State, Montana and East Tennessee State — the team that pulled off an unlikely comeback to beat Kennesaw State in the second round of the playoffs last season.

Missouri State, Sam Houston State followed at Nos. 6 and 7, while Villanova and Sacramento State rounded out the top 10.

Kennesaw State was the only ASUN team ranked in the top 25, though Eastern Kentucky also received votes.

Also in the ASUN’s football lineup are Austin Peay, Central Arkansas and North Alabama, as well as Jacksonville State, which will be heading to Conference USA in 2023 and is ineligible for the ASUN championship.

As a result, the ASUN and the Western Athletic Conference — which consists of playoff eligible Abilene Christian, Lamar, Stephen F. Austin, Southern Utah and Incarnate Word — will renew its football alliance for a second year until each conference can get at least six members to allow each league to stand on its own.

Last year, the teams within the alliance played a crossover schedule. With the 2022 schedules having already been made, representatives from the ASUN and WAC are working to determine how the alliance’s automatic bid to the FCS playoffs will be rewarded.

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