CAL POLY: Cal Poly returns 10 starters from an offense that ranked second in total yardage, surpassed 500 yards in a game four times and set a school record for points in a season. Cal Poly can be the spoiler early against MWC doormat San Diego State, and if it can get through a tough early season stretch against No. 8 Montana and on the road against No. 10 McNeese State, the Mustangs could be in the driver's seat for a playoff bid. The Mustangs end their season with a frigid November trip to Camp Randall Stadium to play Wisconsin.

UC DAVIS: UC Davis ended a streak of 37 straight winning seasons last year, and looks to get back on track with 19 returning starters, including 10 on offense. Winning road games at Montana and Cal Poly will be key to making a claim for the conference's top spot.

NORTH DAKOTA: North Dakota is in its first year in FCS (I-AA), going 10-2 and advancing to the second round of the Division II playoffs last year. Danny Freund runs the offense for the Sioux in his second year as the starter. He's the school's all-time leader in passing efficiency.

SOUTH DAKOTA: The Coyotes also are brand-new to FCS, and had a 6-5 record last season in Division II. South Dakota returns only nine starters from a year ago, and depending on how well it does against SUU, it could end up not being in the conference basement.