SALT LAKE CITY — Expectations were high for the Weber State Wildcats football team this fall, and even though their season has at the very least been postponed until next spring, those expectations were made manifest in a national poll released Tuesday.

The Wildcats were ranked No. 4 in the STATS Perform FCS preseason Top 25 poll, one of the two major polls used to rank teams in the Football Championship Subdivision. The three-time defending Big Sky Conference champion, Weber State was the highest ranked team in the conference. Montana State was ranked sixth, Montana seventh, Sacramento State 12th and Eastern Washington 18th.

North Dakota State, the three-time defending national champion which has reportedly tried to schedule some games for the fall against FBS teams and announced a game against No. 11 Central Arkansas for Oct. 3, was a unanimous pick at No. 1, followed by James Madison and Northern Iowa. South Dakota State is ranked fifth after Weber State.

This year marks the third straight in which the Wildcats were in the Top 10 of the preseason poll, and they have been in it for 35 straight weeks, the fifth-longest active streak in the nation. In 2019, they reached the semifinals of the FCS playoffs for the first time in school history.

The Big Sky football season was postponed until the spring as the conference pushed all fall sports until then.