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Illinois State Picked to Finish 5th in Missouri Valley
NORMAL, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois State football coach Brock Spack thinks the voters in the preseason Missouri Valley Football Conference got it about right when they picked Northern Iowa to win the title.

But Spack tells The (Bloomington) Pantagraph that the Missouri Valley is a toss-up after that.

For the record, pollsters think the Redbirds will finish fifth in the nine-team conference.

Northern Iowa is the defending conference champ. Illinois State finished 6-5 and 4-4 in the conference for a six-way tie for third.

But 2010 was also the Redbirds' second straight winning season. And they bring back 16 starters.

Illinois State opens the season Sept. 1 at Eastern Illinois. The game will be televised by Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
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