With its best start since 2007, the Missouri State University football team is starting to turn heads on a national level as the 3-1 Bears have cracked the FCS Coaches Top 25 Poll this week at No. 24.
It marks the first time since the team was No. 21 in the 1997 ESPN/USA Today preseason poll that MSU has been ranked in the top 25. The Bears also closed out the 1996 season ranked No. 23 in The Sports Network final poll.
Missouri State received 65 votes in the poll voted on by 26 national FCS coaches. A total of seven Missouri Valley Football Conference schools are ranked in the poll this week, including No. 12 Youngstown State, MSU’s next opponent for the game at Robert W. Plaster Stadium on Oct. 4. North Dakota State (1), South Dakota State (9), Northern Iowa (10), Southern Illinois (16) and Illinois State (22) are also ranked.
Meanwhile, on the heels of earning Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Week distinction, Missouri State University wide receiver Julian Burton has earned College Sporting News All-Star honors after the Bears’ 33-31 win Saturday at Central Arkansas.
Burton posted career highs 10 receptions and 194 yards to help Missouri State to the thrilling win. The senior saved his best for last as he accounted for 44 yards on the game-winning drive, culminating with a 29-yard catch and run to the UCA 31 that would help set up the game-winning field goal. Burton also had five receptions in the fourth quarter along with eight catches for 10+ yards, four receptions for 20+ yards, and a pair of grabs for 30+ yards.