North Dakota State will go for its sixth FCS championship in seven years in 2018, and the defending champs will likely start the year at the top of every major preseason poll.

But that doesn’t mean the Bison will go unchallenged on the road back to Frisco. A combination of postseason regulars and on-the-rise newcomers look primed to join NDSU in the 2018 title mix.

Here are the four teams with the best chances to end the Bison’s FCS championship dominance this year: 

James Madison

James Madison was the team that ended North Dakota State’s remarkable five-year title run with a shocking 27-17 2016 semifinals win in Fargo. The Dukes would win their second national title over Youngstown State the next month to establish itself as a legitimate lasting threat to NDSU’s dynasty. The No. 1 Dukes then lost to the No. 2 Bison in a thrilling 17-13 finish in last year’s national championship game.

Overall, the Dukes are 28-2 over the last two seasons (playoffs included), with their only other loss coming against FBS foe Virginia in 2016. James Madison will once again be the top team standing in NDSU’s way, despite losing arguably its best two players — quarterback Bryan Schor and defensive end Andrew Ankrah.

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FCS Championship: North Dakota State beats James Madison 17-13

No matter, JMU returns its top postseason pass catcher from last year in 6-5 target Riley Stapleton, and a balanced backfield with Marcus Marshall, Trai Sharp and Cardon Johnson (combined for 2,006 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns in 2017). This experienced core of playmakers should help ease the transition of the new starting quarterback — either Cole Johnson or Ben DiNucci — before tough CAA conference play and the postseason begins.

MORE: North Dakota St. wins sixth title in seven years | Highlights