Southeastern picked to finish seventh in preseason Southland conference poll

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 29, 2008

HOUSTON – The Southeastern Louisiana University football team was picked to finish seventh overall as the Southland Conference released its 2008 preseason polls as SLC Football Media Days began its two-day event on Tuesday at the Houston Hilton North.

Southeastern, which opens its season Aug. 30 at Alcorn State, was picked ahead of Stephen F. Austin in both the Coaches’ and Sports Information Directors’ polls. The Lions, who return 38 letterwinners and 16 starters led All-SLC running back Jay Lucas, enter their fourth season in the SLC and second full season under head coach Mike Lucas.

Defending champion McNeese State was the overwhelming favorite to repeat, garnering seven of the eight first-place votes in each poll. The Cowboys, who finished 11-1 last season, return 13 starters including 2006 SLC Player of the Year Steven Whitehead.

Sam Houston State was selected to finish second in the Coaches Poll while Central Arkansas was picked to finish second in the SID Poll. SHSU, which finished 7-4 overall and 5-2 in the SLC, claimed the other first-place vote in the Coaches’ Poll and return 11 starters led by former Oklahoma University quarterback Rhett Bomar.

UCA, which finished 6-5 overall and 5-2 in its first season in the SLC, return all 11 starters on one of the most explosive offenses in the league led by All-SLC quarterback Nathan Brown. The Bears picked up one first-place vote in the SID Poll and return 19 starters overall.

Northwestern State was picked third in the Coaches’ Poll followed by UCA, Nicholls State, Texas State, Southeastern and SFA. In the SID Poll, SHSU was selected third followed by Northwestern State, Nicholls State, Texas State, Southeastern and SFA.