Cajuns Picked As Co-Favorites In Sun Belt Conference Preseason Coaches Poll
Louisiana head coach Mark Hudspeth
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajun football team is picked as co-favorites, along with the ULM Warhawks, in the Sun Belt Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, which was released on Monday morning.
Louisiana, who returns 14 starters off of a team that went 9-4 for the second-consecutive season, including a 6-2 conference record, received four first place votes, and 57 overall points, in voting conducted by the league's eight head coaches.
The Cajuns are not only coming off of consecutive 9-4 seasons, but also back-to-back New Orleans Bowl victories.
ULM, who went 8-5 last season, and 6-2 in conference play, made an appearance in the Independence Bowl, and returns the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year in quarterback Kolton Browning. The Warhawks received 57 total points, but only two first place votes.
Arkansas St., the defending league champions, are picked third, with 45 total points, and two first place votes. The Red Wolves who went 10-3, and 7-1, a year ago, including a victory over Kent St. in the GoDaddy.com Bowl, will have their fourth head coach in as many years, in Bryan Harsin.
WKU, under the direction of new head coach Bobby Petrino, is picked fourth, with 44 points. The Hilltoppers went 7-6, and 4-4, last year, including a trip to the Little Caesars Bowl.
Troy is picked fifth, followed by Texas St., South Alabama, and Georgia St.
T-1)---Louisiana 57 (4)
T-1)---ULM 57 (2)
3)---Arkansas State 45 (2)
6)---Texas State 23
7)---South Alabama 19
8)---Georgia State 8
Meanwhile, three Cajuns were named to the Preseason All-Conference team, in senior center Andre Huval on offense, along with junior defensive lineman Christian Ringo and senior linebacker Justin Anderson on defense.
Browning was tabbed as the Offensive Player of the Year, while WKU's Andrew Jackson was tabbed as the Defensive Player of the Year.
Kolton Browning (ULM, Sr., QB)
David Oku (Arkansas St., Sr., RB)
Antonio Andrews (WKU, Sr., RB)
J.D. McKissic (Arkansas St., So., WR)
Je’Ron Hamm (ULM, Sr., WR)
Eric Thomas (Troy, Sr. WR)
Wes Saxton (South Alabama, Jr., TE)
Bryce Giddens (Arkansas St., So., OL)
Andre Huval (Louisiana, Sr., OL)
Josh Allen (ULM, Sr., OL)
Terrence Jones (Troy, Jr., OL)
Sean Conway (WKU, Sr., OL)
Ryan Carrethers (Arkansas St., Sr., DL)
Christian Ringo (Louisiana, Jr., DL)
Kentarius Caldwell (ULM, Sr., DL)
Alex Page (South Alabama, Sr., DL)
Qushaun Lee (Arkansas State, Jr., LB)
Justin Anderson (Louisiana, Sr., LB)
Andrew Jackson (WKU, Jr., LB)
Sterling Young (Arkansas St., Jr., DB)
Isaiah Newsome (ULM, Sr., DB)
Tyrell Pearson (South Alabama, Sr., DB)
Jonathan Dowling (WKU, Sr., DB)
Brian Davis (Arkansas St., Sr., K)
Will Scott (Troy, Sr., P)
Antonio Andrews (WKU, Sr., Return Specialist)
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Kolton Browning (ULM, Sr., QB)
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Andrew Jackson (WKU, Jr., LB)