The Sun Belt released its preseason football coaches poll on Thursday, and per tradition, defending conference champion Arkansas State is not picked to win. Instead, the Appalachian State Mountaineers – with a bevy of talented starters returning for a very agreeable conference schedule – received 7 of 12 first place votes. Troy, who last year briefly found themselves in the AP Top 25. placed second. The Red Wolves are picked to finish third.
Mountaineers are the sexy pick
Featuring 7 Athlon preseason All-Sun Belt First Team picks – including RB Jalin Moore, LB Eric Boggs and three offensive linemen – Appalachian State certainly has the personnel to win the Sun Belt outright. A conference schedule that does not include Troy or Arkansas State gives Scott Satterfield’s squad a clear path to the SBC Trophy.
Sun Belt coaches are not without a sense of mystery and drama. For example, somebody expects the New Mexico State Aggies (picked 10th) to win it all. Also receiving a first place vote: Louisiana (5th), who seem to have question marks at every position but kicker.
Coastal expected to debut in the basement
The Chanticleers, who elevated their game to the FBS this season, received the fewest votes. Joining Coastal Carolina in the cellar, Texas State, who are still rebuilding under Everett Withers. Georgia Southern (7th) is also predicted to struggle after experiencing a down season under first-year head coach Tyson Summers. As usual, little is expected from the ULM Warhawks.
Here’s the Poll, Yo!
1. Appalachian State, 136 points (7)
2. Troy, 127 points (2)
3. Arkansas State, 122 points (1)
4. South Alabama, 98 points
5. Louisiana, 95 points (1)
6. Idaho, 84 points
7. Georgia Southern, 82 points
8. Georgia State, 48 points
9. ULM, 46 points
10. New Mexico State, 41 points (1)
11. Texas State, 31 points
12. Coastal Carolina, 26 points