School (first-place votes) Points
Appalachian State (5) 60
Georgia Southern (3) 59
UTC (1) 45
The Citadel 13
Western Carolina 10
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team was picked to finish fourth in the Southern Conference this season by the league's coaches, one of whom gave the Mocs a first-place vote.
In the preseason poll released Monday, Appalachian State was picked to win the league. It received one point more than Georgia Southern. The Mountaineers have been the preseason pick six years in a row.
Wofford was picked third and UTC was close behind. The Mocs' first-place vote didn't come from Russ Huesman because coaches aren't allowed to vote for their own team.
"I wonder who that was," Huesman said. "I picked the top three the way they came out, and I think that's about right."
The coaches' preseason all-conference teams also were released, and Mocs wide receiver Joel Bradford and linebacker Ryan Consiglio made the first team. Quarterback B.J. Coleman, right tackle Adam Miller, defensive tackle Nick Davison, safety Chris Lewis-Harris and cornerback Kadeem Wise made the second team.
Georgia Southern led the SoCon with 14 all-conference players, including eight first-teamers and second-team place-kicker Adrian Mora from Dalton. Appalachian State had 11 and UTC and Furman had seven each.
The Mountaineers and Wofford shared the league title last season, and Georgia Southern reached the semifinals of the FCS playoffs. Appalachian has won or shared six consecutive SoCon titles.
The Mocs finished in a three-way tie for third with Georgia Southern and Elon in 2010.
Wofford fullback Eric Breitenstein was the preseason pick for offensive player of the year, while Georgia Southern defensive tackle Brent Russell and Wofford defensive end Ameet Pall shared the prediction of defensive player of the year.
Contact John Frierson at email@example.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mocsbeatCTFP.