Could it that OVC Coaches and Sport Information predicted an outright champion for the first time since 2007 or will the target be to large to bare as Eastern Illinois was chosen as the favorite for the 2013 football season.
It might not be the best thing for Dino Babers’ Panthers as the last preseason pick to win the championship outright was Eastern Illinois in 2002, with Jacksonville State earning a share of the title in 2011.
1) Eastern Illinois (12 first place votes) 122
2) Eastern Kentucky (4) 114
3) Tennessee State (2) 90
4) Jacksonville State 87
5) UT Martin 78
6) Murray State 53
6) Tennessee Tech 53
8) Southeast Missouri 35
9) Austin Peay 16
It is no surprise that EIU and EKU are the top two in the conference as both return quarterbacks and key pieces from last year rosters that saw them end first and second. The intrigue for the conference is seen below the top two, the battle for third with Tennessee State edging Jacksonville State in Bill Clark‘s first season as head coach of the Gamecocks.
While none of these polls are meant to reflect anything but pure speculation, it does serve as motivation for the locker rooms. We can’t forget it was just last season that the projected sixth place Panthers shocked the conference taking the title.