SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Chattanooga has been selected the Southern Conference’s preseason football favorite for 2015 in balloting conducted by the league’s media. The Mocs earned 29 of 30 first-place votes after winning the league title with a 7-0 mark last season.
Chattanooga, which returns two-time Offensive Player of the Year Jacob Huesman, earned 239 votes in preseason balloting.
Western Carolina, which was picked third by the league’s coaches, was tabbed second by the media. The Catamounts earned the final first-place vote and finished with 190 points. Head coach Mark Speir, who enters his fourth season with WCU, has increased his win total in each of the last two years.
Chris Hatcher enters his first season as head coach at Samford. The Bulldogs were slotted third in the media poll (176) after being picked second by the coaches. Samford is one of two teams to open the season Thursday, Sept. 3, when the Bulldogs host Central Arkansas.
Wofford was tabbed fourth (148) as the Terriers have had just one losing season in league play over the last nine years (2009).
Furman returns nine starters on offense and eight on defense in Bruce Fowler’s fifth season as head coach. The Paladins were tabbed fifth in the preseason media poll (120).
Mercer (93) edged The Citadel (82) for sixth place. The Bears begin their second season in the Southern Conference, while Mike Houston enters his second year as head coach of the Bulldogs.
VMI (32) returns 18 starters for the 2015 season, the first year under new head coach Scott Wachenheim. Longtime members of the Southern Conference from 1924-2003, the Keydets returned to the SoCon last summer after 11 years in the Big South.
2015 SoCon Football Preseason Media Poll
School (First-place votes) Points
1. Chattanooga (29) 239
2. Western Carolina (1) 190
3. Samford 176
4. Wofford 148
5. Furman 120
6. Mercer 93
7. The Citadel 82
8. VMI 32