Football Southern Conference

SoCon Media Tab Chattanooga Preseason Favorite

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Chattanooga has been selected the Southern Conference’s preseason football favorite in balloting conducted by the league’s media. The Mocs earned 29 of 30 first-place votes after sharing the SoCon crown in 2013 with a 6-2 league record.

Chattanooga, which returns two-time Defensive Player of the Year Davis Tull, earned 235 votes in preseason balloting.

Furman and Samford finished second and third, respectively, in the voting. Both teams shared the Southern Conference championship with Chattanooga last season. Furman earned the last remaining first-place vote and finished with 203 points. It is the Paladins’ highest preseason placement since being picked second in 2007.

Samford garnered 174 points to claim third place, the highest position in the media poll for the Bulldogs since joining the league in 2008.

Wofford was tabbed fourth with 155 points. The Terriers return 35 lettermen and 13 starters from last season.

Western Carolina (105) edged The Citadel (103) for fifth place. The Catamounts return 10 starts on offense, including wide receiver Karnorris Benson, who was tabbed preseason all-conference by the league’s coaches. The Citadel (103) finished just two points behind WCU. The Bulldogs closed last season winning three out of their last four games and are under the direction of new head coach Mike Houston.

League newcomer Mercer (67) was picked seventh in the poll. The Bears went 10-2 as members of the Pioneer League last fall.

VMI rounded out the poll in eighth place. The Keydets return to the Southern Conference after spending the last 11 years in the Big South. VMI was a Southern Conference member from 1924-2003.

2014 SoCon Football Preseason Media Poll

School (First-place votes)                Points
1. Chattanooga (29)                              235
2. Furman (1)                                        203
3. Samford                                            174
4.Wofford                                              155
5. Western Carolina                              105
6. The Citadel                                        103
7. Mercer                                                67
8. VMI                                                     38