Sun Belt poll
Predicted order of finish in voting by league coaches:
La. Lafayette 121
Arkansas State 102
South Alabama 98
Texas State 70
Appalachian State 47
Georgia Southern 44
Georgia State 27
New Mexico State 26
After tying for the regular season championship last year, UL Lafayette and Arkansas State have been picked to finish first and second in the 2014 Sun Belt football preseason coaches’ poll.
UL Lafayette is picked to repeat as it garnered all 11 first-place votes from Sun Belt head coaches, and the maximum 121 points.
Arkansas State will look to grab a share of its fourth-straight Sun Belt title as it earned 102 points and second place in the poll.
South Alabama was tabbed for a third-place finish with 98 points after concluding last season with three-straight wins to earn bowl eligibility in only its second year as a Sun Belt member.
Five-time Sun Belt champion Troy finished fourth in the preseason poll with 84 points. The league’s coaches predicted a fifth-place finish for UL Monroe, which edged out Texas State, 78-70.
Football Bowl Subdivision newcomers Appalachian State and Georgia Southern took seventh and eighth in the poll.
The two schools begin their first season as Sun Belt members after ranking first and third in NCAA FCS championships with nine national titles between them.
The poll is rounded out by Idaho (9), Georgia State (10), and New Mexico State (11). Idaho and New Mexico State will be making their return to the Sun Belt Conference as football-only members, having last played in the Sun Belt during the 2004 season.
Georgia Southern will host Appalachian State, Idaho, Troy and Louisiana-Monroe in its inaugural Sun Belt season. Road trips include South Alabama, New Mexico State, Georgia State and Texas State.