Stephen F. Austin fans wont like this, but at its annual media day, the Southland Conference announced that Sam Houston State is the favorite heading into the 2013 football season. The Bearkats claimed their second straight conference title last year and played in the national championship game for a second consecutive season. Sam Houston received six 6 of the first place votes in the coaches poll. Central Arkansas meanwhile is picked to finish second, and McNeese State was tabbed third.
The Jacks were picked fourth, but did receive one first place vote from the coaches poll. SFA finished tied for fourth last season in the SLC with a 4 and 3 record. The jacks return 16 starters, including first team all conference running back Gus Johnson, and first team all conference defensive end Darren Robinson. Both represented the Jacks today in Lake Charles, Louisiana along with head coach J.C. Harper. SFA could surprise some people in 2013. They are only one of six6 schools to have a player named to the CFPA preseason watch list at quarterback, running back, and receiver...Brady Attaway and D.J. Ward join Johnson on that list and the Jacks are hoping that talent takes them to the top.
Head coach Harper said from media day, "I don't think anyone wakes up and is like I want to be fourth. You know, you wake up and you want to be first. I've always thought it is what it is, and you are where your at. Most of the time you are where your at based on what you did last year. I hope that we don't finish where we are picked and we like to finish in the top."
Johnson added, "They are what they are you know. They put us where they think we will go, but you know its up to us to determine where we are going to go and where we will finish at so we are looking to change that."