Stephen F. Austin picked eighth in Southland preseason poll

NACOGDOCHES — Stephen F. Austin's Lumberjacks were picked to finish eighth in the Southland Conference's Preseason Football Poll, which was released on Thursday.

The Lumberjacks garnered 60 points to finish in front of Houston Baptist (59), Northwestern St. (49) and Lamar (38).

Central Arkansas is the preseason favorite for the 2020 Southland Conference football season, the league announced Wednesday. The defending co-champions received 12 first-place votes and 190 total points to garner the top spot in the poll, presented by Jostens.

Central Arkansas enters 2020 with a league-high 13 total preseason all-conference picks after the Bears went 9-4 overall and 7-2 in league play on their way to a conference title and a national seed (No. 8) for the second time in the last three seasons. UCA’s season ended with a second-round loss to Illinois State.

Sam Houston State was voted second with four first-place votes and 170 points. Defending co-champion Nicholls follows closely in third place, earning six first-place votes and 169 points. Southeastern Louisiana collected 157 points to rank fourth in the preseason poll.

McNeese (113) is slated as the fifth-place team, followed by UIW (104) and Abilene Christian (101).

The Southland Conference preseason poll is voted on by each head coach and football sports information director. Each voter ranks their predicted order of regular season finish, not including their own team. First-place votes are worth 10 points, second-place votes are worth nine and so on to one point for 10th place.

SFA will open its season on Sept. 12 by visiting SMU.

Originally the Lumberjacks were slated to play at Alabama A&M on Sept. 5, but the Southwestern Athletic Conference, which is the Bulldogs' home conference, announced earlier this week that it is postponing football until the spring of 2021 due to the prevalence of COVID-19.

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