North Texas was picked to finish last in Conference USA’s West Division in the league’s preseason poll that was released today.
Media members who regularly cover the league voted in the poll. (Full disclosure, I was among them).
Southern Miss was picked to win the West Division. Louisiana Tech was picked second and Rice third.
Middle Tennessee was picked to win the East Division with Western Kentucky second and Marshall third.
The poll projects the hierarchy of the conference to remain pretty much unchanged from last season. Southern Miss and LA Tech were clearly the best teams in the West, while the trio of MTSU, WKU and Marshall dominated the East.
UNT finished 1-11 in 2015 and is entering its first year under new coach Seth Littrell. The Mean Green are hoping the arrival of the former North Carolina assistant sparks the program.
Littrell and his staff could very well give the Mean Green new life, but UNT has a lot to prove before it is going to get the benefit of the doubt heading into a season. UNT has posted just one winning season in the last 11 years.
The safe assumption ever since the end of UNT’s four-year reign as Sun Belt Conference champions in 2004 is that the Mean Green are going to finish at the bottom of whatever conference they have been playing in at the time.
UNT’s underdog status was further cemented yesterday when the league’s preseason all-conference team was released. Safety Kishawn McClain was UNT’s lone representative.
LA Tech had seven preseason all-conference selections. Southern Miss had six, UTEP five, UTSA 3 and Rice 1.
Here is the poll:
Conference USA preseason media poll
|Team||2015 record (conference)|
|1. Southern Miss||9-5 (7-1)|
|2. Louisiana Tech||9-4 (6-2)|
|3. Rice||5-7 (3-5)|
|4. UTEP||5-7 (3-5)|
|5. Texas-San Antonio||3-9 (3-5)|
|6. North Texas||1-11 (1-7)|