Central Oklahoma is the top choice in the North Division and Abilene Christian is favored in the South Division, according to the 2009 Lone Star Conference preseason polls announced Thursday.
The league's preseason polls reflect the opinions of LSC head coaches and sports information directors, plus various media representatives from throughout the region.
The 2009 football season kicks off in late August, and the LSC has 13 teams set to compete. Each team will play a total of nine countable conference games. Divisional champions will be determined by only those games against division opponents, while the overall league champion will be determined by the overall nine-game conference record, which will include division games plus designated crossover contests.
Central Oklahoma is favored to repeat as Lone Star Conference North Division champions, according to the annual preseason poll, after putting together a seven-game winning streak to end the 2008 season.
The Bronchos received first-place votes on 12 of the 16 ballots cast by LSC coaches, sports information directors and various media representatives.
UCO, who posted a perfect 5-0 mark in the division last season, totaled 90 points in the poll to end up in front of Texas A&M-Commerce and Southeastern Oklahoma . A&M-C and SE finished tied for second with 70 points each including three and one first-place votes, respectively.
Southwestern Oklahoma (39) was third, East Central fourth (37) and Northeastern State (30) rounded out the poll.
Abilene Christian is the popular choice to win the Lone Star Conference South Division in 2009, according to the annual preseason poll.
ACU, who posted a 11-1 mark in 2008, earned first-place votes on 16 of the 20 ballots to finish with 135 total points in front of West Texas A&M’s 107-point tally in the poll of LSC head coaches, sports information directors and various media representatives.
The Wildcats claimed its first outright LSC title since 1973 and third overall, as well as the South Division crown to join the 1950 team as the only teams in ACU history to finish a regular season 10-0.
Both ACU and WTAMU advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs last season. The Wildcats fell in the quarterfinals after topping the Buffaloes, 93-68, in the second round. WTAMU collected three first-place votes as well.
Tarleton State, 8-3 overall last year, finished third with 86 points, Texas A&M-Kingsville was fourth 84, Midwestern State fifth 82 and the remaining first-place nod, Angelo State sixth 42 and Eastern New Mexico seventh 24.