Southeastern football will open the 2013 season picked to finish sixth according to the 2013 Great American Conference Preseason Poll released on Monday.
The Savage Storm finished seventh in 2012 and edged out Southwestern Oklahoma State by two points for the sixth-place position.
"I think it's a fair evaluation," said head coach Ray Richards. "We've got a lot of juniors on our team, the most of all the starters, and we've got maybe 10 or 11 seniors. We're not an old team, but we are definitely not a young and inexperienced team. I think that's going to give us a great advantage and obviously we expect to be better than sixth place in the conference. We expect to win the conference."
SE returns 40 total letterwinners form last season, 20 on offense, 18 on defense and two special team members. Even more impressively, the team returns 21 players who saw significant starting time last year, with eight of those on offense and 11 on defense along with two special teamers.
Henderson State topped the poll comfortably with 100 points and 10 of the 11 first place votes, and opened the AFCA Coaches Poll ranked No. 13.
Southern Arkansas was second with 85 points and the remaining first place vote, while Harding was right behind in third with 83 points.
Ouachita Baptist was picked fourth, followed by East Central in fifth, 16 points ahead of SE in the voting.
Arkansas Tech was picked eighth with 37 points, followed by Arkansas-Monticello, Northwestern Oklahoma State and Southern Nazarene.
The Storm will open the 2013 season with a 6 p.m. conference home game against Southern Arkansas on Nov. 5 at Paul Laird Field.