The LSC Media Day for the fall sports was held Tuesday, and the preseason polls (as chosen by the head coaches, SIDs and various media reps throughout the region) were released. We thought we'd take a look back at the polls since 2004 and see what we could find.
From 2004 to 2010, there were two polls, one each for the North and South divisions of the LSC.
Every returning LSC North Champion (with sole or shared champion) was selected as #1 the following year. In the South, it was 4 out of the 7 years that the returning champion was selected to repeat. Last year, ACU was picked to repeat as the LSC champion. That tallies up to 12 of 15 times that the prognosticators went with the past season's champion (80%). Ironically, West Texas A&M was the reigning champion (co-champion in 2006) all three times that a new champion was predicted.
The preseason favorites have won the LSC or division just 5 of the 15 titles predicted for them. Texas A&M-Kingsville in 2004, Tarleton State in 2006, Southeastern Oklahoma in 2006 and 2007, and Abilene Christian in 2008 were able to match preseason expectations, though just two of those titles were not shared with other teams. In fact, preseason favorites were as likely to finish in third place (5 times) as they were first. Three times teams finished fifth, and two times as the second place team.
Midwestern State was picked fourth in last year's poll, but won the LSC with an undefeated regular season. But the longest shot to take a crown was West Texas A&M in 2005. The Buffaloes won the LSC South despite being picked for last place (Angelo State was the runner-up and were picked next-to-last). In the final year of the divisional format, Northeastern State and East Central shared the North title despite being picked fifth and seventh respectively.
Now about those LSC Scoop polls....
We have been doing our preseason polls since 2008, and have picked the reigning LSC Champions to repeat all five times. This doesn't look good for Midwestern State - twice our top pick has finished second, once third, and once fourth. We had the eventual LSC champion slotted for second place twice, fourth place once, and for the tri-champions in 2009, third, fourth and sixth.
That's why they play the games. Polls are fun, and give us something to talk about until the season starts, but aren't worth getting worked up about.