Tarleton State was selected to repeat as Lone Star Conference football champion, according to the 2014 LSC preseason poll announced Tuesday.
The league's preseason poll reflects the opinions of LSC head coaches and sports information directors, plus various media representatives from throughout the region.
TSU, which earned a share of the 2013 LSC title with a 5-1 mark, earned first place votes on eight of the 21 ballots to finish with 139 total points.
West Texas A&M was picked second with 127 points and four first-place tallies on the heels of an 11-3 campaign last season that ended in the NCAA Division II quarterfinals.
Eastern New Mexico, the 2013 co-LSC champion, was third with 115 points and five top votes, while Midwestern State was fourth with 111 points and two first-place nods.
Angelo State was fifth with 99 points and one top vote, followed by Texas A&M-Commerce sixth (95 points and the remaining first-place vote), Texas A&M-Kingsville seventh (49), and McMurry (21).
The 2014 football season kicks off September 4, and the LSC has eight teams set to compete including McMurry, who joins the league as an affiliate member this season.
After playing seven conference games apiece over the first nine weeks of an 11-week regular season, the LSC's eight football teams will split into two brackets to conduct a two-week conference playoff. The conference champion and playoff seeding will be determined by regular season results with the higher seeds hosting each round.
The top four teams (No. 4 at No. 1 and No. 3 at No. 2) comprise the championship bracket with Week 10 winners playing for the playoff title in Week 11, whereas Week 10 losers will meet for third place. The other half of the bracket includes the remaining four teams with No. 8 at No. 5 and No. 7 at No. 6 in Week 10. The winners will play for fifth-place in Week 11, while the losers meet in the seventh-place game.
Three LSC teams were included in postseason play last season, with WT advancing to the NCAA Division II playoffs, A&M-C playing in the Live United Texarkana Bowl, and TSU being selected for the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl, which was cancelled due to inclement weather.
|2||West Texas A&M||4||127|
|3||Eastern New Mexico||5||115|
ASU's Washington, A&M-C's Tuaau take home preseason honors
Angelo State's Kyle Washington and Texas A&M-Commerce's Charles Tuaau were named Lone Star Conference Football Preseason Players of the Year for the 2014 season league officials announced Tuesday.
ASU's Washington was tabbed Offensive Player of the Year, while A&M-C's Tuaau claimed the Defensive Player of the Year award.
The league's preseason awards were selected by a vote of LSC head coaches and sports information directors, plus various media representatives from throughout the region.
Washington, a 6-5, 210-pound junior from Humble, Texas, finished 2013 with 1,102 rushing yards and 2,073 passing yards while also breaking the school record for total offensive yards in a single season (3,175). He is the first player in ASU history to throw for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a single season and earned second-team All-LSC honors.
With 15 votes, Washington was the clear choice in front of A&M-C's Vernon Johnson (three votes) and three others who each received one vote.
Tuaau, a 6-5, 310-pound senior from Wahiawa, Hawaii, was named the league's J.V. Sikes Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year along with first team All-LSC acclaim after tallying 59 total tackles, 25 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks in 2013. He set program records for tackles for loss in a game (5), tackles for loss in a season (25) and sacks in a season (12.5) to capture AFCA All-America first team and Daktronics All-America second team honors.
Tuaau received 14 votes to top Midwestern State's Marqui Christian (three votes) and two others who each received two votes.