LAKE CHARLES, La. — The University of Central Arkansas is ranked fourth in two polls in Southland Conference football.

By voting by the league’s head coaches and sports informaton directors, UCA received almost the same number of points in both polls (70 and 72).

Defending champion Southeastern Louisiana, which returns 15 starters and quarterback Bryan Bennett (Player of the Year), is the preseason favorite in both polls. The Lions, 7-0 in conference last season, received nine first-place votes in the cochs poll and 10 of the 11 in the SID poll.

McNeese State, which advanced to the Division I postseason for the 15th time, are picked second in both polls. They Cowboys received two first-place votes in the coaches poll and one in the SID poll.

Sam Houston State is picked third in both polls.

Stephen F. Austin, coached by former UCA coach Clint Conque, is picked to tie for sixth by the coaches and sixth by the SID’s.

"The best thing is the players have bought into the new systems both offensively and defensively," said Steve Campbell, who is fielding his first team at UCA. "When players buy into what you are doing, it makes a first-year transition really good. Our best players are great leaders and when you have guys working hard for the betterment of the team rather than personal statistics, you’ve got a chance to be pretty good pretty fast."

The Bears, who play 11 straight weeks, open Aug. 30 at Texas Tech.



1. Southeastern Louisiana (9 first place) 99

2. McNeese State (2) 92

3. Sam Houston State 79

4. UCA 70

5. Northwestern State 59

T6. Stephen F. Austin 52

T6. Lamar 52

8. Abilene Christian 36

9. Nicholls 35

10. Incarnate Word 21

11. Houston Baptist 10

Sports Information


1. SE Louisiana (10) 100

2. McNeese State (1) 89

3. Sam Houston State 78

4. UCA 72

5. Northwestern State 61

6. SFA 55

7. Lamar 45

8. Abilene Christian 39

9. Nicholls 36

10. Incarnate Word 20

11. Houston Baptist 10