(STATS) - Jacksonville State has delivered every time as the preseason favorite in the Ohio Valley Conference preseason media poll, so not surprisingly Friday the five-time defending champ was made a unanimous choice for this season.
The poll was started in 2014, and the Gamecocks have been the favorite each year, this time gaining all 15 first-place votes and 135 points to outdistance Southeast Missouri, which was second with 115 points. Both teams reached the second round of the FCS playoffs last year.
Eastern Kentucky (99) was third followed by Austin Peay (84), Tennessee State (75), UT Martin (58), Murray State (55), Eastern Illinois (38) and Tennessee Tech (16).
The OVC media also selected Jacksonville State junior quarterback Zerrick Cooper and Southeast Missouri senior linebacker Zach Hall as their preseason offensive and defensive players of the year, respectively.
The OVC will release a preseason poll and an all-conference team, as voted on by its head coaches and sports information directors, at media day Monday in Nashville.