Lamar football team picked 7th in Southland Preseason Poll

Lamar football team picked 7th in Southland Preseason Poll

LAKE CHARLES, La. – Lamar University, which returns 14 total starters, was picked seventh in the 2012 Southland Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll which was announced Tuesday at the league's annual Football Media Day.

The Cardinals, who competed for a league title in 2011 for the first time since the reinstatement of the program the year before, are coming off a sixth place finish after a 4-7 overall record and 2-5 Southland mark. Lamar was the only school not represented on the Southland Conference's preseason all-conference team.

Head coach Ray Woodard's Cardinals will open the season on Sept. 1 at Louisiana-Lafayette, one of two Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponents on this year's schedule. Lamar's league opener will come at Provost Umphrey Stadium on Sept. 29 against Southeastern Louisiana. The Cards are 2-0 against the Lions since bringing back football in 2010, including a 48-38 win in Hammond, La., last year.

"I knew the top of the conference would be very good and the bottom would still be pretty good," said Woodard about the strength of the Southland Conference. "I thought we competed every week and finished higher than we were supposed to. This is a great league and you've got to be ready to play every week."

Defending conference champion, and national runner-up, Sam Houston State was the runaway pick to repeat as league champion with seven first place votes and 49 points. Stephen F. Austin was chosen second in the coaches' poll, garnering the only other first place vote and 39 points.

Central Arkansas, which made it to the second round of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs last year, finished third in the voting with 38 total points. McNeese State was selected fourth with 34 points, followed by Northwestern State and Southeastern Louisiana with 21 points, Lamar with 13 and Nicholls with eight.

"These are the same experts that picked Sam Houston fourth last year," said Woodard about the preseason poll. "I don't put a whole lot of stock in that. We don't have any control with where we start. We have all the control about where we finish, so that's what we're going to focus on."

The Sports Information Directors' Poll was almost identical to the coaches' poll with the top four teams all finishing in the same order. Sam Houston once again took seven first place votes, but the other first place vote went to UCA. Northwestern State was alone in fifth, followed by SLU, Lamar and Nicholls.

Preseason Polls

Coaches' Poll

Pl. School (1st Place Votes) Tot

1. Sam Houston State (7) 49

2. Stephen F. Austin (1) 39

3. Central Arkansas 38

4. McNeese State 34

5t. Northwestern State 21

5t. Southeastern Louisiana 21

7. Lamar 13

8. Nicholls State 8

Sports Information Directors

Pl. School (1st Place Votes) Tot

1. Sam Houston State (7) 49

2. Stephen F. Austin 38

3. Central Arkansas (1) 37

4. McNeese State 35

5. Northwestern State 26

6. Southeastern Louisiana 16

7. Lamar 15

8. Nicholls State 8




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