A media poll released on Friday has tabbed Jacksonville State to win the Ohio Valley Conference Championship and the UTM Skyhawk football team to finish fourth.
Defending OVC champion Jacksonville State is picked to finish first this year after receiving 14 out of 15 first-place votes and 134 total points. Eastern Kentucky is predicted to finish second with 113 points and one first-place vote. The rest of the conference standings are as follows:
1. Jacksonville State (14) – 134 points
2. Eastern Kentucky (1) – 113 points
3. Eastern Illinois – 112 points
4. UT Martin – 83 points
5. Southeast Missouri – 59 points
6. Tennessee State – 57 points
7. Tennessee Tech – 54 points
8. Murray State – 46 points
9. Austin Peay – 17 points
The pollsters also selected Eastern Kentucky senior running back Dy’Shawn Mobley as the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Jacksonville State senior defensive lineman Devaunte Sigler as the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
The poll consists of 15 voters from various media outlets around the league who cover the OVC. Voters who took place in the poll include: Autumn Allison, The Leaf-Chronicle; Mike Bradd, Eastern Illinois Radio; Neal Bradley, Murray State Radio; Chris Brinkley, Skyhawk Radio Network; Thomas Corhern, Cookeville Herald-Citizen; Craig Haley, STATS; David Loos, Governors Sports Network; Edward Marlowe, Paducah Sun; Mike Organ, The Tennessean; Mike Parris, Jacksonville State Radio; Greg Stotelmyer, Eastern Kentucky Radio; Craig Thomas, Jackson Sun; Erin Unerstall, Southeast Missourian.
The OVC will release its preseason poll and its All-OVC team on Monday during the annual OVC Media Day in Nashville. The preseason poll is voted on by by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.