RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Southwestern Oklahoma State University football has been picked to finish 10th in the Great American Conference during the 2018 season according to a poll of the league’s 12 head coaches.
The preseason poll was announced by the conference office on Thursday afternoon.
Following a run to the national semifinals, Harding received eight first-place votes and sits atop the poll with 118 points, but they were one of four teams to receive a first-place vote. Defending conference champion Ouachita was second in the poll with 111 points, while Southern Arkansas was third with 81 points and followed by Southeastern and Arkansas Tech tied for fourth with 86 points.
After Henderson State came in at No. 6, there was a significant gap between the next group of teams, which included Arkansas-Monticello and Northwestern Oklahoma State in seventh and eighth, respectively. Southern Nazarene was ranked just above the Bulldogs with 30 points, while SWOSU claimed 28 points to sit just above two teams – East Central and Oklahoma Baptist – who were tied for 11th place.
A new regime of SWOSU football takes the field in 2018 as Chet Pobolish leads the Bulldogs for his first season as a head coach. Pobolish brings 17 years of coaching experience at the NCAA Division II and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) levels to the sideline for SWOSU after most recently serving as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Missouri Western last season.
Pobolish welcomes back a squad that includes nine starters and 35 letterwinners, but no players who were named to the All-Great American Conference teams in 2017. Among the top returners for the Bulldogs are a pair of Academic All-Americans in senior offensive lineman Brandon Roe and junior outside linebacker Braden Sweet along with senior wide receiver JR Omigie, who was an Honorable Mention All-GAC selection in 2016.
SWOSU opens the season with the ASAP Kickoff Classic against Arkansas-Monticello on Aug. 30 – the first of six home games for the Bulldogs during the 2018 season. Other key dates include Parents Day against Southern Arkansas (Sept. 15), SWOSU Saturday against Oklahoma Baptist (Oct. 27) and Homecoming against Northwestern Oklahoma State (Nov. 10).
2018 GAC Football Preseason Coaches Poll
|#||Team (1st Place Votes)||Points|
|3||Southern Arkansas (1)||91|
|T-4||Southeastern Okla. (1)||86|
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