Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s football team has been picked to finish eighth in the Great American Conference, according to the league’s preseason poll released Thursday.
The Savage Storm are coming off a 2-9 season in which the team finished tied for ninth with a 2-8 GAC record.
SE is now under the guidance of new head coach Bo Atterberry, who took over the reins of the football program this spring.
The Storm returns 20 starters from last year’s team, including 12 who saw action on the offensive side of the ball.
That offense posted a school record 4,895 total yards, featuring the program’s first 2,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard receiver.
The team also returns three All-GAC honorees from a season ago. Two on the offense were Devlon Wortham, who was also named the league’s freshman of the year, and Anthony Foster. Joining that duo was Jared Heim, who led the conference in punting for the 2013 season.
SE finished with 41 points in the preseason poll, three behind seventh-place Arkansas Tech.
Henderson State was picked the favorite to win the conference in 2014 with 100 points in the poll and 10 of the 11 first-place votes.
The remaining first-place vote went to second-place Harding, which had 89 points and finished just ahead of Ouachita Baptist with 84.
East Central was tabbed fourth, followed by Southern Arkansas in fifth and Southwestern Oklahoma State in sixth.
Arkansas-Monticello was in ninth, just behind the Storm, followed by Northwestern Oklahoma State and Southern Nazarene.
Southeastern will open the season at 6 p.m. Sept. 6 against Southern Arkansas in Magnolia, Ark., and open the home schedule at 6 p.m. Sept. 13 against Arkansas-Monticello at Paul Laird Field.
Matt Thomas can be reached at email@example.com.