BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Linebacker Jer-ryan Harris isn't convinced Arkansas-Pine Bluff has made believers out of its Southwestern Athletic Conference rivals.
The Golden Lions won their first outright SWAC title last season and are picked to repeat as West Division champions going into this season. Harris said Monday at SWAC media day that the team's mind-set is "for us to actually get the respect we deserve, we will have to repeat."
Arkansas-Pine Bluff received 14 of 24 first-place votes in the West, well ahead of traditional powers Southern (six) and Grambling State (one).
Alabama State is the pick to win the West.
Pine Bluff quarterback Ben Anderson is picked as preseason offensive player of the year while Jackson State defensive back Qua Cox is tabbed as the top defensive player.