NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe have been voted co-favorites to win the Sun Belt Conference in the league's annual preseason coaches' poll.
Both programs went to bowl games last season. The Ragin' Cajuns won their second straight New Orleans Bowl, while the Warhawks lost to Ohio in the Independence Bowl. ULM is led by quarterback Kolton Browning, voted the preseason offensive player of the year.
Two-time defending Sun Belt champion Arkansas State was picked third, while Western Kentucky, led by new coach Bobby Petrino, was picked fourth. Hilltoppers linebacker Andrew Jackson was voted the league's preseason defensive player of the year.
Troy finished fifth in the poll, followed by first-year Sun Belt program Texas State in sixth, South Alabama in seventh and Football Bowl Subdivision newcomer Georgia State in eighth.