ROCK HILL, S.C. - The Carson-Newman Eagles, who have not won a SAC title since 2004, are expected to reclaim the conference title in a vote of the league’s head coaches. Newberry College earned second place in the poll by one vote.
Carson-Newman has won 18 conference titles under head coach Ken Sparks. The Eagles received three first-place votes and 44 out of a possible 49 total points.
Newberry College, last year’s league champion, picked up the other four first-place votes and finished one point behind the Eagles in the voting. The Indians are ranked 13th in the national Division II preseason poll by Street & Smith College Football Yearbook and 17th by Lindy’s College Football Magazine.
Wingate University, which finished second last year, is the pick to finish third. The Bulldogs received 30 total points.
Catawba College received 29 points, one behind Wingate, to finish fourth in the poll. The Catawba Indians return 2006 SAC Defensive Player of the Year Ron Ellington, who was also listed as a preseason All-American by Street & Smith and Lindy’s.
Tusculum College picked up 27 points to finish fifth in the poll.
Mars Hill College received 15 points for sixth place.
Lenoir-Rhyne College, under new coach Fred Goldsmith, received eight points.
Brevard College is entering the 2007 season as a provisional member and is not eligible for the league championship.
South Atlantic Conference
2007 Football Coaches' Preseason Poll
1. Carson-Newman College (3)... 44
2. Newberry College (4)........ 43
3. Wingate University.......... 30
4. Catawba College............. 29
5. Tusculum College............ 27
6. Mars Hill College........... 15
7. Lenoir-Rhyne College........ 8
(First-place votes in parenthesis)