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(Sports Network) - Central Arkansas coach Clint Conque decided to go to the NCAA

He liked what he saw in Eastern Washington's championship win following the 2010

"It made me say, hey, we're not quite there," Conque remembers, "but we're pretty damn close."

The problem for Central Arkansas, and much of the Southland Conference, for that schedule last year, with their closest game a three-touchdown win over Central A

Thus, it was not surprising Tuesday that Sam Houston State's veteran squad was m released at Southland football media day in Lake Charles, La.

Second to last year's national runner-up was Stephen F. Austin. Central Arkansas

"It gives our conference something to shoot for, no doubt about it. They (Sam Ho

Behind 19 players on the Southland's two preseason teams, the Bearkats are expec (safety), the reigning defensive player of the year.

The Bearkats' schedule certainly toughens with only three games on campus and ro

"This is a totally new year, this is 2012," Sam Houston State coach Willie Fritz

"And we've got a veteran team now coming back, so we need to put some wrinkles i

In the two polls, the coaches and SIDs could not vote for their own team.

SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE FOOTBALL PRESEASON POLLS

Coaches

1. Sam Houston State (7 first-place votes), 49 points

2. Stephen F. Austin (1), 39

3. Central Arkansas, 38

4. McNeese State, 34

5. (tie) Northwestern State, 21

5. (tie) Southeastern Louisiana, 21

7. Lamar, 13

8. Nicholls State, 8

Sports Information Directors

1. Sam Houston State (7 first-place votes), 49 points

2. Stephen F. Austin, 38

3. Central Arkansas (1), 37

4. McNeese State, 35

5. Northwestern State, 26

6. Southeastern Louisiana, 16

7. Lamar, 15

8. Nicholls State, 8

PRESEASON ALL-SOUTHLAND TEAMS

First-Team Offense

QB - Brian Bell, Sam Houston State, Jr.

RB - Timothy Flanders, Sam Houston State, Jr.

RB - Jackie Hinton, Central Arkansas, Sr.

FB/HB - Richard Sincere, Sam Houston State, Jr.

WR - Cordell Roberson, Stephen F. Austin, Sr.

WR - Gralyn Crawford, Stephen F. Austin, Sr.

TE - Nick Scelfo, Nicholls State, So.

OL - Dominique Allen, Central Arkansas, Jr.

OL - Alec Savoie, McNeese State, Sr.

OL - Kaleb Hopson, Sam Houston State, Sr.

OL - Larry Calcote, Northwestern State, Sr.

OL - Dan Jenkins, Sam Houston State, Sr.

First-Team Defense

DL - J.T. Cleveland, Sam Houston State, Sr.

DL - Willie Jefferson, Stephen F. Austin, Jr.

DL - Andrew Weaver, Sam Houston State, Jr.

DL - Gary Lorance, Sam Houston State, Jr.

LB - Seth Allison, Central Arkansas, Sr.

LB - Derek Rose, Northwestern State, Sr.

DB - Darnell Taylor, Sam Houston State, Sr.

DB - Malcolm Bronson, McNeese State, Sr.

DB - Kenneth Jenkins, Sam Houston State ,Sr.

DB - Dax Swanson, Sam Houston State, Sr.

DB - Jamaal White, Northwestern State, Sr.

First-Team Special Teams

PK - John Shaughnessy, Northwestern State, Sr.

P - Cory Kemps, Nicholls State, Sr.

RS - Gralyn Crawford, Stephen F. Austin, Sr.

Second-Team Offense

QB - Brady Attaway, Stephen F. Austin, Jr.

RB - Marcus Washington, Nicholls State, Jr.

RB - Jesse Turner, Nicholls State, Sr.

FB/HB - Mike Brooks, Stephen F. Austin, Jr.

WR - Jesse Grandy, Central Arkansas, Sr.

WR - Dominique Croom, Central Arkansas, Sr.

TE - T.J. Jones, Sam Houston State, Sr.

OL - Jonathan Landry, McNeese State, Jr.

OL - Matt Boyles, Sam Houston State, Jr.

OL - John Steel, Stephen F. Austin, Sr.

OL - Miguel Gauthreaux, McNeese State, Sr.

OL - Corey Howard, Central Arkansas, Sr.

Second-Team Defense

DL - Malcolm Mattox, Stephen F. Austin, Jr.

DL - Preston Sanders, Sam Houston State, Jr.

DL - Pat Williams, McNeese State, Sr.

DL - Matt Hornbuckle, Central Arkansas, Jr.

LB - Ryan Epperson, Stephen F. Austin, Sr.

LB - Darius Taylor, Sam Houston State, Sr.

DB - Robert Alford, Southeastern Louisiana, Sr.

DB - Bookie Sneed, Sam Houston State, Jr.

DB - Jestin Love, Central Arkansas, Jr.

DB - Robert Shaw, Sam Houston State, Sr.

DB - Josh Aubrey, Stephen F. Austin, Jr.

Second-Team Special Teams

PK - Eddie Camara, Central Arkansas, So.

P - Matt Foster, Sam Houston State, Sr.

RS - Darius Carey, McNeese State, Sr.

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