NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State University's football team has been picked to finish sixth in the 2004 Ohio Valley Conference preseason poll of league head coaches and sports information directors.
Eastern Kentucky slipped past defending champion Jacksonville State to be the preseason favorite. EKU has 121 total points and 10 first place votes while JSU had 119 points and eight first place votes.
Samford was third with 91 points, followed by Southeast Missouri 73, Murray State 70, and TSU 67. Eastern Illinois was seventh with 52, with Tennessee Tech 36 and Tennessee-Martin 19 rounding out the nine team league.
"We ended last year on a positive note and we want to build upon the season," said TSU head coach James Reese. The Tigers were 7-5 overall and 5-3 in the OVC last season.
Three TSU players were named to the preseason All-OVC team. Running back Charles Anthony and defensive end Paul Thomas were first team All-OVC selections last year and two of 11 first team All-OVC selections returning this season. Linebacker James Dumervil, a second team pick last season, earned selection to the squad.
The preseason poll and team were announced Monday morning at the OVC's Annual Media Day held at the Coliseum.