SWAC WEST:

ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF

Coach: Monte Coleman

Players: Junior WR Willie Young and junior LB Willie Duncan III

Easy to answer: Coleman is in his eighth season and has the experience to rejuvenate the Lions, who tied TSU for last in the West last season.

Tough to say: Whether UAPB can make significant strides on both sides of the ball after finishing ninth in scoring and 10th in scoring defense last season in questionable.

On Twitter: @UAPBLionsRoar

GRAMBLING

Coach: Broderick Fobbs

Players: Senior DL Jevonta Williams and senior QB Johnathan Williams

Easy to answer: The Tigers have put the disaster of 2013 behind them and regained stability and pride in a prideful program.

Tough to say: Did Fobbs catch lightning in a bottle during his first season, or did he lay the foundation for sustained success?

On Twitter: @GramblingFB

PRAIRIE VIEW

Coach: Willie Simmons

Players: Senior RB Courtney Brown and sophomore DB Damond Jackson

Easy to answer: The arrival of Simmons will bring about a tough-to-defend offense that could make the Panthers (5-4 in the SWAC a year ago) contenders.

Tough to say: Whether Prairie View will have the balance necessary to hang with Southern and Grambling in the West.

On Twitter: @PVAMUPanthers

SOUTHERN

Coach: Dawson Odums

Players: Senior LB Demetrius Carter and senior OL Anthony Mosley

Easy to answer: The return of Freshman of the Year Austin Howard at quarterback and the experience of winning the West the past two years will make the Jaguars tough to contend with.

Tough to say: Are inexperienced players on both lines of scrimmage ready to thrive in expanded roles after key players graduated?

On Twitter: @SouthernUSports

TEXAS SOUTHERN

Coach: Darrell Asberry

Players: Senior DL Amir Bloom and senior WR Malik Cross

Easy to answer: Bloom will lead a defense that was second in the SWAC last season and should be able to keep the Tigers in games.

Tough to say: Can the second-worst offense in the SWAC a year ago can improve enough to make TSU relevant in the West?

On Twitter: @TXSOTigers

SWAC EAST

ALABAMA A&M

Coach: James Spady

Players: Sophomore RB Harvey Harris and junior RB Bryan Bower

Easy to answer: The Bulldogs will be able to move the ball consistently and score points during their second season in Spady’s up-tempo offense.

Tough to say: Can A&M get out of its own way long enough to have sustained success, after committing the second-most turnovers (29) in the SWAC last season.

On Twitter: @AAMUBulldogs

ALABAMA STATE

Coach: Brian Jenkins

Players: Senior WR DeMario Bell and junior LB Kourtney Berry

Easy to answer: With the return of Berry, the Hornets figure to be solid on defense again, especially against the run.

Tough to say: Will ASU in Jenkins’ first season be able to throw the ball well enough to have balance on offense and score enough to complement the defense?

On Twitter: @ASUBuzz

ALCORN STATE

Coach: Jay Hopson

Players: Senior QB John Gibbs Jr. and senior DL Damon Watkins

Easy to answer: Gibbs will again be one of the most dynamic players in the conference and give the Braves a chance to compete for another title.

Tough to say: Will the success of last season or the departure of seniors take some of the edge off the team and make it difficult to duplicate last season’s success?

On Twitter: @BravesSports

JACKSON STATE

Coach: Harold Jackson

Players: Senior K Ryan Deising and senior OLB Teddrick Terrell

Easy to answer: Jackson is on the hot seat after the Tigers stumbled to a 3-6 conference finish after winning the Eastern Division the previous two years.

Tough to say: Will the team will rally behind Jackson and play with a sense of purpose or collapse once adversity hits?

On Twitter: @JStateTigers

MISSISSIPPI VALLEY

Coach: Rick Comegy

Players: Junior DL Khalil Young and junior QB Quantavious Peterson

Easy to answer: The Delta Devils still have a long way to go to become contenders after winning just one league game a year ago.

Tough to say: Does Comegy, who has a solid track record as a head coach, have Valley poised to make significant strides during his second season?

On Twitter: @MVSUDevilSports