1. THE CHASE IS ON
There was no pick for overall SWAC champion Friday, but the fact that Southern won the conference in 2013 and is picked to win the West seems to put the Jaguars in that position by default. “We’ll be the target,” DE Arthur Miley said. “We’ll be the hunted, but we don’t look at it that way. We still will be the hunters.” SU’s home game Nov. 1 against Alabama State, the pick to win the East, looms large.
2. THE RETURN OF RICK
Rick Comegy was fired at Jackson State in December despite a winning record and having just led the Tigers to an appearance in the SWAC Championship Game against Southern. Now Comegy, in the biggest offseason move in the SWAC, is back at in-state rival Mississippi Valley State. Comegy will need some time to rebuild: The Delta Devils haven’t had a winning record since 2006.
3. TUNE IN THIS SEASON
Southern has three games that will be televised or online this season. The Jaguars’ Aug. 30 opener at Louisiana-Lafayette will be online on ESPN3, its Sept. 27 game at Alcorn State will be on ESPNU and the Bayou Classic against Grambling will be on NBC as usual Nov. 29. Grambling is at Houston on Sept. 6 on ESPN3 and will have a tape-delayed game on ESPNU at Mississippi Valley on Nov. 6.
4. LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE
Southern’s Sept. 20 visit to Prairie View will be its last in 6,000-seat Blackshear Stadium. PVU coach and former SU star Heishma Northern said the school will build a new 15,000-seat stadium and fieldhouse by 2016. “It will help us recruit in Texas,” he said. “Most kids’ stadiums and weight rooms are better than what we have.” PVU likely will play at NRG Stadium and high schools in 2015.