MIAMI (AP) — Florida International is the preseason favorite in the Sun Belt Conference, according to a poll of the league’s coaches.
FIU, which won the league last season and went on to defeat Toledo in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, received five of the nine possible first-place votes. Troy, which has captured at least a share of the last five Sun Belt crowns, finished second in the polling, followed by Middle Tennessee and Louisiana-Monroe in a tie for third.
Arkansas State was picked fifth, followed by North Texas, Western Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette and Florida Atlantic.
FIU’s T.Y. Hilton and North Texas’ Lance Dunbar share preseason offensive player of the year honors, while Troy’s Jonathan Massaquoi is the pick to be the league’s top defensive player.