LAKE CHARLES - Every so often, preseason football polls turn out to be right on the money.
Take, for example, last summer in the Southland Conference.
One year ago, coaches and sports information directors both picked Stephen F. Austin to win the 2010 Southland championship.
As it turned out, they were downright clairvoyant. The Lumberjacks tore through the SLC, winning six of seven conference games en route to their second straight title.
The SLC will reveal this year’s favorite Wednesday morning at its annual media day in the L’Auberge du Lac Casino Resort.
This season, the Lumberjacks must find a replacement for star quarterback Jeremy Moses, who completed his eligibility last fall after throwing for 3,998 yards, 34 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
SFA does bring back 16 starters, however, and figures to contend for another championship.
The Lumberjacks report for preseason camp Aug. 4 and open their season with a Thursday night game against McMurry on Sept. 1.
Perennial contender McNeese State went 6-5 overall last season and finished second, having lost its head-to-head game against SFA 32-27 in Lake Charles on Oct. 9.
Elsewhere, Northwestern State enjoyed a nice turnaround last season, going from 0-11 to 5-6 in its second year under coach Bradley Dale Peveto, a former LSU assistant coach.
Nicholls State was 4-7 in its first season under coach Charlie Stubbs, while Southeastern Louisiana had a season to forget, going 2-9 overall and 1-6 in SLC play in its fifth year under Mike Lucas.
One of the Lions’ most heartbreaking losses was to Lamar, which restarted football in 2010 after a 21-year absence.
Lamar, which dropped football in 1989, played last season as an independent. The Cardinals faced four Southland teams last season, going 1-3 against future conference opponents. Their lone win against an SLC team came Sept. 18 in Hammond, when they came from behind in the fourth quarter to defeat SLU 29-28.
This season, Lamar becomes a full Southland member.
Team representatives arrived Tuesday, when sports information directors met for much of the day.
Coaches, athletic directors and Southland staff members were scheduled to meet Tuesday night.
Wednesday morning, the SLC will announce its preseason polls and all-conference teams. Coaches and two players will represent each school in question-and-answer sessions with reporters.