Rock Hill, S.C. – The Brevard College Tornados football team was picked eighth in the 2010 Preseason SAC Coaches Poll, as announced by the South Atlantic Conference office Thursday afternoon.
Brevard finished the 2009 season with a 7-4 record in their second season as full members of the NCAA Division II and the South Atlantic Conference, receiving votes in the AFCA Division II poll for the first time as a program. The Tornados were also recognized by Somis Sports as the 11th most improved Division II Football team in 2009 and the 40th most improved program across all levels of NCAA Collegiate Football.
Carson-Newman College, which went undefeated in conference play in 2009 and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA playoffs, is the favorite to capture another South Atlantic Conference football championship, in a vote of the league’s head coaches.
Carson-Newman received five first-place votes and 58 total points. The Eagles have won 21 conference titles under the direction of coach Ken Sparks, the all-time winningest coach in Division II.
The favorite Eagles return just eight starters from last year’s championship team, but six of those earned All-Conference honors last season.
Wingate University, which finished second last year, is predicted to finish second again. The Bulldogs received two first-place votes and 51 total points.
Mars Hill College and Newberry College tied for third last season with 4-3 records, and the two schools are predicted to finish close again. Mars Hill was picked to finish third, with a two-point advantage over Newberry. The Lions return the SAC’s leading rusher from last year in Jonas Randolph. Newberry returns the 2009 SAC Defensive Player of the Year in safety Ron Parker.
Tusculum College is picked to finish fifth with 33 points.
Lenoir-Rhyne University received the other first-place vote and are sixth in the poll. The Bears received 28 points.
Catawba College is the pick to finish seventh with 17 points. The Catawba Indians are looking to improve on last season’s last-place finish in the conference.
Brevard College is picked to finish eighth with 15 points.
2010 Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Carson-Newman (5) 58
2. Wingate (2) 51
3. Mars Hill 44
4. Newberry 42
5. Tusculum 33
6. Lenoir-Rhyne (1) 28
7. Catawba 17
8. Brevard 15
(First-place votes in parenthesis)