VALDOSTA, Ga. - Valdosta State and West Alabama have been tabbed the co-favorites to win the 2013 Gulf South Conference football crown in a vote of the league coaches, as announced by the GSC Office Wednesday.
The Blazers and Tigers each tallied three first place votes and two second place nods for 23 points. The tie marked just the second time in the 42-year history of the poll, and the first time in 19 years, that two schools tied for the preseason favorite. Valdosta State was also apart of the last tie, as the Blazers matched North Alabama as the coaches' favorite entering the 1994 season.
The first place nod marked the eighth time that Valdosta State has been tabbed as the preseason favorite, tied for second-best among all GSC schools, both current and past.
North Alabama was third in the poll with 14 points while Delta State and West Georgia tied for fourth at 12. Conference newcomer Florida Tech, which is entering its first year of NCAA Division II football, rounded out the poll with six votes.
Six Blazers were also tabbed preseason All-Gulf South Conference by the coaches. Quarterback Cayden Cochran, running back Cedric O'Neal and receivers Seantavious Jones and Regginald Lewis all garnered the honor after being named first team All-GSC at the conclusion of the 2012 season. They were joined by linebacker Chris Pope, who was also first team All-GSC last year, as well as defensive tackle Lawrence Virgil, who garnered second team All-GSC honors the past two years.
North Alabama led all squads with 10 preseaosn members while West Alabama had seven. West Georgia tallied four and Delta State three.