Up in Ruston, Coach Derek Dooley and his Louisiana Tech Bulldogs were picked to finish third in the WAC behind Boise State and Nevada. Down in the Southland Conference, the Southeastern Lions were pegged to finish at the bottom of the SLC.
Last year was a very special year for Louisiana Tech, the Bulldogs posted their best finish in the WAC standings since the 2001 season as they finished in a tie for second place. The Bulldogs were 8-5 overall and got an invite to the Independence Bowl. They also defeated Northern Illinois 17-10.
Tech is led on defense by last season's Louisiana Sports Writers Defensive Player of the Year Antonio Baker. The former Amite Warrior has set himself up to be among the nation's best defensive backs in 2008 and he should be a high draft choice in April's NFL Draft.
The Lions received a disappointing nod as they were picked dead last in the 2009 Southland Conference pre-season poll. The Lions finished 5-7 in 2008 but lost four of their last seven games by an average of 5.75 points.
Coach Mike Lucas is very disappointed in his team's preseason ranking as the Lions welcome back sixteen starters in 2009. Southeastern opens the season on Thursday, September 3, while the Bulldogs will play at Auburn to open the 2009 season.