The Sam Houston State football team was picked to finish second in the 2020 Southland Conference Preseason Poll, announced Wednesday by the conference.
It marks the fifth time in the past six seasons the Bearkats have been voted in the top two of the preseason rankings, and the eighth time in the past decade they have been picked to finish third or better.
SHSU also received four first-place votes in the poll, which is voted on by head coaches and football sports information directors.
Central Arkansas is the preseason favorite, after the defending co-champions received 12 first-place votes and 190 total points. Defending co-champion Nicholls was put in third place, earning six first-place votes and Southeastern Louisiana was tabbed fourth.
After back-to-back five-loss campaigns, Sam Houston State is seeking a return to the postseason. The Bearkats are set to kick off the 2020 season on September 5 against Tarleton State at Bowers Stadium.
2020 Southland Conference Football Preseason Poll
Team (First-place votes)
1. Central Arkansas (12)
2. Sam Houston State (4)
3. Nicholls (6)
4. Southeastern Louisiana
7. Abilene Christian
8. Stephen F. Austin
9. Houston Baptist
10. Northwestern State