The Big South Conference released its annual preseason football poll today with Liberty predicted to finish in second place.
The Big South Conference officially kicked off its 12th season of football with its annual Big South Football Media Day luncheon, held this year at the Charlotte Plaza Uptown Hotel in Charlotte, N.C.
During the season kickoff event, the Big South released its 2013 preseason poll with Liberty picked to finish second out of six teams in the conference standings at the end of the year. The poll is voted on by the conference's head coaches and select media members.
Coastal Carolina topped the half-dozen team preseason ranking with 84 points and nine of the 15 first-place votes. Liberty took second place with 80 points and the remaining six first-place votes.
Coastal Carolina and Liberty shared last year's Big South title, along with former conference member Stony Brook. All three teams finished the season with a 5-1 conference record.
Last year's Big South title was the first for the Flames under head coach Turner Gill and the program's fifth Big South title in the last six seasons.
Gardner-Webb took third place in the preseason ranking with 58 points, followed directly by Charleston Southern in fourth place with 39 points.
VMI, who is in its final year of competition in the Big South before moving back to the Southern Conference, finished tied for fifth place with Presbyterian College. Both teams collected 27 votes in the preseason poll. Liberty opens up its 2013 season with a Thursday evening game at Kent State on Aug. 29 on ESPN3 at Dix Stadium in Kent, Ohio.
The Flames will begin their Big South title defense against one of the two teams its shared the conference crown with last year. On Oct. 19, Liberty welcomes Coastal Carolina to Williams Stadium with the Homecoming contest slated to begin at 3:30 p.m. 2013 Big South Football Preseason Poll Ranking, Team, First-Place Votes, Total Votes 1. Coastal Carolina (9) – 84 2. Liberty (6) – 80 3. Gardner-Webb – 58 4. Charleston Southern – 39 T5. VMI – 27 T5. Presbyterian College – 27
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