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Chanticleers, Cajuns Coaches’ Picks to Win Divisions

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The picks are in for preseason favorites to win the Sun Belt’s East and West divisions in 2021.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 26 Cure Bowl - Liberty v Coastal Carolina Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Preseason Coaches Poll for the Sun Belt Conference was released late Tuesday morning. Coastal Carolina and Louisiana were voted to win the East and West Divisions, respectively.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 26 Cure Bowl - Liberty v Coastal Carolina
Grayson McCall led Coastal Carolina to an 11-win season in 2020.
Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Chanticleers, whose roster includes Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Grayson McCall, received 44 of a possible 50 points in the Coaches Poll. In 2020, Coastal Carolina finished 11-1; its only loss came in the Cure Bowl to Liberty. The Chants ended the season as the 14th-ranked team in the AP Poll, in large part to their 22-17 primetime win over then #13 BYU.

That point total was tied with App State, but the Mountaineers received only four first-place votes compared to the Chanticleers’ six.

In the West Division, Louisiana was a near-unanimous pick to take the title. The Ragin’ Cajuns received 49 of a possible 50 points. On nine of ten ballots, they were the top choice; Arkansas State stole the tenth first-place vote.

The third, fourth, and fifth positions in the East all received similar vote totals; Georgia State received 24, Georgia Southern 20, and Troy 18.

Along with their single first-place vote, Arkansas State received a total of 38 of 50 points. That tally is nearly 30% higher than third place South Alabama’s 27 points. Texas State finished just two shy of the Tigers with 25. ULM’s 11 points were the lowest among both divisions.

The release of the Coaches Poll came alongside the Preseason All-Sun Belt teams. McCall earned the Preseason OPOY honors after a breakout redshirt freshman season, throwing for 26 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Troy’s Carlton Martial was named the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 21 Middle Tennessee at Troy
Troy’s Carlton Martial earned Sun Belt Preseason DPOY honors on Tuesday.
Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Chanticleers topped the conference with 11 Preseason All-Sun Belt players, seven of which were named to the First Team. Georgia State, App State, and Louisiana are not far behind, with 10, 9, and 9 selections, respectively.

This announcement comes as part of the buildup for the Sun Belt Football Media Day. The event, available on ESPN+, takes place on Thursday, July 22 in New Orleans.