LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Georgetown College and Bethel University are the preseason favorites to win their football divisions in the Mid-South Conference this season, according to the preseason coaches’ poll announced today.
Georgetown is projected as the favorite in the East Division with 25 voting points, including five of the six first-place votes from the East Division coaches. Bethel is the team to beat in the West Division after picking up 32 voting points, including four of the seven first-place votes.
Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team in the poll.
Georgetown enters the 2012 season following a MSC East Division championship in the 2011 and a trip to the NAIA Football Championship Series national semifinals a year ago. The Tigers finished last season with a 12-1 record, including a 5-0 record in the MSC East Division.
Georgetown owns four East Division crowns and 17 overall regular season titles in its history.
University of the Cumberlands is projected to finish second in the East after picking up 17 voting points, including the final first-place vote. Cumberlands returns to the East Division after a two-year stint in the MSC West Division.
Prior to the move, Cumberlands had claimed at least a share of three straight East Division titles (2007-09).
University of Virginia’s College at Wise is projected to finish third with 14 voting points followed by Union College -- who also completed in the West last season -- in fourth with 13 voting points.
University of Pikeville (11 voting points) and Kentucky Christian University (10) completes the East Division preseason poll.
In the West, Bethel is coming off the program’s third MSC divisional title in 2011. The Wildcats also captured the West Division in 2005 and 2007.
Bethel finished 2011 with an 8-3 overall record, including a 5-1 divisional record, and a trip to the NAIA Football Championship Series.
Cumberland University is projected to finish second in the West after receiving 31 voting points, including two first-place votes.
Campbellsville University (23) and Lindsey Wilson College (20) is third and fourth respectively in their first year in the West after finishing tied for second last season in the East.
Belhaven University is fifth in the preseason poll with 18 voting points and Faulkner University is sixth after receiving 17 voting points, including the final first-place vote. Bluefield College -- playing in its first season since 1941 -- is seventh with six voting points.
The 2012 season begins in late August.
MSC East Division
1. Georgetown College (25)
2. University of the Cumberlands (17)
3. UVA-Wise (14)
4. Union College (13)
5. University of the Pikeville (11)
6. Kentucky Christian University