Defending Conference USA Champion Tulsa Golden Hurricane has been chosen as the preseason favorite in the West Division, while East Carolina was the pick in the East Division of Conference USA.Tulsa received all 14 votes to win the West Division, followed by Rice, Louisiana Tech, UTEP, North Texas, Tulane and UTSA in the West Division. In the East Division, East Carolina was followed by Marshall, Middle Tennessee, UAB, Southern Miss, Florida Atlantic and FIU, as voted on by the C-USA Coaches."It's a nice preseason mention for our fans to get excited about, but it only matters where you end up at the end of the season. We have a lot of work ahead of us if we're going to repeat as Conference Champions against a formidable league schedule," said Tulsa Head Coach Bill Blankenship. "We know just how good Rice and Marshall will be this season just from our games a year ago, and they both return a lot of starters. East Carolina is new to our league schedule this year, but what they did last year and what they have returning, you can see why they're the pick in the East Division. Our West Division will be extremely competitive with newcomers Louisiana Tech, North Texas and UTSA, not to mention Tulane in the second year under coach Johnson and UTEP with new coach Sean Kugler.Five Tulsa players earned preseason all-conference honors, including offensive lineman Jake Alexander and Stetson Burnett, linebacker Shawn Jackson, safety Demarco Nelson and punt returner Trey Watts.PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISHEAST DIVISION Pts1. East Carolina (11) 952. Marshall (2) 823. Middle Tennessee (1) 704. UAB 545. Southern Miss 406. Florida Atlantic 287. FIU 23WEST DIVISION Pts1. Tulsa (14) 982. Rice 763. Louisiana Tech 724. UTEP 465. North Texas 396. Tulane 317. UTSA 30
KTUL ABC 8 provides local and national news, sports, weather and notice of community events in Tulsa, Oklahoma and surrounding towns including Broken Arrow, Owasso, Claremore, Jenks, Bixby, Coweta, Muskogee, Westport, Beggs, Okmulgee, Council Hill, Henryetta, Skiatook, Collinsville, and Bartlesville.