Sun Belt announces 2013 standings picks, all-conference team

Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE

UL-Lafayette and UL-Monroe top the Sun Belt coaches' preseason poll.

The Sun Belt Conference announced its preseason poll and all-conference teams at the league's media day on Monday. ULM and Louisiana-Lafayette were picked by the coaches to be the league's best this season (SB Nation's picking the Ragin' Cajuns over ULM, but not by much). Those two teams were a combined 12-4 in league play a year ago.

The complete picks:

2013 Preseason Sun Belt Poll
As voted on by the league's eight head coaches.
First place votes in parentheses.

School / Points (First Place Votes)

T-1. Louisiana-Lafayette 57 (4)
T-1. Louisiana-Monroe 57 (2)
3. Arkansas State 45 (2)
4. WKU 44
5. Troy 35
6. Texas State 23
7. South Alabama 19
8. Georgia State 8

2013 Preseason All-Sun Belt Team
As voted on by the league's eight head coaches and eight selected media members.

Offense
Kolton Browning (Louisiana-Monroe, Sr., QB)
David Oku (Arkansas State, Sr., RB)
Antonio Andrews (WKU, Sr., RB)
J.D. McKissic (Arkansas State, So., WR)
Je'Ron Hamm (ULM, Sr., WR)
Eric Thomas (Troy, Sr. WR)
Wes Saxton (South Alabama, Jr., TE)
Bryce Giddens (Arkansas State, So., OL)
Andre Huval (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., OL)
Josh Allen (Louisiana-Monroe, Sr., OL)
Terrence Jones (Troy, Jr., OL)
Sean Conway (WKU, Sr., OL)

Defense
Ryan Carrethers (Arkansas State, Sr., DL)
Christian Ringo (Louisiana-Lafayette, Jr., DL)
Kentarius Caldwell (Louisiana-Monroe, Sr., DL)
Alex Page (South Alabama, Sr., DL)
Qushaun Lee (Arkansas State, Jr., LB)
Justin Anderson (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., LB)
Andrew Jackson (WKU, Jr., LB)
Sterling Young (Arkansas State, Jr., DB)
Isaiah Newsome (Louisiana-Monroe, Sr., DB)
Tyrell Pearson (South Alabama, Sr., DB)
Jonathan Dowling (WKU, Sr., DB)

Special Teams
Brian Davis (Arkansas State, Sr., K)
Will Scott (Troy, Sr., P)
Antonio Andrews (WKU, Sr., Return Specialist)

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Kolton Browning (Louisiana-Monroe, Sr., QB)

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Andrew Jackson (WKU, Jr., LB)

Arkansas State won the Sun Belt title with a 7-1 conference record in 2012, but the Red Wolves endured a coaching change during the offseason and they also have some significant pieces to replace. Monroe returns a bunch of starters from a team that beat Arkansas and lost one-possession games to Auburn and Baylor. Both Arkansas State and UL-Monroe earned bowl bids last year, as did UL-Lafayette and Western Kentucky.

The Hiltoppers return 17 starters from a team that finished 4-4 in the Sun Belt in 2012, but new head coach Bobby Petrino adds some uncertainty to their upcoming campaign.

Reverberations from the most recent round of conference expansion and reshuffling are still being felt by the Sun Belt, which will bid farewell to WKU following this season and welcomes both Georgia State and Texas State into the fold this year. Georgia State is still in the transitional phase of its move from FCS to FBS and isn't eligible for the league title in 2013.

More from SB Nation:

Projecting every 2013 college football conference race

All we actually know about the Johnny Manziel rumor

Tons of top recruit interviews from SB Nation at The Opening

Bill Connelly’s Pac-12 team preview series is underway

National recruiting coverage

Today’s college football news headlines

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