STATESBORO Georgia Southern is coming off a 10-win season that saw the Eagles reach the FCS semifinal game against Delaware.
The Eagles lost to the Blue Hens, who in turn were beaten to Eastern Washington in the championship game.
While it was a disappointing finish to head coach Jeff Monkens first season the Eagles established the team as one to be reckoned with this upcoming season.
That was affirmed to a degree Monday when Southern Conference coaches voted the Eagles to finish second in their preseason poll behind Appalachian State.
But the margin of difference was only one point as the Mountaineers polled 60 points and the Eagles had 59. Appalachian State had five first-place votes and Georgia Southern three with Chattanooga getting the other vote. Coaches could not vote for their own team.
Macon area players made their presence felt on the preseason all-conference team.
Sophomore running back Robert Brown was named first team by the conferences coaches as were starting right tackle Brett Moore, and cornerback Laron Scott.
Brown, who played at Westside, ran for more than 1,000 yards while Moore, a walk-on from Northside, and Scott, who played at Warner Robins, established themselves among the conferences top players under the Eagles' surprising resurgence coming off a 5-6 season.
Another Westside product, left tackle Dorian Byrd, was a second-team pick.