1. Georgia Southern: The Eagles aren't eligible for the conference title as they prepare to move up to the Sun Belt Conference, so the thought is they might not have much to play for. The players and head coach Jeff Monken have dismissed that, and it's a good bet they will try to make a statement in their final season in the conference.
2. Appalachian State: The Mountaineers are set for a season of change. They are moving with the Eagles to FCS play and the Sun Belt next year, and they have a first-year head coach in Scott Satterfield.
3. Wofford: The Terriers have reached the FCS playoffs the past three years. Head coach Mike Ayers is entering his 26th season with the program.
4. Chattanooga: The Mocs were picked third by the conference's coaches, which means they're picked to win the conference championship. They have 10 returning starters on both sides of the ball.
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5. Samford: The Bulldogs have increased their win total in each of the past two seasons. Head coach Pat Sullivan is entering his seventh season.
6. The Citadel: The Bulldogs jumped from four wins in 2011 to seven in 2012 for their first winning season since 2007.
7. Furman: Paladins head coach Bruce Fowler is entering his third season. The Paladins went 1-5 down the stretch last year and haven't won more than six games in a season since 2008.
8. Elon: Since winning nine games in 2009, the Phoenix have been in a steady decline. The Phoenix do return nine starters on defense.
9: Western Carolina: The Catamounts have gone 3-51 in conference play since 2005.