1. Georgia Southern: The Eagles captured the conference title last year, winning all eight games, and they look like strong favorites to win it again.
2. Louisiana-Lafayette: The Ragin’ Cajuns finished 7-1 in conference play last year and won their fourth consecutive R+L New Orleans Bowl.
3. Appalachian State: The Mountaineers won their final six games of 2014 and are quarterbacked by Taylor Lamb, the son of Mercer head coach Bobby Lamb.
4. Arkansas State: The Red Wolves are coming off their fourth straight bowl appearance.
5. South Alabama: The Jaguars lost five of their final six games in 2014.
6. Texas State: The Bobcats’ seven wins in 2014 marked their most since reaching that number in 2009.
7. Troy: Neal Brown (34) enters his first season with the Trojans as the second-youngest coach in FBS play.
8. Louisiana-Monroe: The Warhawks suffered six straight losses in the middle of last season to finish 4-8.
9. Georgia State: The Panthers have gone 2-33 the past three seasons.
10. New Mexico State: The Aggies lost their final 10 games of 2014 after a 2-0 start.
11. Idaho: The Vandals have won one game in each of the past three seasons.