BRENTWOOD, Tenn. -For the fourth-straight year the media covering the Ohio Valley Conference have conducted a Preseason Football Media Poll prior to the start of the season. In total 16 voters from around the league cast a ballot on who they thought would be the 2017 football favorites and preseason players of the year.
The OVC will release its preseason poll and All-OVC team, as voted on by league head coaches and sports information directors, on Monday during the league's annual Media Day in Nashville.
The media panel picked the Jacksonville State Gamecocks as the preseason favorite, picking up 13 of 16 first-place votes and 141 total points. UT Martin received one first-place vote and 120 points to be tabbed second while Tennessee State received the other two first-place votes and 112 total points in being predicted third. The poll was rounded out by Eastern Illinois (96), Tennessee Tech (70), Murray State (62), Eastern Kentucky (61), Southeast Missouri (33) and Austin Peay (25).
In addition the pollsters tabbed Tennessee State senior wide receiver Patrick Smith as the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Jacksonville State senior defensive end Darius Jackson as the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
The pollsters for the 2017 OVC Media Poll included: Autumn Allison, USA Today Network - Tennessee; Bob Belvin, ESPN Clarksville; Catlin Bogard, OVC Ball; Mike Bradd, Eastern Illinois Radio; Neal Bradley, Murray State Radio; Ben Craven, Cookeville Herald-Citizen; Bryan Edwards, Murray Ledger & Times; Mark Edwards, Anniston Star; Craig Haley, STATS; Edward Marlowe, Paducah Sun; Mike Organ, Tennessean; Mike Parris, Jacksonville State Radio; Brian Rives, Governors Sports Network; Justin Rust, Charleston Journal Gazette & Times-Courier; Greg Stotelmyer, Eastern Kentucky Sports Network; Van Stokes, ESPN Clarksville.
2017 Media OVC Preseason Football Predicted Order of Finish
1. Jacksonville State (13 first-place votes) - 141 points
2. UT Martin (1) - 120
3. Tennessee State (2) - 112
4. Eastern Illinois - 96
5. Tennessee Tech - 70
6. Murray State - 62
7. Eastern Kentucky - 61
8. Southeast Missouri - 33
9. Austin Peay - 25
2017 Media OVC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Patrick Smith (WR), Tennessee State
2017 Media OVC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Darius Jackson (DE), Jacksonville State