Friday, July 15, 2016

Defending champion Alcorn, Prairie View favored in SWAC

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- A change in head coaches hasn't tempered the high expectations surrounding Alcorn State, the two-time defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champion.

Alcorn State and Prairie View A&M were selected as the East and West division favorites, respectively, in the SWAC's preseason poll announced during Friday's media day in Birmingham, Alabama.

Alcorn State (9-4, 7-2 SWAC) lost to North Carolina A&T in the inaugural Celebration Bowl last December after beating Grambling State 49-21 in the SWAC championship game. Jay Hopson, the first white head football coach in the conference's illustrious history, resigned to become Southern Mississippi's head coach during the offseason, and Fred McNair, the brother of late Pro Bowl quarterback Steve McNair, was elevated from offensive coordinator. It is the 47-year-old McNair's first head coaching job.

Prairie View (8-2, 8-1), which last won the SWAC title in 2009, was installed as the preseason choice in the West over Grambling.


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