Staff, wire reports
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
LOUISVILLE, Ky. —
The top team in the Mid-South Conference preseason football poll was easy to predict. Georgetown (Ky.), riding a 27-game regular season winning streak, is the favorite in the East Division in the poll released on Friday.
The Bluefield College Rams, who begin their second season in the conference this fall, was in last place in the East Division poll. The Rams were in the West Division last year, their first season of full intercollegiate competition since 1941. Bluefield finished 0-11.
Bethel (Tenn.) and Belhaven (Miss.) each received 20 votes from the West Division coaches and were tabbed as co-favorites to win the West in 2013.
Georgetown received 35 voting points from the East coaches, including five of the seven first-place votes.
Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team in the poll.
Georgetown has won three straight East Division titles. The Tigers own five East crowns and 18 MSC overall regular season titles. Last season, Georgetown ended 10-1 after falling to Bethel in the NAIA Football Championship Series First Round.
Cumberlands (Ky.) is projected to finish second in the East with 32 voting points, including the final two first-place votes. The Patriots finished 2012 with a 10-2 record and reached the Football Championship Series Quarterfinals.
Bethel, 9-4 last year, has won each of the last two West Division championships. Like Cumberlands, the Wildcats reached the Football Championship Series Quarterfinals last season, including a win at top-ranked Georgetown in the opening round. Bethel has captured the West Division four times.
Belhaven finished 2012 with a 6-5 record, including a 4-2 mark in the West. The Blazers lost their five games last season by a total of 35 points, including three losses against ranked opponents.
Mid-South newcomer Reinhardt (Ga.), playing its first season of football in 2013, is at the bottom of the West Division projections.
The 2013 season begins in late August. Bluefield will host a scrimmage with Emory & Henry College on Aug. 23 and will then be on the road until Sept. 21, when the Rams play league opponent Kentucky Christian at home.