With the release of the 2017 Conference USA Preseason Media Poll, WKU Football was picked to win the East Division with 20 of a possible 28 first-place votes. The Hilltoppers are aiming to become the first team in league history to win three consecutive C-USA titles.
On Monday, WKU earned recognition with a league-best seven players on the Preseason All-C-USA Team out of 29 possible spots. In addition, quarterback Mike White and kick returner Kylen Towner were named Preseason C-USA Offensive and Special Teams Player of the Year, respectively.
The Hilltoppers begin their 2017 campaign at home against in-state rival Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 2. With first kick at 6 p.m., WKU will look to extend its win streak to nine after finishing the 2016 campaign on an eight-game tear in which the squad outscored its opponents 418-to-179.
Over the past two seasons, the Hilltoppers have gone 15-1 in regular season C-USA contests and then proceeded to win both the 2015 and 2016 Championship Games on the home turf of Houchens-Smith Stadium.
WKU was previously voted to win the East prior to the 2015 season, and backed up the selection with a perfect 8-0 year in conference games. Chosen as the No. 2 team in 2016, the Hilltoppers exceeded expectations to repeat as back-to-back champions with a 7-1 record in league play. In the team’s inaugural 2014 season in C-USA, WKU was picked to finish fourth in the East and ended up with a 4-4 record and the No. 3 spot at the end of the campaign.
Winners of the West Division in 2016, Louisiana Tech, also received 20 first-place votes to repeat as tops in the other half of the conference. The Hilltoppers defeated the Bulldogs by a score of 58-44 in the 2016 Championship Game to claim their second-straight trophy; the 13th annual C-USA Championship Game will be held Saturday, Dec. 2.
C-USA MEDIA MEMBERS PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
(First-place votes in parenthesis)
1. WKU (20)
2. Middle Tennessee (4)
3. Old Dominion (3)
4. Marshall (1)
5. Florida Atlantic
1. Louisiana Tech (20)
2. UTSA (7)
3. Southern Miss (1)
4. North Texas
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Assistant Director of Media Relations
WKU Hilltopper Athletics