NAIA
NAIA
Football - Fri, May. 22, 2009
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CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. - Coming off its best season of the modern era, Union College is projected to finished second in the Mid-South Conference East, according to the league's coaches' poll released recently.

The Bulldogs posted a 9-3 overall mark and 5-1 MSC East record in qualifying for the NAIA Football National Championship Series for the first time in program history in 2008. Union also finished last season ranked 10th and was rated as the ninth-best team in the 2009 NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Spring Poll.

The University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) and Lambuth (Tenn.) University were voted as the teams to beat in 2009 in the Mid-South Conference.

Cumberlands is projected to win the East Division while Lambuth is selected in the West Division by a vote from the coaches. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team in the preseason poll.

Cumberlands earns the top spot after receiving 32 points, including four first place votes from the East Division coaches. Union is picked to finish second after receiving 29 points including two first place votes and Georgetown (Ky.) College is projected third with 28 points and the final first place vote.

University of Virginia's College at Wise (24 points) is predicted to finish fourth, Campbellsville (Ky.) University (17) is fifth, Pikeville (Ky.) College (9) sixth and West Virginia University Institute of Technology (8) is seventh in the preseason poll.

In the West Division, Lambuth received 32 points, including three first place votes. Shorter (Ga.) College is a close second receiving 31 points with two first place votes and Cumberland (Tenn.) University is projected third with 28 points and the final two first place votes.

Bethel (Tenn.) College (23) is predicted to finish fourth, Belhaven (Miss.) College (15) is fifth, Faulkner (Ala.) University (12) is sixth and Kentucky Christian University (6) is seventh in the preseason poll.

Cumberlands captured the 2008 East Division championship with a 6-0 record. The Patriots advanced to the NAIA Football Championship Series quarterfinals last season and finished the season with a 10-2 record.

Lambuth - along with Shorter and Cumberland, tied for the 2008 West Division crown with a 4-1 record. The Eagles qualified for the NAIA Football Championship Series falling in the opening round and finishing the season with an 8-4 record.

The Mid-South Conference is coming off a season where the league sent an NAIA-best four teams to the 16-team NAIA Football Championship Series. Five MSC teams are currently ranked in the NAIA Football Coaches' Top-25 Spring Poll and another two are receiving votes in the annual poll.

Union will open the 2009 season on Sept. 5 at home against MSC East rival UVa-Wise.

 Mid-South Conference East
Pos.
School
Total Points (1st-Place Votes)
1Cumberlands
32 (4)
2
Union
29 (2)
3
Georgetown
28 (1)
4
UVa-Wise
24
5
Campbellsville
17
6
Pikeville
9
7
West Virginia Tech
8
 Mid-South Conference West
Pos.
School
Total Points (1st-Place Votes)
1 Lambuth32 (3)
2
Shorter
31 (2)
3
Cumberland
28 (2)
4
Bethel
23
5
Belhaven
15
6
Faulkner
12
7
Kentucky Christian
6