RANGERS PICKED TO FINISH SEVENTH IN THE SAC; OBU CHOSEN AS TOP TEAM

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RANGERS PICKED TO FINISH SEVENTH IN THE SAC; OBU CHOSEN AS TOP TEAM

Oklahoma Baptist University is the solid preseason favorite to win the Sooner Athletic Conference, according to the SAC Men's Preseason Coaches' Poll released Tuesday. Northwestern is picked to finish seventh in the poll.

The Bison received 10 of 12 first-place votes after going 20-2 in the SAC and 28-5 overall last season.

"I think all that really means is that the coaches believe we've got a chance to have a good team," said OBU coach Doug Tolin. "There are a lot of good schools in our league that can compete and hopefully we fit right in there with them. Right now we're a long way from being a team that can win this league."

OBU had 120 out of a possible 122 poll points. Defending league champion Rogers State is second in the poll with 106 points. Oklahoma Christian, which received the other two first-place votes, is ranked third with 99 points.

Southern Nazarene is fourth with 83 poll points, followed by John Brown with 75, Oklahoma City with 72 and Northwestern Oklahoma State with 71. Lubbock Christian is ranked eighth at 54, followed by Wayland Baptist at 42, Science and Arts of Oklahoma with 37, Mid-America Christian with 11 and St. Gregory's with 12.

Oklahoma Baptist, Rogers State, Northwestern Oklahoma State, Oklahoma Christian and USAO all reached the NAIA Tournament last season.

Rogers State won the SAC Tournament for a sweep of the regular and postseason conference crowns with a final record of 30-2. The Hillcats and OBU were ranked No. 1 and 2, respectively in the final poll.