For the third-straight year the media covering the Ohio Valley Conference have conducted a Preseason Football Media Poll prior to the start of the season. In total 16 voters from around the league cast a ballot on who they thought would be the 2016 football favorites and preseason players of the year.
The OVC will release its preseason poll and All-OVC team, as voted on by league head coaches and sports information directors, on Monday during the league’s annual Media Day in Nashville.
The media panel picked the Jacksonville State Gamecocks as the preseason favorite, picking up all 16 first-place votes and 144 total points. Eastern Kentucky (119) was tabbed second, seven points ahead of Eastern Illinois (112). UT Martin (99) was picked fourth and followed by Southeast Missouri (66), Tennessee State (66), Murray State (56), Tennessee Tech (38) and Austin Peay (21).
In addition the pollsters tabbed Jacksonville State senior quarterback Eli Jenkins as the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Tennessee State junior defensive end Ebenezer Ogundeko as the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
The pollsters for the 2016 OVC Media Poll included: Autumn Allison, Leaf-Chronicle; Bob Belvin, ESPN Clarksville; Jeff Bidwell, WPSD; Catlin Bogard, OVC Ball; Mike Bradd, Eastern Illinois Radio; Neal Bradley, Murray State Radio; Thomas Corhern, Cookeville Herald-Citizen; Mark Edwards, Anniston Star; Craig Haley, STATS; Kevin Ingram, 104.5 The Zone; Edward Marlowe, Paducah Sun; Mike Organ, Tennessean; Mike Parris, Jacksonville State Radio; Brian Rives, Governors Sports Network; Justin Rust, Charleston Journal Gazette & Times-Courier; Van Stokes, Governors Sports Network.
2016 Media OVC Preseason Football Predicted Order of Finish
1. Jacksonville State (16 first-place votes) – 144 points
2. Eastern Kentucky – 119
3. Eastern Illinois – 112
4. UT Martin – 99
5. Southeast Missouri – 66
6. Tennessee State – 65
7. Murray State – 56
8. Tennessee Tech – 38
9. Austin Peay – 21
2016 Media OVC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Eli Jenkins (QB), Jacksonville State
2016 Media OVC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Ebenezer Ogundeko (DE), Tennessee State