It's no surprise, but the defending Lone Star Conference champion ACU Wildcats have been picked to defend their conference football championship in the 2011 pre-season poll, which was just announced at the LSC's annual Media Day.
The Wildcats received 17 of 23 first-place votes and 201 total points with last year's runner-up, Texas A&M-Kingsville, checking in second with five first-place votes and 177 total points. West Texas A&M is third in the poll, followed by Midwestern State, Tarleton State, Angelo State, Eastern New Mexico, Texas A&M-Commerce and Incarnate Word.
ACU junior quarterback Mitchell Gale – who threw for 3,595 yards and a school single-season record 38 touchdown passes last year – is the Pre-Season Offensive Player of the Year. Senior defensive end Aston Whiteside – who had seven sacks last year and was a first team all-region performer – is the Pre-Season Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season.