HUNTINGTON - Marshall University's football team was picked to finish fourth in Conference's USA's East Division by league media members.
The C-USA Preseason Poll poll was released Tuesday before C-USA Media Days begin Wednesday at the DFW Airport Marriott North in Irving, Texas.
Coming off a 3-9 season, there are many questions surrounding Marshall, and prognosticators nationally have admitted struggles trying to peg the Thundering Herd. Marshall even received one of 28 first-place votes from the league's media contingent. Prior to last season, Marshall had won 10 games in three consecutive seasons, and the struggles last year came as a surprise to everyone around the conference.
Marshall starts practice July 27 in an effort to turn things around and once again become a player in C-USA.
Western Kentucky, the two-time defending conference champion, was chosen to win the East Division for the third consecutive season, while Louisiana Tech was once again chosen as the favorite in the West Division. The two teams locked up in last year's conference championship game where Western Kentucky earned a 58-44 win at Houchens Industries/L.T. Smith Stadium in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
In the East Division, Middle Tennessee was chosen second behind the strength of quarterback Brent Stockstill, while Old Dominion, which won 10 games and went 7-1 in C-USA last year under head coach Bobby Wilder, was selected to finish third.
After Marshall in fourth place, Florida Atlantic and FIU were chosen fifth and sixth respectively as they usher in new eras with big-name coaches at the helm - Lane Kiffin at Florida Atlantic and Butch Davis at FIU. Charlotte was chosen to finish seventh.
In the West Division, UTSA was picked to finish second in head coach Frank Wilson's second year, while Southern Miss was picked to finish third as the Golden Eagles move on without departed quarterback Nick Mullens.
North Texas was pegged as the fourth team in the West and returns quarterback Mason Fine, as well as big-play running back Jeffrey Wilson. Rice and UTEP were chosen to finish fifth and sixth respectively while UAB was forecast to finish seventh in the division in its return to FBS football.
C-USA Media Days get underway Wednesday with interviews from the West Division contingent while East Division interviews take place Thursday.
Marshall head coach Doc Holliday, senior tight end Ryan Yurachek and junior defensive lineman Ryan Bee are scheduled to take part in live interviews at 10:45 a.m. Thursday that can be viewed on Facebook Live through C-USA's Facebook page.
Yurachek named to Wuerffel Watch List
Marshall tight end Ryan Yurachek, a 6-foot-3, 239-pound senior from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, was one of 109 FBS players selected to the Wuerffel Trophy Watch List on Tuesday.
It is the second straight year Yurachek was named to the watch list for the award, which is noted as "College Football's Premier Award for Community Service."
Yurachek has already been honored this preseason as a selection to the watch lists for the Allstate Good Works Team (community service) and John Mackey Award (nation's best tight end). He also was a 2017 Preseason All-Conference USA selection.
C-USA football preseason poll
1. Western Kentucky
2. Middle Tennessee
3. Old Dominion
5. Florida Atlantic
1. Louisiana Tech
3. Southern Miss
4. North Texas