What does the Frontier Conference make of the Southern Oregon University football team under first-year coach Charlie Hall? As the coaches' preseason poll showed, there is no consensus yet.
The Raiders were locked with Carroll (Mont.) in a tie for third despite receiving three of the eight first-place votes in the poll, which was revealed at Tuesday's Frontier media day. Montana Tech, which has captured the last two regular-season titles, got the other five first-place votes and topped the poll with 47 voter points.
Eastern Oregon — SOU's first opponent — was second with 36 points. SOU and Carroll tallied 33 each.
Montana Western (27), College of Idaho (17), Rocky Mountain (17) and Montana State-Northern (9) rounded out the rankings.
The Raiders went 5-5 in the Frontier to finish fourth in the standings last season, marking the first time they'd won fewer than seven conference games since joining in 2012. They'll return eight defensive starters and seven on offense, attempting to get back on top of the standings for the first time in five years. Overall in the circuit, they've gone 36-14.
Last year, Montana Tech reached the quarterfinal round of the NAIA Championship Series and Eastern Oregon advanced to the semifinals.
The Mountaineers visit Ashland for a 6 p.m. showdown on Aug. 31. SOU will begin preparing for that date with its first practice on Aug. 8.
The preseason NAIA Top 25 poll is set to be released next Monday.