CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) – For the first time, North Carolina A&T State University has been tabbed the favorite in the Big South’s annual preseason football poll for the 2022 campaign, as voted by the league’s head coaches and media panel and announced today at the Big South Conference Football Media Day Kickoff Luncheon presented by BuyB1.com at the SouthPark Marriott Hotel in Charlotte.
For just the second time in league history, five squads received a first-place vote in the preseason polling. A&T collected six of the 12 first-place votes cast and finished with 60 points to claim the top spot. The Aggies went 5-6 overall last year and tied for third in the Big South standings with a 3-4 mark in their first year in the league. This will be A&T’s last season as a Big South football member as it is now a CAA member in every sport besides football and bowling already.
Campbell finished second in the poll with 50 points and two first-place votes. The Camels are coming off a 3-8 overall season and 2-5 record in Big South games in 2021. Charleston Southern and Gardner-Webb tied for third in the preseason poll with 44 points. The Buccaneers received two first-place votes while the Runnin’ Bulldogs collected one first-place plaudit. Last season, CSU tied for third in the league standings at 3-4 (4-6 overall), while GWU tied for eighth at 2-5 (4-7 overall).
New Big South associate member Bryant claimed fifth in the preseason rankings with 33 points and received the final first-place vote. The Bulldogs were 7-4 overall in 2021 and tied for second-place in the Northeast Conference at 5-2. Robert Morris, which tied for third in Big South games a season ago at 3-4 (4-6 overall), rounds out the poll in sixth-place with 21 points.
Bryant, Campbell and Gardner-Webb open the 2022 season on Thursday night, Sept. 1, while the remaining three members begin play on Saturday, Sept. 3. The first conference game is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 1, and the regular-season concludes Saturday, Nov. 19, with the Big South champion receiving the league’s automatic bid to the FCS Playoffs.
2022 PRESEASON FOOTBALL POLL
|Rank – School (first-place votes)||Points|
|1 – North Carolina A&T (6)||60|
|2 – Campbell (2)||50|
|T-3 – Charleston Southern (2)||44|
|T-3 – Gardner-Webb (1)||44|
|5 – Bryant (1)||33|
|6 – Robert Morris||21|