SIAC Football Preseason Teams and Predicted Order of Finish Announced
By Press Release
Paine College Lions graphic
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) announced the 2014 predicted order of finish and Preseason All-Conference teams for the upcoming football season at the 2014 Football Luncheon and Media Day. The Lions were picked to finish sixth in the Eastern Division in their return to football. No Lions were eligible for Preseason All-Conference honors due to the team entering its first year of conference play in football. Albany State quarterback, Frank Rivers, and Miles College linebacker, Julantate English, highlight the 2014 preseason teams.
Defending SIAC champion Albany State was selected as the East Division’s predicted champion and the predicted overall champion. Fort Valley State and Benedict round out the predicted top three in the East. Tuskegee was predicted to win the West Division and finish second overall. Miles and Stillman round out the West’s top three with Tuskegee and Miles predicted to finish second and third overall. Paine has been predicted to finish at the bottom of the conference and East Division in their first season back on the college football scene since 1962.
“There’s only one way to go and that is up,” stated HeadCoach GregRuffin. “We are picked last and we understand that. We won’t be your average first-year program. We have some older kids on our football team and we are going to be ready to play.”
Ruffin was accompanied in Montgomery by OL Jaylen Reid and DT Henderson Ware. The pair stressed the team’s dedication and discipline to the their coach’s philosophy, the game and their teammates.
“We just work hard and take it day by day and week by week,” said Reid. “It will all fall in place. We just have to listen to what our coach says.”
“We haven’t been together that long, but those are my brothers,” stated Ware. “I will lay it all out on the line for them as I know they will do for me.”
The SIAC Football Coaches Association voted Rivers and English to lead the preseason team. Returning players from the 2013 postseason teams received an automatic selection. Players from the second team at the end of 2013 were elevated to the first team as a result of last year’s voting and positions available for nomination.
Albany State registered the most selections on this year’s preseason squads with 11 including five voted to the first team. Miles posted nine players and led the first team with six picks followed by Tuskegee with seven players tabbed overall. Fort Valley State and Stillman recorded five apiece with Lane (4), Kentucky State (3), Clark Atlanta (3), Central State (2), Morehouse (2) and Benedict (1) rounding out the preseason honors.
SIAC Football Championship Game
The SIAC also announced that the conference is slated to hold the championship game at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery for the next three seasons starting in 2014. The decision to move the championship was unanimously approved by the SIAC President’s Council. It relocates after spending its first three years in Atlanta. The inaugural game was played at Panther Stadium on the campus of Clark Atlanta University in 2011 before moving to Lakewood Stadium the last two seasons.
Cramton Bowl is a 25,000-seat stadium that opened in 1922. It has been home to Major League Baseball spring training, the Turkey Day Classic, 20 games for the University of Alabama and several high school football games. In June 2014, a new synthetic turf field was installed. Starting in December, the Cramton Bowl will also be the location for the Camellia Bowl featuring teams from the Sun Belt Conference and Mid-American Conference.