LAS VEGAS -- Louisiana Tech has been selected as the preseason favorite to win the Western Athletic Conference football title by a vote of both the league's coaches and media. The media also selected Bulldogs wide receiver Quinton Patton as the preseason Offensive Player of the Year.
The Bulldogs were 8-5 last season after ending the regular season on a seven-game winning streak. The team finished with a 6-1 mark in conference play to win the WAC's outright title.
Louisiana Tech received 193 points and 25 first-place votes from media members around the WAC and the nation. Utah State was picked second after garnering 164 points and the remaining three first-place votes. San Jose State finished third with 130 points while Idaho was selected fourth with 102 points followed by New Mexico State (95), Texas State (57) and UTSA (43).
Louisiana Tech received 36 points from the seven WAC coaches. Utah State was in second with 31 points followed by San Jose State with 24. New Mexico State was selected fourth with 22 points followed by Idaho with 17 points. Newcomers Texas State (10) and UTSA (7) were sixth and seventh, respectively. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team in the poll.
The media also voted on preseason players of the year. Louisiana Tech wide receiver Quinton Patton was voted the Offensive Player of the Year, while San Jose State defensive lineman Travis Johnson was picked as the Defensive Player of the Year.
Patton, a senior from LaVergne, Tenn. (Coffeyville CC), was a first-team all-WAC selection last year after catching 79 passes for 1,202 yards and 11 touchdowns in his first season with the Bulldogs. He was recently named to the 2012 Biletnikoff Award Watch List. Johnson, a native of San Jose, Calif. (The King's Academy), earned first-team all-WAC honors after finishing second in the WAC with 9.5 sacks last year. He enters this season with 19 career sacks, the third most of any active player in the country.
Louisiana Tech opens the 2012 season on Aug. 30 by hosting Texas A&M at Independence Stadium in Shreveport. While club level and premium chairback seats are sold out, plenty of other good seats remain as Tech hosts the Southeastern Conference's newest member.