Cardinals assume perch atop C-USA preseason poll

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 23, 2002

[07/23/02]Led by two-time Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year Dave Ragone, the Louisville Cardinals are the team to beat this season.

Southern Miss was picked a close second, receiving three first-place votes. Conference coaches voted on the poll.

Southern Miss, led by four preseason All-Conference selections, including linebacker Rod Davis, was an overwhelming choice for second place.

The Eagles and Cardinals meet on Nov. 14 in Hattiesburg on ESPN.

Derrick Nix, trying to make a return after missing last season with a kidney ailment, joined offensive lineman Jeremy Bridges on the preseason first-team offense. Davis, defensive lineman Terell Paul and defensive back Greg Brooks were chosen for first-team defense.

East Carolina, which welcomes back first team All-C-USA offensive lineman Brian Rimpf and three other preseason all-league choices, was picked to finish third. TCU and Cincinnati were chosen fourth and fifth, respectively.