His Panthers will be on the road for three of their first four games, including the season-opener at San Diego State.
Eastern Illinois is expected to very well in the OVC, receiving 12 of 18 first-place votes and 122 points in the 2013 poll released at the league’s media day as voted on by its coaches and sports information directors. The Panthers won last year’s OVC title after being picked to finish eighth in the nine-team league, going 6-1 in the conference to edge out Tennessee Martin and Eastern Kentucky.
Eastern Kentucky is expected to finish second ahead of Tennessee State, Jacksonville State, Tennessee Martin, Murray State and Tennessee Tech, Southeast Missouri and Austin Peay.
Jacksonville State has a new coach in Bill Clark, who takes over after being defensive coordinator at South Alabama. Austin Peay has a new coach in Kirby Cannon, who had been secondary coach at Central Michigan.