Tarleton State is picked to finish third in this year’s Lone Star Conference South Division football standings, according to a poll released Monday by league officials.

The poll, which is comprised by the voting of LSC head coaches, sports information directors and local and regional media representatives, has Abilene Christian picked to claim the South Division crown, followed by Midwestern State and then Tarleton. The Texans received four of the 20 first-place votes, second only to ACU’s 12.

“Pre-season polls don’t mean anything,” Tarleton Head Football Coach Sam McElroy said. “It’s the poll at the end of the season we’re worried about, and we don’t plan on finishing third.”

Behind the Texans, two-time defending champion West Texas A&M is picked fourth, followed respectively by Texas A&M-Kingsville, Angelo State and Eastern New Mexico.

First-place pick ACU features LSC pre-season offensive player of the year Billy Malone at QB, while WTAMU LB Jared Brock was named pre-season defensive player of the year.

Southeastern Oklahoma State is projected to win the North Division title, taking 10 of the 17 first-place votes. In the north, Central Oklahoma LB Will Clewis was voted defensive player of the year, while Northeastern State WR Jarett Byers was honored on the offensive side of the ball.

Conference teams, including Tarleton, begin workouts later this week. Tarleton has its season and home opener slated for Saturday, Aug. 25 against East Central.