SoCon Coaches Expect Wofford To Claim 4th Staright Title; Computer Picks Furman

February 12, 2021 by Staff

Wofford is the choice of the Southern Conference coaches to win a 4th straight league title, while the Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com place Furman ahead of the Terriers.

All nine members of the Southern Conference will play an 8-game, conference-only season this spring, joining the SWAC as the only two conferences will full membership participation.

Initially, the Southern Conference as the precursor to the founding of the SEC and saw the 1922 season crown shared by Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Vanderbilt. Wofford didn't join the SoCon until 1997 and has already or shared the title 7 times. The Terriers were eliminated from the NCAA playoffs by Kennesaw State for the second year in-a-row. Find your entertainment at OlyBet

Furman joined the SoCon in 1936 and would have to wait 42 years before claiming a share of its first conference title in 1978. The Palladins would dominate the conference for the 13-year stretch from 1978-1990, winning or sharing the title 9 times. Furman won the national championship in 1988. The Pallandins tied for the title in 2018 with ETSU and Wofford.

The Southern Conference spring football schedule will kick off on Saturday, Feb. 20. The league’s nine teams will complete the SoCon slate over nine weeks, wrapping up regular-season play on April 17, a week before the NCAA Division I Football Championship begins.

Defending SoCon champion Wofford begins its quest for a fifth consecutive postseason berth when it welcomes Mercer to town on Feb. 20 in Bears coach Drew Cronic’s league debut. Furman, which finished a game back of the Terriers and earned an at-large berth to the FCS playoffs last season, hosts Western Carolina in its season opener. ETSU hosts Samford and VMI visits Chattanooga to round out the spring-opening schedule.
 
The final day of the regular season should also include plenty of intrigue. Furman hosts rival Wofford in a game between last season’s top two teams, while VMI welcomes military rival The Citadel in the battle for the Silver Shako, which the Keydets claimed last season for the first time since 2002. Chattanooga visits in-state foe ETSU in a rematch of a game the Mocs won on a field goal with 14 seconds left last season, while Samford hosts a Mercer squad that downed the Bulldogs in three overtimes last year.
 
Furman is projected to rank 9th in the final regular season computer rankings with an 8-0 record, Furman also appeared in the Stats Perform, Athlon Sports and HERO Sports preseason FCS polls. 

Wofford appeared in the Stats Perform and Athlon polls and is ranked 18th by the computer, while The Citadel appeared in the Athlon and HERO polls and is ranked 27th by the computer. Chattanooga received votes in the Stats Perform and HERO polls and gets a No. 38 ranking from the computer..

It's expected to be a tight battle between the computer's top four teams in conference - Furman, Wofford, The Citadel and Chattanooga - with fewer than 6 power points separating 1st from 4th.

 ETSU, Furman, Samford, VMI and Wofford elected not to compete in nonconference competition this past fall, though teams were permitted to schedule nonconference fall games at their discretion. The Citadel, Mercer, Chattanooga and Western Carolina each scheduled at least one nonconference fall opponent.
 
The Citadel played four fall contests and needed a waiver to play 8 games this spring.
 
Full broadcast schedules will be announced later, but all nine schools’ home games will air on either ESPN3 or ESPN+ if not selected for national or regional broadcast.

2020-21 Preseason Southern Conference Coaches Poll

Team (1st-Place Votes)
Points
Wofford (5) 60
Furman (3) 56
Chattanooga (1) 53
The Citadel 39
Samford 34
Mercer 26
VMI 26
ETSU 20
Western Carolina 10

Here's how they stack up in the Congrove Computer Rankings

Team Power Record Over-all, Conference
Furman 60.46 8-0, 8-0
Wofford 61.28 7-1, 7-1
the Citadel 55.98 6-2, 6-2
Chattanooga 55.41 5-3, 5-3
Samford 53.77 4-4, 4-4
VMI 51.95 3-5, 3-5
Mercer 47.37 2-6, 2-6
ETSU 48.59 1-7, 1-7
Western Carolina 46.14 0-8, 0-8
Missouri State 42.75 0-8, 0-8