1. Alcorn State: The Braves biggest offseason loss was offensive coordinator Willie Simmons. But Alcorn State still has John Gibbs Jr., a tough defense and head coach Jay Hopson.
2. Grambling State: The Tigers were not expected to contend in the SWAC West last year until Johnathan Williams had a breakout season. Knowing he will be the guy in 2015 makes Grambling the favorite to play in Houston.
3. Southern: The Jaguars will be looking to play in their third straight SWAC title game, but a lack of spring practices might hurt their chances.
4. Alabama State: The 2015 season will be all about new head coach Brian Jenkins.
5. Jackson State: Quarterback LaMontiez Ivy holds Harold Jackson’s coaching fate in his hands this season.
6. Alabama A&M: The Bulldogs finished strong at the end of the 2014 season, and are picked to place third in the SWAC East. Can James Spady have them in contention this season?
7. Prairie View: Willie Simmons said at SWAC Media Day he wants the Panthers offense to play fast. Hopefully this strategy does not impact an already thin defense.
8. Texas Southern: How many more chances can Darrell Asberry get?
9. Mississippi Valley State: Head coach Rick Comegy has continued to preach patience as he tries to build the Delta Devils program. With a first-half schedule that features Alcorn State, Southern, New Mexico State and Alabama State, the folks down in Itta Bena will need to heed Comegy’s words.
10. Arkansas Pine-Bluff: How do the Golden Lions stand a chance without Ben Anderson?