RICHMOND, Ky. (FOX 56) — After the 2022 football season, which resulted in Eastern Kentucky’s first conference title since 2011 and first playoff appearance since 2014, the Colonels were picked to win the United Athletic Conference in the preseason coaches poll.

“I think any preseason stuff is nice,” EKU Head Football Coach Walt Wells said. “We really don’t look at it that way other than we do have people’s respect, and we better understand that when we go play them. We have to come with a chip on his shoulder.”


“It’s very exciting, but it also means there are high expectations for us,” EKU starting quarterback Parker McKinney said. “The big thing for us this season is to take one game at a time, one practice at a time, and not look too far ahead.”

EKU totaled the most points in the preseason poll with 71 and earned two first-place votes.

In 2022, EKU won the ASUN regular-season championship and reached the NCAA FCS Playoffs for the 22nd time in program history. The Colonels have been nationally ranked in each of the last two seasons and set a program record with 434 points scored last season.

2023 United Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll
Team (First-Place Votes)                Points
1.    EKU (2)                                    71
2.    Central Arkansas (5)                69

3.    Austin Peay (1)                        57

4.    Stephen F. Austin                    54

5.    Abilene Christian                     52
6.    Tarleton State                          37

t-7. Utah Tech (1)                          25

t-7. Southern Utah                        25

9.    North Alabama                       15