South Alabama has wasted no time earning respect in the Sun Belt Conference.
The Jaguars, in their second season as full-fledged league members, are picked to finish third and a bowl bid isn't a big stretch for the fledgling FBS program.
Coach Joey Jones says the Jaguars "raise our expectations every year."
South Alabama was 6-6 last season and a 4-3 league mark was good for a third-place tie after finishing on a three-game win streak. Four of the losses came by one or two points.
Brandon Bridge is replacing quarterback Ross Metheny. Bridge will have the protection of preseason All-Sun Belt offensive tackles Chris May and Ucambre Williams.
He's got solid targets led by tight end Wes Saxton and wide receiver Shavarez Smith.