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Preseason predictions don't concern USM coach Todd Monken


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Southern Miss has been reminded of its winless 2012 season before the first block or tackle of this year has been thrown.

The Golden Eagles were picked to finish fifth out of eight teams in the Conference USA East Division, in preseason predictions by league coaches and released last week by the C-USA office. Heading into Wednesday's C-USA Media Day at the Marriott in Irving, Texas, first-year coach Todd Monken has more than preseason predictions on his mind.

''I want each one of our players to be concerned about being a better football player and person. That's it,'' Monken said. ''I don't pay attention, and I could care less, where someone else thinks we will finish as a team.

''We we will determine where we finish and nobody else. I really do not care where we are picked to finish preseason.''

Monken said hasn't spoken to his players about the 0-12 record, which came a year after the Golden Eagles won the 2011 C-USA title and finished 12-2. Larry Fedora left for North Carolina following the conference title, and Ellis Johnson was dismal after one forgettable campaign.

Todd Monken challenged his players to get better - physically and mentally -- during summer workouts . If that happens, Monken said the Golden Eagles will report for fall drills on Aug. 1 looking like a team coming off 15 days of team orientated spring drills, not a team that must spend the first few days of fall drills trying to regain the unity and grit it had when spring training ended.

That could put the Black and Gold on a faster track to a winning season, a bowl berth and playing for a possible C-USA championship.

Read more: http://blog.gulflive.com/mississippi-press-sports/2013/07/preseason_predictions_dont_con.html

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