If the Southwest Missouri State football team does well this season, it will be a surprise to those who vote in the Gateway Conference preseason poll. The Bears have been picked seventh out of eight teams. The Bears were 4-7 last season and had a 1-6 mark in the Gateway Conference in 2003. Southern Illinois is picked to win the league, Northern Iowa second, Western Kentucky third, Western Illinois fourth, Illinois St. fifth, Youngstown St, sixth and Indiana St. last.
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