The SMS Bears have been tabbed as the fifth-best team in the Gateway Conference according to the pre-season poll. The Bears went 6-4 last season, but were just 3-4 in league play. Northern Iowa has been pickeda s the top team. The Bears placed four players on the pre-season All-Conference team. On offense senior wide receiver Mark Marcos and junior tight end Nathan Schurman of St. Joseph made the grade. Defensive backs Carlos Banks and Darryl Warren, both juniors, made the All-Defensive team.