BYU the four-time defending MWC Champion was picked by MWC coaches to finish second in 2003. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
COLORADO SPRINGS -- The Mountain West Conference announced its 2003 preseason poll Monday with the league's coaches selecting BYU to finish second behind Utah.
One point and one vote separated the Cougars and the Utes in the voting, with BYU totaling 33 points and three first place votes, while Utah grabbed 34 points with four first place votes.
Last season BYU (16-6 overall, 6-0 in MWC play) claimed its fourth consecutive MWC title and its seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance in eight years where the Cougars lost to Utah (13-4-3 overall, 4-1-1 in MWC play) for the first time in school history.
For the 2003 season BYU returns eight starters and 11 letterwinners while the Utes return six starters and 14 letterwinners.
Rounding out the top three in the preseason poll is New Mexico (12-8-1 overall, 3-2-1 in MWC play) with 26 points who will be returning nine starters.
On Tuesday, August 19 the Cougars are holding their annual Blue and White Game free to the public at 7:00 p.m. The Cougars kick off their 2003 regular season with a home game against Michigan on Friday, August 29 at 7:00 p.m. (MDT) at South Stadium.