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EIU Panthers Expected to Compete for League Crown

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Eastern Illinois coach Dino

Babers knows he has a talented team as the preseason favorite to repeat as the

Ohio Valley Conference champions. A schedule packed with the toughest

non-conference slate in his school's history has him worried.

His

Panthers will be on the road for three of their first four games, including the

season-opener at San Diego State. Babers said Monday they are just going to try

to survive that stretch.

Eastern

Illinois is expected to very well in the OVC, receiving 12 of 18 first-place

votes and 122 points in the 2013 poll released Monday at the league's media day

as voted on by its coaches and sports information directors. The Panthers won

last year's OVC title after being picked to finish eighth in the nine-team

league.

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