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Dallas, Texas - The University of Louisville has been chosen to win the 2004 Conference USA football championship, according to the league's head coaches. The Cardinals received 106 of a possible 121 points.

Memphis was second with 101 points, Southern Miss placed third with 100 and TCU ranked fourth with 99.

The last time the Cardinals won the C-USA title was back during the 2001 season.

The Cardinals finished 9-4 last season and is fueled by one of the most explosive offenses in the country. Nine starters return to an offensive unit that led C-USA in total offense (521.4 yards per game) and scoring offense (36.1 points per game) in 2003.

A pair of first team All-Conference performers from last year, QB Stefan LeFors and WR J.R. Russell, are joined on the preseason all-league offense by LT Travis Leffew. Cardinals DE Marcus Jones also received preseason recognition.

LeFors guided the Cardinal attack by throwing for 3,145 yards and 17 touchdowns, while Russell caught 75 passes for a school record 1,213 yards. Jones guided the Cardinal defense with a team-high 10 sacks.

The Cardinals begin practice on August 9.

2004 C-USA FOOTBALL COACHES PRESEASON POLL
Predicted Order of Finish (1st place votes) Pts.
1. Louisville (2) 106
2. Memphis (3) 101
3. Southern Miss (2) 100
4. TCU (4) 99
5. Houston 70
6. UAB 61
7. USF 56
8. Cincinnati 45
9. Tulane 39
10. East Carolina 37
11. Army 12

First Team Offense
QB Stefan LeFors, Louisville
RB Robert Merrill, TCU
RB DeAngelo Williams, Memphis
OL Anthony Alabi, TCU
OL Chase Johnson, TCU
OL Travis Leffew, Louisville
OL Jeremy Parquet, Southern Miss
OL Kyle Takavitz, Cincinnati
WR Maurice Avery, Memphis
WR J.R. Russell, Louisville
WR Roydell Williams, Tulane
TE Stephen Cucci, Houston

First Team Defense
DL Joe Clay, Houston
DL Trent Cole, Cincinnati
DL Andre Frazier, Cincinnati
DL Marcus Jones, Louisville
LB Michael Boley, Southern Miss
LB Chris Moore, East Carolina
LB Zac Woodfin, UAB
DB Tra Boger, Tulane
DB Marvin Godbolt, TCU
DB Daven Holly, Cincinnati
DB Wesley Smith, Memphis
DB Mark Walker, TCU

First Team Special Teams
K Nick Hayes, UAB
P Ryan Dougherty, East Carolina
KR John Eubanks, Southern Miss
PR Marvin Young, Southern Miss

Offensive Player of the Year
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Memphis

Defensive Player of the Year
Michael Boley, LB, Southern Miss

Special Teams Player of the Year
John Eubanks, KR, Southern Miss

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