Head coach Jeff Brohm, offensive lineman Max Halpin and defensive back Branden Leston previewed this week's game at Rice.
It is the first time in the program's FBS history they have been a preseason favorite.
The Tops begin spring practice March 17.
Western Kentucky takes on Navy at home
2014 (r-So.): Halpin started the first three games of the season at center before a season-ending back injury sidelined him. Prior to injury he helped engineer a pair of 700-yard offensive efforts against Bowling Green and Middle Tennessee. 2013 (r-Fr.): Halpin entered the season as the No. 2 center behind longtime starter Sean Conway but immediately jumped into the starting role when Conway was injured against South Alabama in Week 3 of the season. Halpin started the final five games of the season, seeing action in all 12 and starting seven total. WKU was 6-1 with Halpin as the starting center and 7-1 including the Morgan State game when he took over for Conway after the game's first offensive snap resulted in a 65-yard touchdown run for Antonio Andrews. 2012 (Fr.): Halpin redshirted in his first season on The Hill. HS/Misc.: Halpin was a four-year letterwinner and three-year starter at Covington Catholic High School and was Honorable Mention All-State following his senior season. He was also selected as the starting center for the Kentucky Best of the Bluegrass All-Star game.