Team preview: Cal State Fullerton

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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

Coaches hate being called the favorite, and Cal State Fullerton's Bobby Burton is no different.

But even as he tried to deflect the praise when told his Titans seem to be the popular choice to win the Big West title, he couldn't help beaming, just a little, with the pride of a man who has built a program from nothing.

"Obviously, that's great to hear,'' said Burton, who took over a team that went 10-19 the season before he arrived in 2003. "A lot of guys would say, 'Oh, God, I don't want to hear that,' but from where our program was a couple years ago, to hear that now ... It may not be true, but it's nice for me at least to live in a fantasy world.''

The fantasy, though, has become reality. In what is expected to be a tight race among four or more teams, Fullerton is the one to beat.