Southland Conference promotes Payton campaign for player

The "likes" are rolling in for Sam Houston State running back Tim Flanders.

The Southland Conference started a Facebook page Wednesday to try to get Flanders added to the Walter Payton Award Watch List. The award, whose list was updated Tuesday without Flanders, is given to the outstanding player in the Football Championship Subdivision, presented by The Sports Network and sponsored by

Flanders, a redshirt sophomore who transferred from Kansas State last year, was the 2010 Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year. This season, he ranks first in the Southland and ninth in the FCS in both rushing yards per game (126) and all-purpose yards per game (172.5).

The 11th-ranked Bearkats are off to a 4-0 start and play rival Stephen F. Austin on Saturday in the annual "Battle of the Piney Woods" at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

The Payton Award is celebrating its 25th anniversary this season. The 20- player Watch List will be updated again later this season.