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MAC Media Days: Toledo, WMU Picked As Top 2 In West Division

July 23, 2019 - 6:46 pm
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DETROIT (97.1 The Ticket) -- College football season is almost here. Just five more weeks until the first full weekend of games.

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The Mid-American Conference, holding its annual media days at Ford Field this week, released the pre-season media polls on Tuesday. Ohio was unanimously picked to with the East Division, while Toledo was pegged by 15 of 24 voters to win the West.

Coming in behind the Rockets was Western Michigan, chosen by five voters to win the division. The Broncos are coming off a 7-6 season under second-year coach Tim Lester and return 85% of their team, including rising senior quarterback Jon Wassink, who missed the end of the season with an injury.

WMU looks to be one of the most experienced teams in all of college football and it's not out of the question the Broncos could end up being in the conversation for the Group of Five's (non-major conferences) automatic spot in a New Year's Six bowl, as they did in 2016.

Two voters picked the Broncos to win the MAC Championship Game, to be held at Ford Field on Dec. 7.

As for the other in-state MAC teams, Eastern Michigan was picked to finish 4th in the West, while Central Michigan was pegged last in the division, despite one voter picking them to win the West, as well as the conference title.

EMU went 7-6 in 2018 and finished in a three-way tie for second place in the West, appearing in their third ever Division I bowl game and second in three years under head coach Chris Creighton.

CMU, meanwhile, enters a new era under former Florida coach Jim McElwain. The Chippewas are coming of a dismal 1-11 season, with their only win coming against FCS Maine, making for their worst season in program history.

The full MAC Preseason Media Poll:

WEST DIVISION

  1. Toledo (15), 127 points
  2. Western Michigan (5), 112 points
  3. Northern Illinois, 103 points
  4. Eastern Michigan, 83 points
  5. Ball State, 43 points
  6. Central Michigan (1), 36 points

EAST DIVISION

  1. Ohio (24), 144 points
  2. Miami, (OH), 107 points
  3. Buffalo, 100 points
  4. Kent State, 62 points
  5. Akron, 54 points
  6. Bowling Green, 37 points

Central is the first in-state MAC school to kick things off this season, hosting FCS Albany on Thursday, Aug. 29. Eastern heads to Coastal Carolina, while Western plays host to FCS foe Monmouth on Aug. 31.

Each team faces a Big Ten opponent this season, with WMU @ Michigan State and CMU @ Wisconsin on Sept. 7, while EMU heads to Illinois on Sept. 14.

Central and Western will renew their rivalry early this season, facing off in Kalamazoo on Sept. 28. EMU heads to Mt. Pleasant on Oct. 5 an WMU visits Ypsilanti on Oct. 19.