Cleveland, Ohio – The Mid-American Conference (MAC) head football coaches have provided their own 2016 preseason poll and, based upon voting by all 12 head coaches, Bowling Green and Western Michigan have been selected to win the East and West Divisions respectfully.
In the East Division a narrow margin of only two points separated first-place and second-place. Bowling Green was selected first with 66 total points followed by second-place Ohio with 64 points. Akron was selected third followed by Buffalo, Miami and Kent State.
In the West Division, only two points separated the top three spots with Western Michigan gathering 60 points, followed by second-place NIU with 59 points and third-place Toledo with 58 points.
The voting reflects on . . .
Team (First Place Votes) Points
MAC East Division
1. Bowling Green (7) 66
2. Ohio (4) 64
3. Akron (1) 49
4. Buffalo 34
5. Miami 23
6. Kent State 16
MAC West Division
1. Western Michigan (4) 60
2. Northern Illinois (6) 59
3. Toledo (1) 58
4. Central Michigan (1) 37
5. Ball State 23
6. Eastern Michigan 15
In the coaches poll, Bowling Green garnered seven first-place votes en route to the favorite spot in the East Division. The Falcons return 43 letter winners and 12 starters from last year’s 10-4 team that won the MAC East Division for the third consecutive year and the MAC Football Championship Game for the second time in the last three years. Bowling Green lost to Georgia Southern in the Go Daddy Bowl and will look to sustain the program’s overall success this year under first-year head coach Mike Jinks. The Falcons will have to replace MAC Offensive Player of the Year, quarterback Matt Johnson, and the trio of running back Travis Greene and wide receivers Roger Lewis and Gehrig Dieter.
Ohio was picked second in the East Division with 64 points, while the Akron Zips ranked third with 49 points. Buffalo ranked fourth with 34 points followed by Miami and Kent State.
Western Michigan racked up four first-place votes in the West Division, yet the Broncos led the coaches poll with 60 points in the West Division. Western Michigan welcomes back 48 letter winners and 13 starters from last year’s team that went 8-5 overall, 6-2 in Conference play. The Broncos shared the West Division title and went on to the program’s first ever bowl victory with a 45-31 win over Middle Tennessee in the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl. The Broncos offense will be paced by senior quarterback Zach Terrell, who threw for 3,510 yards and 29 touchdowns last season. Wide receiver Corey Davis is his favorite target as the senior collected 90 receptions for 1,436 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. Western Michigan’s running game is impressive with sophomore Jamauri Bogan (1,051 yards and 16 touchdowns) and junior Jarvion Franklin (735 yards, 5 touchdowns) as the Broncos ranked second in the league last season with 204.6 yards rushing per game.
Six-time defending MAC West Champion NIU was picked second in the West Division and earned six first place votes for a total of 59 total points. Toledo was picked third with 58 points and one first-place vote. Central Michigan was selected fourth with 37 total points, followed by Ball State and Eastern Michigan to round out the West Division.
Earlier this summer in conjunction with the 2016 MAC Football Media Day, the league’s media members selected a preseason poll with Bowling Green and Western Michigan selected to win their respective divisions, with Western Michigan picked to win the 2016 MAC Football Championship Game.
In the media preseason poll, the West Division was ranked Western Michigan, Toledo and Northern Illinois first through third place, while the coaches have ranked Western Michigan, Northern Illinois and Toledo in the West Division. In the East Division, both the media preseason poll and the coaches preseason poll were identical with Bowling Green, Ohio, Akron, Buffalo, Miami and Kent State in rank order.