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Broncos Are Narrow Choice To Win MAC

MAC Press Release
July 25, 2007

Detroit, Mich. -- If preseason polls equate to anything, especially the 2007 MAC News Media Association projections, then the Mid-American Conference football championship trophy will remain in the state of Michigan.

In a photo finish race, Western Michigan was tabbed to edge in-state rival and defending MAC Champion Central Michigan for the West Division title. Ohio was given the nod to defend its East Division trophy, but by a slim margin over an up-and-coming Kent State squad. The preseason predictions were announced today at MAC Football Media Day at Ford Field.

In the West, Toledo and Ball State, selected third and fourth respectively, received enough support to garner challengers status. The Cardinals finished strong last season, winning three of their last four games with an eight-point loss at Michigan the lone defeat. Northern Illinois was tabbed fifth and Eastern Michigan sixth. The Huskies have a league-best current streak of seven consecutive winning seasons and played in the Poinsettia Bowl last year.

In the East, Akron and Miami earned the third and fourth slots, respectively, as possible threats to seize Ohio’s crown. Bowling Green was voted fifth, MAC newcomer Temple sixth and Buffalo seventh.

The balance in the overall voting is reflected with 10 of the 13 teams receiving at least one vote from the field of 36 pollsters to win their respective division and seven teams on track to win the championship game.

Should the predictions hold true, the West Division could be decided on Nov. 6 on ESPN2 with the Central Michigan at Western Michigan contest. In the East, the anticipated No. 1 versus No. 2 match up will occur on Sept. 29 with Kent State at Ohio.

The top teams in the preseason poll each played in a bowl game last season and hope to repeat with a berth in the of the three bowl tie ins the MAC has. Western Michigan played in the inaugural International Bowl in Toronto, Central Michigan won the Motor City Bowl in Detroit, and Ohio competed in the GMAC Bowl in Toronto.

For the 2007 season, as was the case in 2000 and 2001 when the MAC was at 13 teams, the league will play an unbalanced conference schedule, with divisional games being the primary factor in determining a divisional champion. Cross over games within the conference will serve as a tie-breaker in the event that head-to-head results do not determine the divisional championship.

The Marathon MAC Football Championship game will be played Saturday, Dec. 1, at Ford Field in Detroit. The MAC has not had a repeat champion since Marshall in 2000. In addition, the balance of the league is reflected in the fact that nine different schools have appeared in a bowl game since 2004.

MAC News Media Association PRESEASON POLL

  Team Points
1. Ohio (15) 216
2. Kent State (13) 203
3. Akron (6) 171
4. Miami (1) 163
5. Bowling Green 130
6. Temple (1) 64
7. Buffalo 61
  Team Points
1. Western Michigan (15) 175
2. Central Michigan (10) 173
3. Toledo (6) 138
4. Ball State (4) 134
5. Northern Illinois 90
6. Eastern Michigan 46

Championship Game-Winner

  Team Points
1. Western Michigan 11
2. Central Michigan 10
3. Ohio 6
4. Toledo 5
5. Kent State 2
6. Akron 1
6. Temple 1


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