Let’s see. Northern Illinois went undefeated in the MAC last season (until the title game) and won by an average of 31.9 points per game.
The Huskies retain virtually all of their offensive firepower --- with the notable exception of running back Chad Spann --- and retain plenty of good players on the defensive line and in the secondary.
Yet when the MAC media did their preseason rankings that were released Tuesday, Northern Illinois found itself behind Toledo in the West prognostications. Apparently the Rockets have 17 returning starters from a team that suffered a 65-30 whipping at NIU’s hands.
It’s no big deal in the grand scheme of things. Pollsters never determine how things go on the field. But it just seems weird that NIU gets knocked down a notch so soon after being so dominant. I suppose if the Huskies had finished the job and defeated Miami Ohio in the title game, then they would’ve been installed as West favorites.
Here are the results of the media poll:
Team (First Place Votes) Points
MAC East Division
1. Miami (4) 97
2. Ohio (8) 96
3. Temple (4) 88
4. Kent State 57
5. Bowling Green 48
6. Buffalo 37
7. Akron 25
MAC West Division
1. Toledo (8) 83
2. Northern Illinois (5) 81
3. Western Michigan (2) 76
4. Central Michigan (1) 55
5. Ball State 27
6. Eastern Michigan 24
2011 Marathon MAC Championship Game Winner:
Toledo 5, Northern Illinois 3, Miami 3, Ohio 1, Western Michigan 1 (several voters did not select a winner for the MAC Championship)