Coming out of the winter Buffalo seemed like a no brainier to repeat in the East and have another shot at the title in Detroit. Then Kansas raided our coaching staff and many key players departed.
So, when Buffalo fell to fourth in today’s Mid American Conference media poll it was not a huge surprise.
The Division has a lot of parity at the top with Buffalo, Ohio, Miami, and Kent all trending very well in recent years.
Buffalo and Ohio lost coaches, but Ohio kept their entire staff and seemingly most of their players while Buffalo’s entire staff is gone and many players followed.
1. Kent State (11 first place votes) – 112 points
2. Ohio (2) – 96 points
3. Miami (5) – 94 points
4. Buffalo (4) – 93 points
5. Akron – 39 points
6. Bowling Green – 28 points
As you can see the “gap” between numbers 2-4 is only three points. While Kent seems to be a pretty solid “favorite” nobody seems quite sure of which MAC East team is mostly likely to challenge them for the title.
Then there is Akron and Bowling Green. The Falcons are rebuilding this year and Akron seems to be rebuilding every year.
On the West side of things Ball State seems favored to repeat, which makes a lot of sense given what they bring back and what they did last year. Toledo and WMU are also well ranked.
1. Ball State (11 first place votes) – 114 points
2. Toledo (7) – 104 points
3. Western Michigan (4) – 103 points
4. Central Michigan – 68 points
5. Eastern Michigan – 44 points
6. Northern Illinois – 29 points
I’m a little surprised to see NIU ranked so poorly. They had a bad record last season but gave many good teams fits in their first year under. If you’re looking for someone in the west to shake up the order (not win, but factor into the race) NIU seems a good bet.
The most shocking thing, perhaps, is no first place vote for CMU in the poll. This is the first time I’ve ever seen that.
Championship game winner:
- Ball State (7)
- Toledo (5)
- Kent State (4)
- Western Michigan (3)
- Buffalo (2)
- Miami (1)