Another year, another sport, another preseason tab as fourth in the East for a UB team, as media members from around the MAC released the 2016 MAC Preseason Football Poll. The Bulls received 75 votes in the poll, and no selections to claim the East Division.
Team (First Place Votes) -- Points
MAC East Division
1. Bowling Green (12) -- 136
2. Ohio (10) -- 134
3. Akron (4) -- 107
4. Buffalo -- 75
5. Miami -- 52
6. Kent State -- 42
MAC West Division
1. Western Michigan (19) -- 144
2. Toledo (2) -- 113
3. Northern Illinois (3) -- 112
4. Central Michigan (2) -- 98
5. Ball State -- 44
6. Eastern Michigan -- 35
2016 MAC Championship Game Winner: Western Michigan (19); Toledo (2); Northern Illinois (2); Central Michigan (1); Bowling Green (1); Akron (1).
UB falls squarely in a tier of their own after two straight five-win seasons, with fifth- and sixth- place Miami and Kent State closer than the Bulls are to projected third-place finishers Akron. In fact, much of the East except for the ultimate representative in the Conference Championship is set, as the Zips themselves are well behind the clear top tier of Bowling Green and Ohio. The Falcons, whose 2015 season-low point total came against the Bulls, and the Bobcats, who UB beat convincingly to end a three-game losing streak, are separated by only two points, which Bowling Green just nudging out as the consensus East champion.
The West Division features a clearer favorite in Western Michigan, but more depth as Toledo, Northern Illinois, and Central Michigan are separated by just 14 points.
Notably, all 19 media members who picked WMU to win the West also expect them to claim a MAC Championship, while the East only claimed titles - Bowling Green once and Akron once - on two ballots.