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Buffalo Bulls Football selected fourth in MAC East in conference coaches preseason poll

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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Fourth in the East, the usual.

The MAC coaches see both divisions being competitive at the top and then reasonably agree on the breakdown beyond the obvious bowl teams, and Buffalo, as we're accustomed to by now, was picked fourth in the East Division, a hair closer to Miami in fifth than Akron in third.

It's not altogether surprising considering UB's 5-7 season in 2015 and the offensive losses to graduation since then. Lance Leipold will be replacing a starting QB, a pair of first-string wide receivers, and a multi-year starter at running back.

What's certainly more surprising to me is Akron getting a vote to win the East Division -- Ohio received four and Bowling Green the remaining seven. Akron has likely improved since last year, but we're compelled to ask you to Stop Trying To Make Akron A Thing. If this is the year they take a big step forward, I won't eat any crow, because at this point the Zips have been a hot team with potential for a full recruiting cycle.

There's a pretty good amount of disagreement in the West Division, where Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, and Toledo are separated by just two points, even though the Rockets only garnered a single vote to win the division. Central Michigan, picked fourth, also received a vote, while Northern Illinois seems to be the most controversial team in the MAC, slotting in at second in the West despite receiving six votes to advance to the MAC Championship. Western took the remaining four.

The full poll:

2016 MAC Head Football Coaches Preseason Poll
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