The University at Buffalo football team was picked to finish fifth out of seven in the East Division of the Mid-American Conference in a preseason media poll, the MAC announced Wednesday.
New UB coach Lance Leipold has a career record of 109-6, but it's clear he faces a building job in his first year at the Division I level.
UB went 5-6 last season and placed third in the MAC East. But the Bulls allowed 31.5 points a game, and they return just three starters on defense.
Toledo, which went 9-4 last season, is picked as the favorite to win the MAC, followed closely by Western Michigan and defending champion Northern Illinois. Bowling Green, two-time defending champion in the East Division, is picked as the favorite to win a third straight first-place finish.
The poll results, with points received in the poll and first-place votes in parenthesis:
EAST DIVISION: 1. Bowling Green (18) 160. T2. Ohio (1) 118. T2. Akron (2) 118. 4. UMass (3) 113. 5. Buffalo 70. 6. Miami 47. 7. Kent State 46.
WEST DIVISION: 1. Toledo (11) 121. 2. Western Michigan (8) 120. 3. Northern Illinois (4) 113. 4. Ball State 66.
5. Central Michigan (1) 56. 6. Eastern Michigan 28.