The University at Buffalo was picked for fifth out of six in the East Division in the preseason poll for the Mid-American Conference football season, the conference announced Wednesday.
Toledo is the overwhelming favorite to win the MAC. The Rockets are the West Division favorites and were picked to win the MAC championship game on 21 of 24 ballots.
UB went 2-10 last season, the second year under coach Lance Leipold. The Bulls return five starters on offense, including 6-foot-7 sophomore quarterback Tyree Jackson. UB has seven starters returning on defense.
Every MAC team plays the teams in its own division, plus three teams from the other division. UB’s crossover games are against West teams picked second (Western Michigan), third (Northern Illinois) and last (Ball State).
The MAC East is expected to be a close call between Ohio and Miami Ohio. Ohio went 8-6 last season and has had only one losing season in the last 10. Miami has had just one winning season in its last 10. But the RedHawks won their last six regular season games last season after starting 0-6.
The poll (with first-place votes and total points:
MAC East: 1. Ohio (11) 131. 2. Miami (12) 129. 3. Bowling Green (1) 88. 4. Akron 79. 5. Buffalo 41. 6. Kent State 36.
MAC West: 1. Toledo (22) 142. 2. Western Michigan (1) 107. 3. Northern Illinois (1) 89. 4. Eastern Michigan 74. 5. Central Michigan 62. 6. Ball State 30