DETROIT, MI - The University of Toledo football team was picked to finish in second place in the Mid-American Conference's West Division in voting by members of the league's media contingent. The annual preseason poll was released today at the conference's 2016 Football Media Day held at Ford Field in Detroit.
The Rockets received two first-place votes and a total of 113 points in the annual poll, just one point ahead of third-place Northern Illinois. Western Michigan was picked to win the MAC West and the MAC Championship Game. The Broncos had 19 first-place votes and 144 points, and also picked up 19 out of 26 votes to win the MAC Championship Game. Toledo received two votes to win the MAC title game.
Defending MAC Champion Bowling Green was picked to repeat as MAC East Division champion, followed by Ohio and Akron.
Head coach Jason Candle downplayed the media poll, pointing out that it's where a team finishes the season that matters.
Toledo is coming off a 10-2 season, including a 32-17 victory over Temple in the Marmot Boca Raton Bowl. The Rockets return 48letterwinners, including 15 starters and six All-MAC players.
On offense, the Rockets return a pair of All-MAC running backs (senior Kareem Hunt and junior Terry Swanson), All-MAC wide receiver and return man Corey Jones, four starters from the offensive line and junior Logan Woodside, the starting quarterback from 2014. UT did lose some key players on defense, but 21 letterwinners return, including senior all-MAC safety DeJuan Rogers, two-time All-MAC senior defensive tackle Treyvon Hester and junior linebacker Ja’Wuan Woodley, the 2015 Marmot Boca Raton Defensive MVP.
Toledo opens its season at Arkansas State on Sept. 2 and then hosts Maine in the home opener on Sept. 10. Season tickets are still available. Go online or call 419-530-4653 for more information.
2016 MAC Media Poll
Team (First Place Votes) MAC East Division 1. Bowling Green (12) (136 points)
2. Ohio (10) (134 points)
3. Akron (4) (107 points)
4. Buffalo (75 points)
5. Miami (52 points)
6. Kent State (42 points) MAC West Division 1. Western Michigan (19) (144 points)
2. Toledo (2) (113 points)
3. Northern Illinois (3) (112 points)
4. Central Michigan (2) (98 points)
5. Ball State (44 points)
6. Eastern Michigan (35 points) 2016 MAC Championship Game Winner: Western Michigan (19); Toledo (2); Northern Illinois (2); Central Michigan (1); Bowling Green (1); Akron (1).
Toledo Scout would like to thank Toledo Athletics and SID Paul Helgren for this report.