Central Michigan picked to win the MAC

Posted by ESPN.com's Graham Watson
The Mid-American Conference is the final FBS conference to kick off its media days this week and with it comes the MAC preseason poll.

The MAC's media members selected Central Michigan to not only win the West Division, but also take the MAC overall championship. Buffalo, which won its first-ever conference title last season, was picked to win the East Division.

Ball State, which won the West last year after completing an undefeated conference regular season, was picked to finish fifth in the West.

The biggest surprise in the poll is Temple. After spending most preseason polls at the bottom of the pack, the Owls were picked to finish second and were just 11 points behind favorite Buffalo to win the East. Temple also received two votes to win the MAC overall title. Temple finished third in the East last season behind Bowling Green.

Toledo, which comes in at No. 4 in the West Division, is the highest-rated team with a new head coach.

Central Michigan has won the MAC championship two of the past three seasons. However, the two years it won, the Chippewas were picked fourth (2006) and second (2007). It was picked to win the conference last year and finished second in the West.

2009 MAC Football Preseason Poll

West Division
1. Central Michigan (154 points)
2. Western Michigan (126)
3. Northern Illinois (103)
4. Toledo (71)
5. Ball State (58)
6. Eastern Michigan (34)

East Division
1. Buffalo (155 points)
2. Temple (144)
3. Akron (128)
4. Ohio (116)
5. Bowling Green (101)
6. Kent State (51)
7. Miami (33)

MAC Championship Game
Central Michigan (18), Western Michigan (4), Buffalo (2), Temple (2)