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MAC Women's Basketball Preseason Poll: A New Sheriff In The East?

For the second time since 2006, Bowling Green is not favored to win the MAC East. Toledo is still the favorite in the West.

Death, taxes and Bowling Green women's basketball as MAC East favorites. Doesn't roll off your tongue, but it didn't have to because the Falcons had consistently been favorites under Curt Miller. But with Miller in Indiana, no MAC championship and a fizzle in the WNIT, coupled with a surging Miami team, it's the RedHawks who got the pick in the MAC East:

MAC East Division Predicted Order of Finish
1. Miami (16 First Place Votes)
2. Bowling Green (13)
3. Akron (1)
4. Ohio
5. Kent State
6. Buffalo

East Division Preseason All-MAC Team
Rachel Tecca, Akron
Alexis Rogers, Bowling Green
Courtney Osborn, Miami
Chrissy Steffan, Bowling Green
Kristen Olowinski, Miami

MAC West Division Predicted Order of Finish
1. Toledo (24 First Place Votes)
2. Central Michigan (6)
3. Eastern Michiagn
4. Northern Illinois
5. Western Michigan
6. Ball State

West Division Preseason All-MAC Team
Crystal Bradford, Central Michigan
Natachia Watkins, Eastern Michigan
Naama Shafir, Toledo
Andola Dortch, Toledo
Yolanda Richardson, Toledo

MAC Women's Basketball Tournament Champion: Toledo (16), Central Michigan (12), Bowling Green (2)

As for Toledo, well, who else would you pick in the West? Shafir is back from injury and effectively lose one starter. CMU is a valid contender, although with three Rockets picked as All-MAC ... you can see why they're the prohibitive favorite.

Also fascinating: no picks for Miami to win the whole MAC, although BGSU still has a couple believers. Since they moved back to the MAC East, the only other time they were not projected as a first-place team was 2007-08, when the media went with upstart Ohio. Yes, Bowling Green won the MAC East and regular season title outright that year, too. But Miami is a legitimate force and this may be the year the tide shifts in that division to someone else.