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2014 MAC Football Power Rankings: Preaseason

Every week the best and brightest of Hustle Belt vote on the MAC rankings. Come join us every week to get an update on who's hot and who's not.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It's tough to figure out who's the best in the MAC. Some of us don't have time to watch up to 13 MAC games a week (though you should try). Fortunately for you, every week 14 of the brightest minds at Hustle Belt will be voting on the power rankings of the 13 teams of the MAC. Even better, one of us will then write up a few words on some of the teams for you to read so you are fully up to speed next time you have a MAC debate with your friends. Otherwise you'd never know Kyle Pohl is overrated.

The Laughing Stocks:

13. Massachusetts Minutemen

12. Miami Redhawks

11. Eastern Michigan Eagles

10. Western Michigan Broncos

9.  Kent State Golden Flashes

It seems that despite the gains made in recruiting by P.J. Fleck and company, there still isn't much belief in the Western Michigan Broncos. Is it because their top corner got beat by their coach? More likely it's because it takes four years of good recruiting for a team to turn it around. When Fleck's first class hits senior year, and second class are juniors, they'll both have the experience and depth to make a difference in the MAC. Unfortunately P.J. Fleck might not be around to see it with a 1-11 finish.

Stuck In the Middle With You:

8. Central Michigan Chippewas

7. Ohio University Bobcats

6. Buffalo Bulls

5. Akron Zips

4. Ball State Cardinals

I already covered my personal feelings on the Zips here, but I'll summarize it for those who don't have the time to read a long hate piece. Kyle Pohl wasn't particularly good last year, the Zips struggled against the bottom of the MAC, pulling of wins by single scores, and on the other end the Zips were blown out by the better teams of the MAC. Also, their run game and defense were nothing special. It seems that despite these facts, the gut feelings about a team that went from one win to five wins pushed our voters to rate the Zips as the second best team in the MAC East. It may be because no one else is really around to challenge them besides Bowling Green.

The Have's:

3. Northern Illinois Huskies

2. Toledo Rockets

1. Bowling Green Falcons

Bowling Green was a near unanimous choice, and it's clear to see why. Last season the Falcons defense was a steel door, easily the best in the MAC. Fun Fact: In eight MAC games, the Falcons let up seven total points in the third quarter.  Meanwhile on offense, Matt Johnson returns after putting up the best throwing season of any quarterback in the MAC last season (Jordan Lynch was the better all-around quarterback when taking into account rushing, but Johnson had the better season when comparing just throwing stats). Between the returning pieces and Dino Babers taking over as head coach after turning the Eastern Illinois Panthers from a two win bottom feeder into a playoff team, there's good reason to believe that this is Bowling Green's year.