The Mid-American Conference unveiled their coaches poll on Thursday morning from the Fox Theater in Detroit, Michigan, with the conference’s program leaders selecting the Toledo Rockets as the favorite team to win the football championship in the upcoming season of play.
The Rockets come into 2023 as the defending conference champion after a banner season which saw them finish 9-5 with a 14-game schedule, winning the MAC Championship over the Ohio Bobcats and edging out Liberty in the Boca Raton Bowl by a final score of 21-19.
Toledo wrapped up the West division in early November with a win over Ball State, ultimately finishing with a 5-3 record in-league. They earned 11 of a possible 12 first-place votes in the West division. Eastern Michigan was the only other MAC West team to garner a first-place vote.
The Ohio Bobcats, Toledo’s for in the 2022 title game, was selected to defend their MAC East division crown in 2023, earning nine of 12 possible first-place votes in-division.
The Bobcats were a force to be reckoned with at full health last season, as quarterback Kurtis Rourke had a MAC Offensive Player of the Year-worthy campaign prior to tearing his ACL just two weeks before the title game in Detroit. Ohio is expected to compete with Miami (two first-place votes) and Buffalo (one first-place vote) this season for the East crown.
For the MAC Championship, seven out of 12 coaches selected the Rockets to win it all, an indication the majority of the league sees Toledo as the team to beat. The Ohio Bobcats got four of the remaining five votes to win the conference title, with Buffalo garnering the last vote.
The MAC season officially kicks off on Saturday, August 26, and will conclude at Ford Field in Detroit with the MAC Championship Game on Saturday, December 2nd, at noon Eastern time on ESPN.
MAC East Division
- Ohio Bobcats (9 first-place votes): 63 points
- Miami RedHawks (2): 52
- Buffalo Bulls (1): 51
- Bowling Green Falcons: 35
- Akron Zips: 26
- Kent State Golden Flashes: 19
MAC West Division
- Toledo Rockets (11 first place votes): 66 points
- Eastern Michigan Eagles (1): 55 points
- Northern Illinois Huskies: 38 points
- Central Michigan Chippewas: 37 points
- Ball State Cardinals: 27 points
- Western Michigan Broncos: 23 points
MAC Champion: Toledo (7), Ohio (4), Buffalo (1)