The preseason AP Top 25 was officially released Monday at noon ET.
Preseason polls haven’t been kind to the Mid-American Conference over the years, as no team from the league has been situated in the initial AP Top 25 since Marshall checked in at No. 19 in 2022. Of the 12 current MAC members, only Miami (OH) has attained ranked status prior to Week 1, positioned at No. 20 in the 1976 preseason AP Poll.
This years, the typical trend sustained as zero MAC teams cracked the Top 25. But unlike most seasons in recent history, there was at least some recognition for the conference.
The Toledo Rockets received four votes, distinguished as the only MAC team to receive any preseason buzz. The reigning conference champions posted a 9-5 record in 2022, complete with a Boca Raton Bowl victory over Liberty. Toledo retains head coach Jason Candle for the eighth consecutive year and features a heap of All-MAC talent on its roster including quarterback Dequan Finn, wide receiver Jerjuan Newton, offensive tackle Nick Rosi, linebacker Dallas Gant, and defensive backs Quinyon Mitchell, Maxen Hook, and Nate Bauer.
With Toledo operating as the lone MAC headliner, all 10 conferences were represented with at least one vote in the preseason poll. Overall, Toledo tied with Duke for 39th in the initial rankings. The Rockets are the first MAC team to garner any preseason AP votes since 2021 Ball State, which earned six following its 2020 conference championship run. Prior to that, 2016 Toledo was the most recent team from the league to receive preseason votes, highlighting the rarity of this occurrence.
The Rockets kick off their 2023 slate on Sept. 2 at Illinois, which received three votes in the prison AP Top 25. The AP Top 25 is as follows:
2023 Preseason AP Top 25
Others receiving votes: Texas Tech 101, South Carolina 73, UCLA 66, UTSA 64, Arkansas 22, Boise St. 17, Pittsburgh 16, Kentucky 14, Louisville 10, Troy 10, Kansas 10, Auburn 7, Minnesota 6, Toledo 4, Duke 4, Mississippi St. 4, Florida 4, Illinois 3, Baylor 3, Coastal Carolina 3, South Alabama 1, NC State 1, James Madison 1, Liberty 1.