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Toledo, Miami (OH), Ohio receive votes in final 2023 AP Poll

The MAC still awaits its first season-end ranking since 2020, although its top three teams were close in 2023.

NCAA Football: Mid-American Conference Football Championship-Miami (OH) at Toledo Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines defeated the Washington Huskies, 34-13, to claim the national championship, marking the official conclusion of the 2023 college football season.

In the aftermath of the all-important game, the final AP Top 25 was released.

For the third consecutive year, there was no Mid-American Conference representation in the poll. But when looking at the fringes, the MAC made a significant imprint on some voters. Toledo received 7 votes, Miami (OH) received 4 votes, and Ohio received 1 vote for the final AP Top 25. That leaves the Rockets with an unofficial ranking of No. 35, the RedHawks tied for No. 37, and the Bobcats at No. 43.

Toledo (11-3, 8-0 MAC) opened its season with a narrow loss to Illinois, but the Rockets were unscathed until reaching the MAC Championship Game by rattling off 11 consecutive victories. With two weeks in November at No. 23 in the AP Poll, they became the first ranked MAC program since 2020. Toledo dropped from the rankings after falling short of defending its MAC title. Still, the Rockets earned an opportunity for a number beside its name but lost to Wyoming in the Arizona Bowl, 16-15, on a field goal as time expired.

Miami (OH) (11-3, 7-1 MAC) dropped its opener, but like Toledo, the RedHawks bounced back strong to earn double-digit victories in the regular season. Miami lost a home game to Toledo in October, but Chuck Martin’s squad exacted revenge with a trophy on the line. The underdog RedHawks edged the Rockets, 23-14, in Detroit to capture their second MAC championship since 2019. However, Miami never crashed the rankings in its prosperous season, falling 13-9 in a sloppy, monsoon of a Cure Bowl against Appalachian State which featured 13 total fumbles.

Ohio (10-3, 6-2 MAC) launched its season in Week 0 with a close loss to San Diego State, but like all the MAC juggernauts, the Bobcats rebounded with poise. They knocked off Iowa State in Athens, OH for a signature win in September and rode that momentum to nine wins in the regular season. Ohio punched a bid to the Myrtle Beach Bowl and despite running out of the tunnel severely shorthanded on offense, the Bobcats dominated Georgia Southern for a 41-21 victory — tying their winningest season in program history with 10 wins.

2023 marks the first time the MAC produced three double-digit win teams since 2013 and multiple 11+ win teams since 2012.

The last MAC teams to finish ranked remain 2020 Ball State (No. 23) and 2020 Buffalo (No. 25), which finished 7-1 and 6-1, respectively, in a condensed COVID-19 modified season. Prior to that, 2016 Western Michigan earned the last final AP Top 25 ranking for the conference at No. 15.