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Ball State picked as MAC football favorite, CMU, EMU, WMU mid-pack

Posted at 7:40 PM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 19:40:04-04

DETROIT (AP) — Ball State is the preseason favorite to win the Mid-American Conference football title.

The Cardinals were picked to defend their championship as the West Division winner in a MAC media poll released Tuesday.

Kent State was selected as the favorite to claim the East Division title.

Ball State returns 10 starters on both sides of the ball from a team that won its last seven games during the pandemic-shortened season. The Cardinals closed the year with a 34-13 win over No. 19 San Jose State in the Arizona Bowl and finished ranked No. 23 in The Associated Press college football poll.

Toledo finished second in voting among West Division teams and to win the conference championship. Kent State, Western Michigan, Buffalo and Miami (Ohio) also received votes as preseason favorites to win the MAC title on Dec. 4 in Detroit.

“The MAC is a highly competitive conference, and it’s going to take every member of our program performing at an elite level for us to achieve our goal of making it back to Ford Field in December,” Ball State coach Mike Neu said.