Broncos picked to finish second in the West

Published 9:43 am Friday, July 31, 2009

DETROIT – The Mid-American Conference announced its preseason poll on Friday at the annual Football Media Preview held at Ford Field, the site the Marathon MAC Championship and the Motor City Bowl, in downtown Detroit.

Western Michigan was predicted to finish second in the West Division by a media contingent consisting of 26 members.

The Broncos earned 126 total points to finish second behind Central Michigan, predicted to win the division with 154 points.  Western Michigan also received four votes to win the Marathon MAC Championship on Dec. 5. A trip to Ford Field would be WMU’s first during the game moved to Detroit and third title appearance since the inception of the title game.

“We know the work we have to do to compete and be successful in this conference,” commented head coach Bill Cubit. “Year in and year out, there seems to be more and more teams creeping up towards the top of their respective divisions and margin for error week in and week out continues to grow smaller and smaller. I look forward to a very exciting 2009 season.”

Northern Illinois was predicted to place third in the West with 103 points followed by Toledo (71), Ball State (58) and Eastern Michigan (34).  The Cardinals were the 2008 West Division champions, running through the regular season with a perfect 12-0 record.

Buffalo, the 2008 MAC Champion, earned the highest point total with 155 and is predicted to claim a second-straight MAC East crown.  Temple is predicted to finish second with the third highest point total of 144.  Akron is selected to finish third in the East with 128 points, followed by Ohio (116), Bowling Green (101), Kent State (51) and Miami (33).

CMU earned 18 votes toward earning a win in the conference title game, followed by WMU (4), Buffalo (2) and Temple (2).

Western Michigan earned a program-matching nine wins in 2008 en route to its second postseason bowl appearance in three years. The Broncos also matched the program record for touchdowns (48) and kick off returns (55) in a season.  WMU set new team single-season marks in passing yards (3,831), total yards (5,350), offensive plays (893) and first downs (279).

The Brown & Gold return 25 letterwinners, including 14 starters in 2009.  Seven starters on offense return, along with four defensive starters and all three of the Broncos’ special teams starters from a year ago.

Western Michigan opens the 2009 campaign on Sept. 5 at Michigan and hosts Miami at Waldo Stadium on Sept. 19 in the first conference game of the season.