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Football Broncos picked third in MAC West

by Mat Kanan

July 26, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of WMU football team with coach Bill Cubit.
Bill Cubit (center) is beginning his seventh season as Bronco head coach.
DETROIT--Western Michigan University's football team begins the 2011 campaign predicted to finish behind Toledo and Northern Illinois in the Preseason Mid-American Conference Poll. WMU received two first-place votes.

The Broncos return seven starters on offense and all but two on defense in 2011, including sixth-year receiver and 2010 Biletnikoff Award semifinalist Jordan White. WMU also returns its leading tackler from a year ago, senior linebacker Mitch Zajac, as well as its entire defensive line.

Toledo received 83 points and eight first-place votes to lead the way in the West followed very closely by Northern Illinois with 81 points and five first-place votes. WMU received 76 points and two first-place votes. Central Michigan, Ball State and Eastern Michigan rounded out the West Division voting.

The East goes to Miami, according to the preseason poll, leading the way with a league best 97 votes. Ohio was picked second with 96, but had double the number of first place votes (8) that Miami garnered (4). Temple was selected third followed by Kent State, Bowling Green, Buffalo and Akron.

WMU opens the 2011 season on ABC/ESPN2 at Michigan Saturday, Sept. 3, at 3:30 p.m. The Broncos open Waldo Stadium Sept. 10 against Nicholls State and kick off their 2011 MAC slate at home against Central Michigan at noon Sept. 17 on ESPN Regional.

Preseason MAC Poll

West Division
Toledo (8) - 83
Northern Illinois (5) - 81
WMU Broncos (2) - 76
Central Michigan (1) - 55
Ball State - 27
Eastern Michigan - 24

East Division
Miami (4) - 97
Ohio (8) - 96
Temple (4) - 88
Kent State - 57
Bowling Green - 48
Buffalo - 37
Akron - 25

Predicted 2011 MAC Championship Game Winner
Toledo (5), Northern Illinois (3), Miami (3), Ohio (1), WMU (1)