Ball State’s football team was picked to finish third in the Mid-American Conference West Division in the league’s media preseason poll announced at the annual Football Media Day at Ford Field in Detroit.
In addition, the Cardinals, under the direction of third-year head football coach Pete Lembo, received three first-place votes to win the MAC West and two votes to win the Marathon MAC Championship Game.
The Ohio Bobcats and the Northern Illinois Huskies were selected to win the East and West Divisions, respectfully, in the 2013 MAC Football Preseason Poll.
In the East Division, Ohio was selected with 164 total points followed by second-place Bowling Green with 154 points. In the West Division, it was a narrow margin as only 30 points separated the top three spots with Northern Illinois gathering 138 points, followed by second-place Toledo with 122 points and third-place Ball State with 108 points.
In the last four years the conference has witnessed five different programs compete in the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game and 10 of the 13 football programs have appeared in a bowl game in that span. Ball State competed in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl after tallying a 9-3 regular season record in 2012.
The Cardinals open the 2013 season Thurs., Aug. 29, with a nonconference home game at 7 p.m. vs. Illinois State in Scheumann Stadium. The 2013 Marathon MAC Football Championship Game is Fri., Dec. 6, at 8 p.m. from Ford Field in Detroit.
The complete poll follows:
Team (First Place Votes) Points
MAC East Division
1. Ohio (15) 164
2. Bowling Green (8) 154
3. Kent State (1) 119
4. Buffalo (1) 101
5. Miami 78
6. Akron 53
7. UMass 29
MAC West Division
1. Northern Illinois (16) 138
2. Toledo (5) 122
3. Ball State (3) 108
4. Central Michigan (1) 67
5. Western Michigan 61
6. Eastern Michigan 29
2013 Marathon MAC Championship Game Winner: Northern Illinois 14; Toledo 3; Ohio 3; Bowling Green 2; Ball State 2; Central Michigan 1.