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The Mid-American Conference coaches have picked the University at Buffalo fourth in the East Division in a preseason poll conducted by the conference.

Defending conference champion Bowling Green is picked to win the East, and conference runner-up Northern Illinois is picked to win the West.

Akron is picked second and Ohio third behind Bowling Green, followed by UB. The poll is a show of respect for the progress Akron coach Terry Bowden has made. His team won four of its last five last season to finish 5-7 and is buoyed by a slew of transfers from major-conference programs.

The voting is a close call. Bowling Green got 83 points, Akron 64, Ohio 63, and UB 52. Kent State is picked fifth with 34, Miami sixth at 25 and UMass seventh at 15.

Northern Illinois got 68 points in the West, followed by Toledo 61, Ball State 47, Central Michigan 38, Western Michigan 23 and Eastern Michigan 15.