FOOTBALL: Ball State picked fifth in MAC West

Temple, Northern Illinois are favored

DETROIT – The Mid-American Conference media picked Ball State University to finish 2010 in fifth place in the West, right where it ended 2009.

Northern Illinois University was picked to win the West and Temple University was named the favorite in the East. The Owls are also the pick to win the MAC Championship Game, which will be held Dec. 3 at Ford Field in Detroit.

Ball State finished last year 2-10, ahead of just Eastern Michigan University in the West Division. The Eagles are again expected to finish in last place.

The MAC coaches believe the whole league, and especially the West Division, is up for grabs. Western Michigan University coach Bill Cubit said the MAC was as balanced as he has seen it in his 11 years in the conference. He wouldn't be surprised no matter who was playing for the MAC title in a few months.

"Nothing surprises me anymore," he said. "There are so many good players and good coaches."

Ball State coach Stan Parrish doesn't put much stock into preseason polls, noting that the Cardinals were picked to finish third in the MAC West in 2008. That year, of course, Ball State won the division and was ranked as high as 12th in the country.

While Parrish doesn't look at the polls, he correctly guessed who the favorite was in each division.

For more on MAC Media Day, read Saturday's edition of The Ball State Daily News.