Northern Illinois was picked to win its third straight Mid-American Conference title by the media during the league’s annual football kickoff Tuesday at Ford Field in Detroit.

The Huskies received 16 first-place votes and 138 points to claim the West Division for the third consecutive year. Last season, Northern Illinois went on to win 12-games while earning a coveted spot in the Orange Bowl. Toledo was second with five first-place votes and 122 points. Ball State (108) and Central Michigan (67) also received first-place votes with the Cardinals getting three and the Chippewas receiving one. Western Michigan (61) and Eastern Michigan (29) wrapped up the rest of the division.

Ohio received 15 first-place votes and 164 points to capture the East Division. The Bobcats finished third in the conference with a 9-4 overall record. Bowling Green was second with eight first-place votes and 154 points. Last year’s divisional winner, Kent State, received a first-place vote along with Buffalo. Miami (78), Akron (53) and UMass (29) rounded out the rest of the division.

NIU received 14 votes to claim the conference championship followed by Toledo and Ohio with three votes apiece; Bowling Green and Ball State with two apiece and Central Michigan with one. 

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