The poll was released Wednesday in Detroit during the MAC Media Day.
Toledo received 11 first place votes and 114 points overall. The Huskies received eight first place votes and 110 points. Ball State was picked third with 82 votes. Central Michigan was fourth with 67 points and two first place votes.
"Anytime you are not picked first, it's motivating," says NIU head coach Rod Carey. "It is a lot of motivation for the guys. I don't think I have to say anything, because they will hear about it from the media, fans and everyone."
Defending conference champion Bowling Green was picked ahead of Akron in the East. The Falcons were also picked to repeat as MAC champions.