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Herd, MAC seek respect in polls

Reason No. 4,568 why the Mid-American Conference doesn't believe it gets any respect …

Unbeaten Bowling Green scores 72 points in a conference game and the Falcons still don't make the top 25 in either major poll.

''It's a slap in the face to the MAC for them to be ranked 26th,'' Central Michigan coach Mike DeBord said of the lowly position Bowling Green holds in the coaches' poll.

You can just imagine what he thinks about The Associated Press media poll, where the Falcons are 32nd. There are three teams with two losses ranked among the top 22 teams in the poll, including No. 16 Florida. Of the 31 teams getting more points, 22 have at least one loss.

The Gators were humiliated by the No. 1 Miami Hurricanes and also lost to unranked Ole Miss last week but hang around the poll because of their decade of success under ol' ball coach Steve Spurrier, now with the NFL's Washington Redskins.

And Bowling Green? It received 39 points in the most recent media voting, compared with Florida's 687.

Actually, the Falcons are tied for 32nd in the AP poll -- with MAC member Marshall.

Marshall coach Bob Pruett is used to being slighted by BCS conferences and the voters who worship at the altar of the BCS conferences.

''It's gotten a little bit better for us,'' Pruett said. ''Last year, we lost to Toledo and didn't drop out of the Top 25. When we lost to Virginia Tech, we didn't drop out of the top 30. Western Michigan, Toledo, Bowling Green, Central Florida, Miami, we're getting a lot more respect than we used to. By the end of this year, we'll be a step better.''

For the time being, Bowling Green coach Urban Meyer is enjoying what national attention his team does get.

''The polls and all of that, I love that,'' he said. ''I mean the fact that we're 26th -- that is all going to recruits.''

Bowling Green (4-0, 1-0) travels to Central Michigan (3-2, 1-0) on Saturday with the winner taking over the top spot in the MAC's West Division.

The Falcons lead the nation in scoring at 50.8 points a game. Quarterback Josh Harris is the top scorer in the country at 15.0 points a game.

Those are not particularly savory notes for a Chippewas team that lost 43-0 to Boston College in its last game. Bowling Green was lambasted Ohio 72-21 last week.

''To score 72 points in any game, let alone a MAC game, is very impressive,'' DeBord said. ''You talk about an explosive offense, Bowling Green has one. It all starts with quarterback Josh Harris. He can hurt you running or throwing the ball. He's an accurate passer, and he has excellent skilled people to work with.''

Harris threw for four touchdowns and ran for two against the Bobcats.

Shellshocked Ohio coach Brian Knorr said, ''We've played Florida and Pitt, but that crew Saturday was the best team we've played so far this year.''