MAC Bowl Projections: Guesstimating Six Eligible Teams' Destinations

Pat Schiller #53, Scott Wedige #71 and Chandler Harnish #12 of the Northern Illinois Huskies pose for a photo after winning the MAC Championship game against the Ohio Bobcats at Ford Field on December 2, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Huskies defeated the Bobcats 23-20.

Update: Here are the actual bids, followed by something resembling analysis.

The anticlimactic (but well-sponsored) finish to the college football season will include likely five MAC teams participating in bowl games. The finalized matchups should be unveiled by tonight, but in the event that I am not around tonight, we'll take educated guesses:

Northern Illinois Huskies (10-3): Hard to think anything other than the GoDaddy.com Bowl against Arkansas State, who has already accepted an invitation. It would be the Huskies' first appearance in this Mobile-based bowl.

Toledo Rockets (8-4): The Little Caesars Bowl committee has always enjoyed bringing in the Rockets when convenient, and since they get second crack at a team, it makes sense for them to extend this invite. And the Big Ten might actually be able to fill its last bowl obligation for the first time in four years. Most projections have Northwestern in this game. Slight chance they go to the Idaho Potato Bowl.

Ohio Bobcats (9-4): They could get the Little Caesars invite (and I'd prefer them to get it, because UT already had their shot at Big Ten teams) but the Idaho Potato Bowl is looking more and more realistic for the MAC East champions. Utah State is has already accepted a bid to be the other team.

Temple Owls (8-4): No MAC bowl tie-ins are remaining, but at-large spots are all over the place. So I'd be rightly shocked if they were left out in the cold for a second straight year. The prohibitive consensus seems to be New Mexico Bowl against somebody from the Mountain West, although I'll say the Military Bowl makes more sense given their proximity. If that happens it seems like they'd face North Carolina or perhaps Wake Forest.

Western Michigan Broncos (7-5): Their offense has been more than enough to get an at-large somewhere. The most breathed destinations are the New Mexico Bowl or the BBVA Compass Bowl, but I'm intrigued by WMU getting a second chance at the Big East, playing perhaps Pittsburgh this time.

Ball State Cardinals (6-6): I see no reason why they can't play in the Ball State Bowl, held in Muncie, Indiana, where they play an intrasquad scrimmage against themselves.

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