Well, roughly 3 weeks have passed since we last did this, and a lot has changed. My NIU pick looks super smart now, while my Bowling Green pick doesn't. You win some, you lose some. However, one thing I did not forsee is the fact that 70 of 120 FBS teams make bowl games. 30 are or will be eliminated as it stands now with remaining games and mathematics. 58 teams are assured of bowl eligibility either now, or from future games (possible eligible vs possible eligible). That leaves 32 teams fighting for 12 spots, with overflow meaning war for all teams.
This bodes well for MAC teams actually, as we could see 5 or more teams go bowling as it stands. The MAC is looking to have 6-7 teams eligible, and getting all in would be a stretch. However, we can look at the teams again and decide their fate. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA......... erm, I mean lets get to it!
Zippy and friends are already eliminated and can really only do one thing to ruin this piece, beat my beloved Broncos on Black Friday in what could be an all-or-nothing game for Western at Waldo Stadium. The other game, a trip to Buffalo, is merely this year's Pillow Fight.
VERDICT: Watchin' at home.
Ball State is bowl eligible at 6-4, and can win the MAC West with back-to-back wins @ NIU and vs Toledo, holding the tie-breaker vs both teams (and/or Eastern if THEY beat NIU too). I don't see them winning either game, but anything can happen. They have a win over Ohio, but beyond that, no quality wins. It will be interesting to see if they can make a bowl.
VERDICT: Hung jury, favoring watching at home.
Ouch. My surprise pick for a bowl game turned their back on me and sucked it up. Now at 4-6, the Falcons HAVE to win out, or they are chillin' in the Stroh Center, which apparently is a cool place to be. Free tacos and old guys ballin'.............Anyways, back to football. If they beat Ohio, they can get back on track, as they have Buffalo to end the year. I'm going to technically count them out of the MAC East, as I don't see a miracle happening as long as mathematics that I don't want to research having them already eliminated, so there. Even if they get to eligibility, their wins aren't that high quality. Toledo and Ohio yes, but Idaho and Morgan State? Nooooooooo
VERDICT: Watching at home. Or watchin' hockey!
Buffalo is eliminated. They have Akron this week in the Pillow Fight, and Bowling Green in a to be determined match-up. Either way, they really can't do much to mess with me, so lets just move on.
VERDICT: Watchin' at home
The Chips are eliminated, and finish this horrid season this week against Toledo. How they beat NIU, I have no clue. They could upset the Rockets, but that just gives the MAC West to NIU. Otherwise, enjoy wrestling and basketball Chips.
VERDICT: Watchin' at home.
Eastern is this year's surprise team, and at 6-4 (4-2), they STILL aren't bowl eligible. They are just one win away due to their 2 FCS wins, but the schedule is not easy going forward: @ Kent State and @ NIU. Kent State has been red hot as of late, and NIU is even hotter. The road has been unkind to the Eagles, they are just 1-3 with a 7 pt win over Central. Its a tough call, but I have to pick against the Eagles here.
VERDICT: Hung jury, favoring watching at home. While a good story, Eastern needs a great game on the road, and I can't see that happening.
OH MY GOODNESS! Did Kent State seriously read what we were writing about and get mad or what? My prediction for the Golden Flashes was not "bowlin'" or "watchin' at home", it was "Practicing offense". WOW, they did. They are still just 4-6, but at 3-3 in the conference, they can win the East with a little help from Ohio (tank brotha', tank). Kent State has a decent EMU team, and go to Temple to end the year, so it's not going to be easy. Honestly, this resurgence won't be enough.
VERDICT: Watchin' at home.
After jumping out to a horrible start, the defending MAC Champs finally stabilized. However, it could be too little too late as the RedHawks are standing on the edge with two tough games left: vs WMU and @ Ohio. The Bronco in me says they don't win both. The MAC in me says they don't win both. The underdog in me wants them to beat Ohio and have Kent State win the East. I trust my MAC knowledge, period.
VERDICT: Watchin' at home. Or for Miami fans, hockey season!
At last we reach the string of bowl eligible teams. The next four teams are all pretty much assured bowl games, and deservedly so. NIU started SLOW, and while their defense still occasionally has issues, they aren't Toledo or Western Michigan. NIU has been red hot though, and has bubble teams Ball State and Eastern Michigan at home to end the year. NIU controls their own destiny in the West, and should win the division, and possibly the MAC
VERDICT: Bowlin'! Probably GoDaddy.com Bowl or Little Ceasars Bowl
Last time, Ohio was banged up and the outlook looked bleak. Since then, they regained their form, became bowl eligible, and lead the MAC East, controlling their own destiny. They have a trip to Bowling Green and they host Miami, both winnable games against teams that show up randomly. They should win the East regardless, and garner a bowl bid.
VERDICT: Bowlin'! I'm thinkin' the Famous Potato Bowl.
The Temple Owls are so scary good because of Bernard Pierce. However, one man does not make a team. After dropping the Ohio game, it looks like Temple is just a bowl eligible team looking for a home. They have two winnable games at the Linc against Army then Kent State, so 8-4 is very achievable.
VERDICT: Bowlin'! I'm feelin the Military Bowl or GoDaddy.com Bowl.
After the rough non-conference season, Toledo rebounded nicely through October, going 4-0 in conference games. Then November came, and Rocket fans saw their defense melt in the cold November rain, or snow. I don't know, either way, my GnR reference failed miserably, and Toledo has given up 63 points in back-to-back Tuesdays. Anyways, the Rockets have trips to Central and Ball State, and need a NIU loss to win the West. They probably won't win the West, but they are a good look for any bowl with that offense.
VERDICT: Bowlin'! Either Little Ceasars Pizza Bowl or Military Bowl
After starting 4-2, the Broncos have dropped to 5-5, and the defense has absolutely disappeared. They have given up 2150 yards in 3 of their last 4 games combined, and 2500 total in that span. They go to Miami, and then host Akron in what could be their shot at bowl eligibility. I would say that's a gimme game, but I was at the Ball State game in 2009. Repressed memories suck. Still, I have to give them at least 1 win over either team, even if they are horrible on the road. They do still have the close loss to Illinois and win over UConn to show for, even if the 2nd half has be dismal.
VERDICT: Bowlin'! Yeah, it's a little biased, but I'm using my NIU logic from before: Everyone loves a shootout, and the Broncos can produce that. My money is on the Beef O' Brady's Bowl, mostly because I like the "scenery" at their restaurants
Alright everyone, feel free to make me look stupid