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Bowl Watch 2012: Possible MAC Attack?

With the MAC's sudden rise in power, could we see a record number of MAC teams in bowls this winter?

Where will Kent State play this winter?
Where will Kent State play this winter?

Last year, I did a bowl watch for all the teams. I did fairly well if I do say so myself. So let's go back into things and see if I can do better. NOTE: ESPN and CBS submitted their projections before Tuesday's games.

Akron Zips

Akron is currently 1-9 and has yet to win in the MAC. However, they still have UMass to get that lone FBS win. If they fail, they have a bye week before getting Toledo on the road.

Verdict: Watching at home, eating pizza.

Ball State Cardinals

With Ball State's win over Toledo, they became 7-3 and all but secured a bowl bid. They have 2 BCS wins, no FCS games, and losses to 3 good teams (Clemson, NIU, and Kent St). While they won't win the West, they could very well be the 4-seed in the MAC depending on how the rest of the conference shakes out. They still have to play Ohio and Miami it should be noted, so anywhere from 7-5 to 9-3 is possible given recent inconsistencies between the two schools.

Verdict: They get an at-large bid. However, with all the headaches going on still, I'm forced to say Military Bowl with my fingers crossed. (ESPN has BBVA Compass, CBS has New Orleans)

Bowling Green Falcons

Bowling Green also stunned the nation with a win over Ohio. Yes, that once unbeaten Ohio team. The Falcons have a great defense, and if not for an early loss to Toledo, they would be one of those teams that everyone has been talking about. However, they lost, but now sit at 7-3 and have won 6 straight games. Should they beat Kent State next Saturday, they would only have to beat Buffalo to head to Detroit as the MAC East Champions. Any win there, and they would hands down be the Pizza Bowl representative.

The thing is, would the Pizza Bowl take a Toledo or BG team that just misses the MACC or loses in it? That is the big question. Last year, we saw the bowl committee take WMU over Toledo, when WMU had a mere 7-5 record. Would they stun everyone again and take a local school to put butts in seats? Maybe.

Verdict: I think the LCPB would take the MAC Champion over Toledo/BG (assuming they aren't it), especially if it is NIU. I think Suss enjoys the Potato Bowl heading the Falcons way. Bring ranch! (ESPN has Military, CBS has BBVA Compass)

Buffalo Bulls

At 2-7, Buffalo is also eliminated from bowl contention. They did beat Miami, and can ruin WMU's bowl hopes with a win over them. They also have games against UMass and Bowling Green, although the latter may be ugly.

Verdict: Watching at home, plowing driveways

Central Michigan Chippewas

When the Chips gave away a 9 pt lead in the 4th quarter Saturday, they did three things: (1) they lost to WMU at home for the first time since 2002, and only the second time since the 1970's, (2) all but killed their bowl hopes, and (3) all but ensured that Dan Enos will not return next year. Nothing needs to be said about #1, and you can argue about #3, but #2 is what we'll focus on.

CMU has 3 games left and stand at 3-6 currently. They go to EMU this weekend, and end at UMass, so getting to 5 wins shouldn't be an issue. The key will be Miami next Saturday. While we'll get to Miami shortly, that game should be an elimination game for each team's bowl hopes. If CMU wins, they get to 6-6. Then the discussion begins........

Verdict: Does a 6-6 CMU team get into a bowl? No. If you look at their wins, they would include: EMU, UMass, SEMO [FCS], Akron. The other two wins are Iowa and Miami. While Iowa may look good, it isn't enough. Central sits at home, with the 2011 Ball State complex.

Eastern Michigan Eagles

The Eagles are 1-8, have only beaten Army, and have really disappointed after having a decent year last year. Coach English's job may be getting warm. They end the season with the chance to win the Michigan MAC Trophy. To do that, they have to beat WMU. A win over CMU along with that win would give them the outright trophy, but they only have to retain. NIU to end the season is rough.

Verdict: Watching at home, maybe going to the Pizza Bowl as spectators

Kent State Golden Flashes

First bowl game since the 70's and the town has something to look forward to this Winter besides basketball! At 8-1, with a lone loss to Kentucky, KSU could win the MAC East if they can beat BGSU and Ohio. Dri Archer is a monster, and the defense is playing well as well. I think they get to the MACC, but don't win it. Still, a strong year.

Verdict: A berth as the #2 pick from the MAC would be likely. And honestly, who else if they make the MACC? (ESPN has Pizza or Potato, CBS has Beef O'Brady's)

Massachusetts Minutemen

They are ineligible by virtue of it being their first year in the FBS, but are also 0-9 and have yet to win a game. 3 games that could be won coming up though in Akron, Buffalo, and Central Michigan.

Verdict: They are going on vacation! They had this planned.

Miami RedHawks

The RedHawks suffered a severe setback with a loss to Buffalo last weekend. Now they are 4-5 and really cannot afford to lose a game. They haven't looked good against any team this year outside of Ohio, and that doesn't bode well for a possible berth. Left on the schedule are three tough games. Kent State should drop them down to 4-6, meaning the CMU and Ball State games are must-wins. I don't see them getting it done, and even if they do, 6-6 would have them sitting at home (see CMU)

Verdict: Hockey will be going on, so don't cry

Northern Illinois Huskies

The Huskys as geeves called them are probably the best team in the MAC and Jordan Lynch is a monster. Had they not lost to Iowa to start the year, they would undoubtedly be considered for a BCS bowl. But they did lose, and are now not even ranked. Still, don't sleep on this team.

With Toledo's loss to Ball State, NIU can lose to EMU to end the season and still secure the MAC West Title. All they have to do is beat Toledo next Wednesday. With a possible 12-1 record heading into bowl season, there is no way NIU doesn't make a MAC bowl.

Verdict: A 12-1 NIU team would be the Pizza Bowl's ideal team. Unfortunately, they would be matched up with a weaker opponent not in the Big Ten, which is sad because I know NIU would kill said team. Pizza Pizza! (ESPN agrees and also says Potato Bowl, CBS says Potato)

Ohio Bobcats

When I wrote my piece on why we should cheer for Ohio, I didn't think they'd fold like a poker player. Now, after 2 losses in 3 games, Ohio went from "Possible BCS berth" to "At-large Bid". That's how good the MAC is this year. Even at 8-2, Ohio looks to have to secure an At-Large. Their two games left will be big. Next Wednesday against Ball State and then Kent State to end the season. Jostling for bowl position folks!

Verdict: I think Ohio drops to 8-4 and gets the BBVA Compass bid. Sorry haters. (ESPN has Beef O'Brady's and GoDaddy, CBS has GoDaddy)

Toledo Rockets

Holy Toledo! 8-1 and looking to possibly get a MAC bid (Pizza Bowl?) and now 8-2 and looking like an at-large moment. They end the season against Akron, so if they handle their business there, next Wednesday's game against NIU will be for the MAC West. There is still hope, but it wouldn't be an outright title.

Verdict: I think they get an at-large bid. Beef O'Bradys. (ESPN has GoDaddy and Beef O'Brady, CBS has Pizza)

Western Michigan Broncos

The roller coaster season for the Broncos continues. Lose-win-lose-win-lose-win. Then lose 3, but follow that up with win 3? .500 for ya. Right now, they are 4-6, but have Buffalo and EMU left. Both games will be tough as Buffalo may have found themselves and EMU wants the Michigan MAC Trophy as redemption. Bill Cubit may have saved his job by beating CMU, and a .500 season would save face in a season where many though WMU could contend for a MAC West title.

Now is where I make you all hate me. If they get to .500, could they make a bowl? Yes. Shut up and listen. Why? Because they play the pity card for Carder's injury. That they have a good offense and can play with anyone when healthy. Does it work? Maybe. I already have 6 MAC schools in bowls, 2 others that would sit out if they get to 6-6 (only one would in my opinion), and now WMU. Therefore, I have reached a verdict..........

Verdict: Yes they get in. Keep in mind that WMU would enter on a 3 game win streak after losing their QB for most of conference play. It's a stretch, but the headache of the rest of the teams may work out to get WMU in. I say a Heart of Dallas Bowl berth, in the Cotton Bowl.

FINAL TOTAL: 7 Bowl Berths, 6 sitting at home. (MAC Record is 6 bowl berths)

Love 'em? Hate 'em? Have your own projections? Want to cuss me out? If you want to do the first 3, comment below. If you want to do the last one, shoot me an e-mail I guess.