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The 21 best bowl performances by MAC football players

The MAC only went 2-5 in bowl games, not what they were looking for but matching the fear we had entering the postseason. Despite this, were a ton of solid games by individuals in all seven bowls — not just by Ohio in the Independence Bowl.

Ohio senior defensive lineman Tremayne Scott had an emotional and successful day to remember in the Independence Bowl.
Ohio senior defensive lineman Tremayne Scott had an emotional and successful day to remember in the Independence Bowl.

Thanks for putting up for about five days of mostly silence. I was bedridden with what appeared to be the flu, planted there by a power conference. I can't place which one it was, but for most of the weekend I was hallucinating the same epithet: In the weight room. In the community. In the germ warfare lab. Could've been anyone, really.

But they didn't defeat me forever. Here I am, and as a healthy return, let's take a gander back at the end of the MAC football season, where the wins and losses were right around what a realist would have expected.

21. Richie Hogan, Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky in the Little Caesars Bowl: It's hard to throw punters into the mix, but it's easy to do that when one of them hits one that goes 82 yards. Hogan's other two punts averaged 45 yards.

20. Andrew Melchiori, Kent State vs. Arkansas State in the Bowl: Still not sure why this guy didn't get All-MAC honors, but another game showed how he can change the field position. The freshman had six punts averaging 43 yards with a long of 63

19. Jeremiah Detmer, Toledo vs. Utah State in the Idaho Potato Bowl: He made all three of his field goals: one from 29 yards and two from 37 yards. And for what it's worth, he averaged 64.8 out of a possible 65 yards on his kickoffs.

18. Charlie Walker, Bowling Green vs. San Jose State in the Military Bowl: Walker had two tackles for loss and a sack-fumble that was returned by Chris Jones, almost for a touchdown.

17. John Pettigrew, Bowling Green: Anthon Samuel had trouble getting loose but Pettigrew found some success, carrying it seven times for 59 yards and a touchdown. He also returned two kickoffs, one for 52 yards.

16. Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois vs. Florida State in the Orange Bowl: The numbers were not so good. He had four excellent plays: a 52-yard punt, a touchdown pass, a perfectly-placed pass for 55 yards and a 22-yard scramble. The full line: 15-for-41, 176 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT and 23 carries for 44 yards. All you can say it was a tough, gutty performance against a pissed-off defense, and he played the game hard for 60 minutes, right up until he was sacked on fourth down.

15. Willie Snead, Ball State vs. Central Florida in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl: There wasn't much to write home about in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl. But always finding his way into big catches, Snead had a terrific game: seven catches for 78 yards, two of them for touchdowns.

14. Avery Cunningham, Central Michigan: Only three tackles to his name, but Cunningham forced a fumble and also blocked the punt which set up the game-winning drive.

13. Dri Archer, Kent State: The lightning-quick darling of the conference had just nine carries for 77 yards, including a brilliant zigzagging 44-yard scamper down the middle, and a touchdown. He also caught four balls for 22 yards and made his trademarked impact on kickoff returns, even coming up to collect a pooch kick and advance it 18 more yards.

12. Rashaan Melvin, Northern Illinois: The defense had a hard time slowing down Florida State, but Melvin did register 1 1/2 tackles for loss and jarred loose a fumble on a critical third down conversion for FSU.

11. Zurlon Tipton, Central Michigan: He was paraded as the impact player on CMU's offense, and it wasn't a terrific game but he did hit 101 yards on 23 carries and caught two passes for 29 yards.

10. Keith Wenning, Ball State: Despite the sacks and the defense, Wenning had a decent night in Tampa: 22-for-34, 217 yards and two touchdowns.

9. Tyler Futrell, Ohio vs. Louisiana-Monroe in the Independence Bowl: He had five catches for 133 yards, and wasn't the leading receiver on his team. No, that was:

8. Chase Cochran, Ohio: Three catches for 162 yards and a touchdown. His "shortest" catch was a 43-yard completion. Some of those early catches really helped decide the outcome of the game.

7. Andrew Flory, Central Michigan: We might as well talk about all three of his catches: a 7-yard completion to convert a third down, a breakaway 69-yard touchdown and another 29-yard touchdown. All in the first quarter.

6. Beau Blankenship, Ohio: 104 yards and four touchdowns was a banner day for their bruising running back. What made it better is they didn't need to rely on him, as he had just 19 carries to go with a five-yard reception.

5. Cody Wilson, Central Michigan: A senior performance by a senior player. Ten catches, 101 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner. Flory had the big plays early on and Wilson moved the chains, as he's done for four years.

4. Ryan Radcliff, Central Michigan: They needed a big game from him to win the Little Caesars Bowl and he delivered, hot and ready. His go-ahead touchdown with two minutes left was the difference. His final line: 19-for-29 253 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. It's reminiscent of the day he had last year to beat NIU. Performances like that were scattershot in his college career but he ended on a powerful note.

3. Tremayne Scott, Ohio: Two sacks and a brilliant line-of-scrimmage interception made Scott perhaps the best defensive all-around player in bowl season. No bonus points needed here, but this was not only Scott's final collegiate game, but he missed the previous seven contests to injury. So all around, a wonderful denouement to his career.

2. Bernard Reedy, Toledo: He returned a kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown, something he's done a couple times this year. He also caught six balls for 62 yards. But what really brought the all-purpose alchemist to a new level was the wide receiver filling in for the dinged-up David Fluellen at running back, carrying the ball 10 carries for 50 yards. He finished with a total of 309 yards.

1. Tyler Tettleton, Ohio: He started the game completing five passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns. It cooled down after that, and he finished with: 14-for-22, 331 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in garbage time. TT also recorded four carries for 34 yards.

As always, I'm looking for omissions. I left out offensive linemen for obvious difficulties.