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2013 Bowl Projections Week 9: Northern Illinois No Longer Projected To Crash the BCS

The updated bowl projections are out, and news is bittersweet for the MAC this week. NIU is still projected to win out, but due to circumstances outside of the Huskies control, they're no longer projected to bust the BCS. Elsewhere, a rematch of the Battle for the Bell, this time in Hawaii, is projected.

Ohio could get to face Marshall again, this time in the Hawaii Bowl.
Ohio could get to face Marshall again, this time in the Hawaii Bowl.

Jason Kirk's updated bowl projections are out and the picture looks a bit less bright this week for the Mid-American Conference. After Week 7, Kirk projected six MAC teams would make a bowl, including an unbeaten NIU crashing the BCS and going to the Fiesta Bowl. This week, Northern Illinois is no longer projected to bust the BCS.

The Huskies drop from a BCS bowl projection has less to do with them, and more to do with the fact that things just got a lot easier for Fresno State with both Boise State and Utah State's quarterbacks suffering season-ending injuries. NIU has to go through a tougher conference to remain unbeaten, and even if it can, would need Fresno State to lose to get ahead of the Bulldogs. Of course a few style wins from Northern Illinois could also change that, but for now all the Huskies can do is win and hope that Fresno State trips up somewhere. For now it looks like a trip to Detroit for the final Little Caesars Pizza Bowl is the most likely.

Originally Kirk didn't have Toledo in this week's projections, but adjusted them to include the Rockets taking on a Mountain West Conference opponent in San Diego. The Rockets record isn't spectacular at 4-3, but those three losses came against Florida, Missouri and Ball State, which is sure to help them when it comes to making bowl selections.

Bowling Green is projected to lose to NIU in the MAC Championship game, and go to the GoDaddy Bowl in what would be a battle of the Bowling Green's. Western Kentucky is located in Bowling Green, Ky.. PRobably the most interesting matchup though comes in the form of the rematch between bitter rivals Ohio and Marshall in the Hawaii Bowl. The 'Cats beat the Thundering Herd 34-31 to keep the Bell in Athens for another year. The two have meet in a bowl previously, in 2009 when the 6-6 Herd upset the 9-4 'Cats in the LCPB.

Ball State is projected to lose to NIU and finish second in the MAC West therefore earning a trip to the blue turf of Boise Idaho. Buffalo, which keeps blowing out opponents after losses to Ohio State and Baylor is projected to face North Texas in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl.

Here's the full breakdown of the MAC's projected bowl appearances:

Bowl Date Matchup
GoDaddy Bowl (Mobile, AL) Jan. 5, 2014 Bowling Green vs. Western Kentucky
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (Detroit) Dec. 26, 2013 Northern Illinois vs. Arkansas State
Poinsettia Bowl (San Diego) Dec. 26, 2013 Wyoming vs. Toledo
Hawaii Bowl (Guess where) Dec. 24, 2013 Ohio vs. Marshall
Beef O'Brady's Bowl (St. Pete, FL) Dec. 23, 2013 Buffalo vs North Texas
Idaho Potato (Boise, ID) Dec 21, 2013 Ball State vs. Troy

What are your thoughts on the bowl projections? Think NIU can still make a BCS appearance happen, or is there too many things that have to go right for it to happen? OF these matchups which one are you most looking forward to? Let us know below.


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