What an amazing MAC Championship!
Western Michigan came out and did what we thought they’d do, then the Ohio Bobcats came roaring back and nearly won the game. However, with Robert Spillane’s interception to end the comeback drive, WMU held on to secure a big 40 points for most of us. I was the closest to the total points, with my 55 point total (38-17, for full transparency) coming just three shy of the 52 points scored on Friday. Therefore, I am your MACCG winner.
With that said, here are your MAC Pick’em Standings as we head into the final form of the year: The Bowl Season. As you can see, just one point separates the Top 3. With each bowl game worth 5 points and the confidence multiplier making its return, that means a total of 105 points are still up for grabs, and it’s anyone’s race.
Let’s get to pickin’!
Raycom Camellia Bowl - Toledo vs Appalachian State - I have the Rockets winning this one. Their three losses this year have been to quality opponents (both MAC Championship Game participants, and BYU), and I really like their balance with the ball. The Mountaineers didn’t have a bad loss either, but they’ve only been challenged once since September - a loss to Troy on the road that cost them the Sun Belt Title.
Miami Beach Bowl - Central Michigan vs Tulsa - The Golden Hurricane are very good. The Chippewas are not. Pretty easy pick. Remember, Tulsa finished 2nd in the AAC West behind Navy - a team they lost by just two points to on the road. They nearly were the team playing against Temple on Saturday. CMU on the other hand? They finished 5th in the MAC West.
Popeyes Bahamas Bowl - Eastern Michigan vs Old Dominion - I want to pick EMU here, but I can’t. This was a great game last year, with the Monarchs winning 38-34 in Ypsilanti on a Ray Lawry 45-yard touchdown run with under 2 minutes to go. Neither team inspires full confidence here, but the Monarchs did go 9-3, and would’ve been in the C-USA Title Game had they not gotten blown out by eventual champ WKU. The Eagles are just too streaky to pick.
Dollar General Bowl - Ohio vs Troy - MAC #2 vs Sun Belt #2. Troy should’ve been the easy pick here, but their 2nd half of the season has been tumultuous. They’ve dropped two games (Arkansas State and Georgia Southern), and had two other games decided by a score (Georgia State and App State). Only one of those games has been understandable for a team that nearly knocked off Clemson back in September. Meanwhile, the Bobcats put that ugly Texas State loss behind them and have played decent football outside of the Michigan MAC West (0-3). It’s tough, but Ohio takes this one.
St. Petersberg Bowl - Miami vs Mississippi State - Damn right I’m picking the MAC over the SEC. The Bulldogs are 5-7, and a loss to South Alabama. The RedHawks are 6-6, but have won their last 6 games. Even though Mississippi State beat then #4 Texas A&M, they have not inspired enough confidence to say they’ll win this one. Miami continues to win, and surprisingly finishes with a winning record after starting 0-6.
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - #15 Western Michigan vs #8 Wisconsin - Should PJ Fleck leave Western Michigan, I might change this pick (you can always resubmit if you make a boo boo. I take the last submission by each user name). However, right now? I want the Broncos. I want Corey Davis in his last collegiate game. I want the Bronco defense to hold Alex Hornibrook to dirt. I want the Group of Five to move to 3-0 against the P5 in the NY6 bowls. I’m picking Western and holding my breath.