The Central Michigan Chippewas (8-5, 6-3 MAC) will be packing their sunglasses and bucket hats over the holiday season, as they are reportedly heading to the 2019 Gildan New Mexico Bowl to face the San Diego State Aztecs (9-3, 5-3 Mountain West.) Stadium’s Brett McMurphy was the first to report the news.
Central is coming off one of the most fascinating seasons in program history, stringing together an 8-4 season under first-year head coach (and 2019 MAC coach of the year) Jim McElwain, only a year removed from going 1-11.
The Chippewas ultimately couldn’t complete the miracle run in the Championship Game at Ford Field on Saturday afternoon, but they performed admirable in the last minutes of the fourth quarter to keep the pressure on the eventual champion Miami RedHawks, losing by a final score of 26-21.
They’ll face the second-place finisher in the Mountain West’s West Division in San Diego State, who narrowly lost out on a chance to play Boise State for the MWC Championship due to a three-point head-to-head loss vs. Hawai’i. They won two of their last three games, including a 13-3 game againt BYU to cap off a 4-0 non-conference record for 2019.
The Gildan New Mexico Bowl, which is set to be played on the campus of the University of New Mexico, will kick off on Sat., December 21, at 2:00 p.m. EST (noon local time) and be televised on ESPN.