It's only week two of the college football season, but SB Nation's Jason Kirk and CBSSports.com's Jerry Palm favor the MAC's Ball State, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois and Ohio as heading to bowl games this winter. The only disagreement is whether Buffalo and Toledo likewise will see post-season bowl games.
|SB Nation||CBS Sports|
|GoDaddy||NIU vs. South Alabama||GoDaddy||BGSU vs. South Alabama|
|Detroit||Notre Dame vs. Akron||Armed Forces Bowl||Houston vs. Ohio|
|Bahamas||Marshall vs. Toledo||Bahamas Bowl||UTSA vs. Ball State|
|Boca Rotan||FAU vs. Ball State||Boca Raton||Middle Tenn. Vs. Buffalo|
|Camelia||Ohio vs. Arkansas State||Camelia Bowl||Toledo vs. Arkansas State|
|Potato||BGSU vs. Utah State||Potato Bowl||NIU vs. Nevada|
Kirk projects that the Northern Illinois Huskies will face the South Alabama Jaguars in the Go Daddy Bowl on January 4, 2015. Northern Illinois bulldozed Presbyterian College 55-3 last Thursday night at the Huskies' season opener. But Palm thinks the Bowling Green Falcons will go to the GoDaddy Bowl to face South Alabama, despite the Falcon's 59-31 loss to Western Kentucky. Kirk forecasts Bowling Green facing Utah State at the Potato Bowl on December 20, 2014.
Southern Alabama is a newbie in Division I FBS status. 2013 season marked the first season the Jaguars' were eligible for the Sun Belt championship and to play in a bowl game, finishing the season with 6 wins and 6 losses, and ranked fifth in the Sun Belt league. However, Southern Alabama finished strong, winning its final games by double-digit margins.
Northern Illinois and Bowling Green have a longer history of bowl games, with BGSU holding a 4-7 bowl record and Northern Illinois with a 5-9 record. Whether Southern Alabama can live up to the hype will be tested Saturday, September 9, 2014, when it plays in a non-conference game again MAC's Kent State Golden Flashes.
Bowling Green's prospects may be fading. BGSU took a beating last Saturday in its loss to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, 59-31. This week, Bowling Green head coach Dino Babers announced that quarterback Matt Johnson will be out for the season with a hip injury. During the 2013 season, Johnson threw for 3,467 yards, 25 touchdowns (to just seven interceptions) and completed 64.2 percent of his passes while leading Bowling Green to its first MAC Championship in 22 seasons. Until his injury, Bowling Green had been favored to top the MAC in 2014.
Kirk projects the Ball State Cardinals facing Florida Atlantic at the Boca Raton Bowl, and the Ohio Bobcats playing Arkansas State at the Camellia Bowl on December 20, 2014. Palm forecasts Ball State battling Texas-San Antonio at the Bahamas Bowl on December 34, 2014, the Buffalo Bulls battling Middle Tennessee at the Boca Raton Bowl and the Toledo Rockets playing Arkansas State at the Camellia Bowl.
With Johnson out at Bowling Green, we may see some new bowl predictions next week for the MAC teams.