MAC teams in bowl games
Bowling Green Falcons (10-3, 7-1 MAC) vs. Georgia Southern Eagles (8-4, 6-2 Sun Belt)
Without Dino Babers, the Falcons are still going to be expected to light up the scoreboard based on talent alone. Matt Johnson is living through the best season by a quarterback in MAC history behind one of the most experienced offensive lines in the nation, a running back that's broken the career school rushing record (old news) and a wide receiver corps that many coaches only dream of having. Georgia Southern's defense only gives up 23 points and 133 rushing yards per game.
Northern Illinois Huskies (8-5, 6-2 MAC vs. Boise State Broncos (8-4, 5-2 Mountain West)
I can see this being fun. Despite the fact that NIU's pretty banged up at the quarterback position, this is still must-see TV. The Huskies are widely known for having a lot of success in the MAC and Boise State isn't the same program like they once were, but still a really good team out of the Mountain West. Even though they didn't
Boca Raton Bowl
Toledo Rockets (9-2, 6-2 MAC) vs. No 24 Temple Owls (10-3, 7-1 AAC)
YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!
All the defense, all the #MACtion-y nostalgia. The Rockets didn't make it to the MAC Championship like many had penned them to do before the season began. All season long, they've been essentially fighting against Temple to be the ones to make it into the NY6 bowl games as the Group of 5 representative. The Owls fell to Houston in the AAC Championship, so this is a pretty consolation prize. That, and it should just be an exciting game to catch. So much cowbell.
Western Michigan Broncos (7-5, 6-2 MAC) vs. Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (7-5, 6-2 C-USA)
The first of 41 bowl games to be set in stone. WMU had an absolutely brutal schedule and their five losses came against Michigan State (in the playoffs), Ohio State (last year's National Champion), Georgia Southern (last year's Sun Belt Champion), Bowling Green ('15 MAC Champions) and Northern Illinois ('14 MAC Champions, '15 runner-ups). Good teams shouldn't be good teams because they've lost a few games, but the Broncos still have one of the best offenses in the MAC with a pair of First Team all-conference receivers and will fight for their first back-to-back 8-win seasons in school history. MTSU has a middle-of-the-pack passing defense when we're stacking them up against other teams in their conference.
Ohio Bobcats (8-4, 5-3 MAC) vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers (10-2, 7-1 Sun Belt)
Seven straight years of the Bobcats being bowl eligible, this is the seventh bowl appearance since 2007. Frank Solich has had to coach a team battling an unfortunate series of injuries throughout the year, but they still finished with an 8-4 record on the year and currently on a 3-game win streak. They'll definitely be tested against Appalachian State, the only team in the Sun Belt with a 10-win season that averages 37.2 points per game. If you're into good offenses vs. good defenses, then you'll be happy to have tuned into this game.
Quick Lane Bowl
Central Michigan Chippewas (7-5, 6-2 MAC) vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-7, 2-6 Big Ten)
John Bonamego wasn't supposed to take this team bowling, but now he's flexing on all the doubters. Beat cancer, honored Derrick Nash in a very commendable fashion, and co-West champions finishing 6-2 in conference play. Not bad for a first year head coach (at any level, at that). He'll be leading his team to a familiar venue in Detroit to face off against Minnesota, the only MAC team to play a P5 school in bowl play.
Akron Zips (7-5, 5-3 MAC) vs. Utah State Aggies (6-6, 5-3 Mountain West)
Statistically one of the best defensive teams in the MAC, as expected. The Zips finally have this bowl berth that they've been longing for under Terry Bowden. Utah State also has a really good defense with a better offense. I think most Akron fans are just happy to be here despite the fact that it's in Boise, Idaho. The Zips offense is very up and down, but if they can have a day where they're averaging around six yards per play, this could end up being pretty exciting.
College Football Playoff
1. Clemson Tigers (13-0, 8-0 ACC) vs. 4. Oklahoma Sooners (11-1, 8-1 Big 12)
Clemson's the only undefeated team in FBS, so it's hard to leave them out. Did Dabo Sweeney's dancing keep them at No. 1? It's possible. Outside of ripping his punter a new one in the ACC title game, that's really the only time he knows how to lose it. Real talk though, Deshaun Watson might be the best quarterback in the nation.
The iTest says that Oklahoma is playing just as good as anybody out there, which is a fair argument because I don't care to listen to that. They've got a quarterback in Baker Mayfield that's also a Heisman contender and had a big win over Akron to open up the season, answering all doubts about their strength of schedule. Sure they lost to Texas, but they're also coming off of three straight wins over ranked opponents (two on the road). Had the Big 12 had a conference title game, maybe they would be the 3-seed. Or maybe not.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1, 7-1 SEC) vs. 3. Michigan State Spartans (12-1, 7-1 Big Ten)
As they should be. And by "they", I mean "Michigan State". The Spartans opened up the season at Western Michigan, not that that really matters but I felt obligated to remind you of that. MSU doesn't like to win big, but outside of the Nebraska loss, this team knows how to win. That last-minute win over Iowa in the Big Ten Championship game was fantastic and warranted a leap frog over Oklahoma in the rankings.
Nick Saban, widely recognized in large part for being a Kent State alumnus in the early 70's, is also a big time college football coach. Alabama collects hardware, is a college football powerhouse, and has the most mature and intelligent fan base in the nation. You'd be a smarter fan too if you regularly called into Paul Finebaum's show.
|Gildan New Mexico||12/19 (Sat.)||2:00 p.m.||Arizona vs. New Mexico||ESPN|
|Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl||12/19||3:30 p.m.||BYU vs.Utah||ABC|
|Raycom Media Camellia Bowl||12/19||5:30 p.m.||Appalachian State vs. Ohio||ESPN|
|AutoNation Cure Bowl||12/19||7:00 p.m.||Georgia State vs. San Jose State||CBSSN|
|R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl||12/19||9:00 p.m.||Arkansas State vs. Louisiana Tech||ESPN|
|Miami Beach Bowl||12/21 (Mon.)||2:30 p.m.||South Florida vs. Western Kentucky||ESPN|
|Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||12/22 (Tues.)||3:30 p.m.||Akron vs. Utah State||ESPN|
|Boca Raton Bowl||12/22||7:00 p.m.||Toledo vs. Temple||ESPN|
|San Diego County CU Poinsettia Bowl||12/23 (Wed.)||4:30 p.m.||Boise State vs. Northern Illinois||ESPN|
|GoDaddy Bowl||12/23||8:00 p.m.||Georgia Southern vs. Bowling Green||ESPN|
|Poppeyes Bahamas Bowl||12/24 (Thur.)||12:00 p.m.||Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan||ESPN|
|Hawai'i Bowl||12/24||8:00 p.m.||Cincinnati vs. San Diego State||ESPN|
|St. Petersburg Bowl||12/26 (Sat.)||11:00 a.m.||Connecticut vs. Marshall||ESPN|
|Hyundai Sun Bowl||12/26||2:00 p.m.||Miami (FL) vs. Washington State||CBS|
|Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl||12/26||2:20 p.m.||Southern Miss vs. Washington||ESPN|
|New Era Pinstripe Bowl||12/26||3:30 p.m.||Duke vs. Indiana||ABC|
|Camping World Independence Bowl||12/26||5:45 p.m.||Tulsa vs. Virginia Tech||ESPN|
|Foster Farms Bowl||12/26||9:15 p.m.||UCLA vs. Nebraska||ESPN|
|Military Bowl||12/28 (Mon.)||2:30 p.m.||Pittsburgh vs. Navy||ESPN2|
|Quick Lane Bowl||12/28||5:00 p.m.||Central Michigan vs. Minnesota||ESPN|
|Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl||12/29 (Tues.)||2:00 p.m.||Air Force vs. California||ESPN|
|Russell Athletic Bowl||12/29||5:30 p.m.||North Carolina vs. Baylor||ESPN|
|Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl||12/29||7:30 p.m.||Colorado State vs. Nevada||ASN|
|AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl||12/29||9:00 p.m.||LSU vs. Texas Tech||ESPN|
|Birmingham Bowl||12/30 (Wed.)||12:00 p.m.||Auburn vs. Memphis||ESPN|
|Belk Bowl||12/30||3:30 p.m.||Mississippi State vs. NC State||ESPN|
|Franklin Amer. Mort. Music City Bowl||12/30||7:00 p.m.||Louisville vs. Texas A&M||ESPN|
|National University Holiday Bowl||12/30||10:30 p.m.||Wisconsin vs. USC||ESPN|
|Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl||12/31 (Thur.)||12:00 p.m.||Houston vs. Florida State||ESPN|
|Goodyear Cotton Bowl||12/31||8:00 p.m.||Alabama vs. Michigan State||ESPN|
|Capital One Orange Bowl||12/31||4:00 p.m.||Clemson vs. Oklahoma||ESPN|
|Outback Bowl||1/1 (Fri.)||12:00 p.m.||Northwestern vs. Tennessee||ESPN2|
|Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl||1/1||1:00 p.m.||Michigan vs. Florida||ABC|
|BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl||1/1||1:00 p.m.||Notre Dame vs. Ohio State||ESPN|
|Rose Bowl Game||1/1||5:00 p.m.||Stanford vs. Iowa||ESPN|
|Allstate Sugar Bowl||1/1||8:30 p.m.||Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss||ESPN|
|TaxSlayer Bowl||1/2 (Sat.)||12:00 p.m.||Georgia vs. Penn State||ESPN|
|AutoZone Liberty Bowl||1/2||3:20 p.m.||Arkansas vs. Kansas State||ESPN|
|Valero Alamo Bowl||1/2||6:45 p.m.||TCU vs. Oregon||ESPN|
|Motel 6 Cactus Bowl||1/2||10:15 p.m.||
Arizona State vs. West Virginia
|CFP National Championship||1/11 (Mon.)||8:30 p.m.||Cotton Bowl winner vs. Orange Bowl winner||ESPN|
Final CFP Rankings
3. Michigan State
7. Ohio State
8. Notre Dame
9. Florida State
10. North Carolina
12. Ole Miss
16. Oklahoma State