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2015 College Football Bowl Selections: 7 MAC teams are going bowling

Central Michigan is the only school to play against a P5 team, a 5-7 Minnesota Gophers squad. Toledo, Western Michigan and Northern Illinois all get to play in really cool destinations, but the MAC champs have to play the third-best team out of the Sun Belt.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

MAC teams in bowl games

GoDaddy Bowl

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.

Poinsettia Bowl

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)


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.

Bahamas Bowl

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.

Camellia Bowl

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.

Potato Bowl

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

Orange Bowl
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.

Cotton Bowl
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.

Bowl Schedule

Bowl Date Time (EST) Matchup TV
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

1. Clemson

2. Alabama

3. Michigan State

4. Oklahoma

5. Iowa

6. Stanford

7. Ohio State

8. Notre Dame

9. Florida State

10. North Carolina

11. TCU

12. Ole Miss

13. Northwestern

14. Michigan

15. Oregon

16. Oklahoma State

17. Baylor

18. Houston

19. Florida

20. LSU

21. Navy

22. Utah

23. Tennessee

24. Temple

25. USC