After going 1-11 three years ago, the Western Michigan Broncos are headed to the 2017 Cotton Bowl.
After a 13-0 record and a MAC Championship, the Broncos earned the “Group of Five” auto-bid by being the highest ranked conference champion from the American, Mid-American, Sun Belt, C-USA, or Mountain West conferences. They were one of two teams to go undefeated in 2016, the other being Alabama, and the only Group of Five champion to have fewer than three losses.
Their opponent in Dallas will be the Wisconsin Badgers. The Badgers went 10-3, winning the Big Ten West division before falling to Penn State in the Big Ten Championship Game. Wisconsin’s other two losses were to fellow New Year’s Six teams Michigan and Ohio State, the latter making the College Football Playoff.
In an interesting twist, both teams went undefeated against the Big Ten West. The Broncos defeated Northwestern and Illinois, while the Badgers ran the table outside of cross-over games.