Sunday, December 02, 2018

MAC Title and Bowl Games

So, a quick football update.

All year, I've been looking forward to NIU and Buffalo in the MAC final.  These were both really good teams, well coached and I felt it would be an excellent matchup.

And it was.  Buffalo seemed to have it won, but NIU mounted a furious comeback to take the title, 30-29.  Rod Carey has clearly been underrated as a head coach.  They were off last year, were predicted to win it this year and they did.  Meanwhile, Lance Leipold has the Buffalo program loaded and ready to compete, and we know he's used to sustaining success.

The bowl bids are also out.  In all, 6 bowl games will include MAC teams.  Miami was the only bowl-eligible program to not make it, and they were 6-6.

Overall, the matchups are not bad.  As normal, the MAC is matched up with G5 programs, not P5 programs, which I think would be everyone's preference.  For example, the NIU/UAB game is interesting because UAB won their conference and therefore it is hot champion-on-champion action.  Toledo will take on Florida International, QB'd by former BG QB James Morgan.  WMU and BYU is a good matchup--BYU is a name opponent, though they are deprived of a trip to the warm weather.  Also, all 3 are non-Sun Belt games.

EMU in a bowl game is interesting just because it is.  So much credit for what Chris Creighton has done there.  Also, Georgia Southern was 9-3 and play the same soul-crushing running attack they did when they embarrassed the Falcons in '15.  And Sun Belt.

I'm sure Buffalo would rather not be playing a Sun Belt team, but Troy is a good team with a strong historic program.  They were 9-3 as well.  In addition, they are playing near home.

Ohio might have the easiest game.  San Diego State was only 7-5 but the game is a long way from home.

  • Eastern Michigan vs. Georgia Southern (Sun Belt), Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, Dec. 15, 5:30 pm ET (ESPN)
  • Northern Illinois vs. UAB (C-USA), Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl, Dec. 18, 7:00 pm ET (ESPN)
  • Ohio vs. San Diego State (Mountain West), DXL Frisco Bowl, Dec. 19, 8:00 pm ET (ESPN)
  • Toledo vs. Florida International (C-USA), Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl, Dec. 21, 12:30 pm ET (ESPN)
  • Western Michigan vs. BYU (Independent), Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Dec. 21, 4:00 pm ET (ESPN)
  • Buffalo vs. Troy (Sun Belt), Dollar General Bowl, Dec. 22, 7:00 pm ET (ESPN)
The bowl games are pretty much silly, given the number of teams that make them.  I felt that more strongly when BG was making them on a regular basis.  Anyway, I like to watch these games and I look forward to seeing how our MAC brethren do and I look forward to seeing our program back on this list.

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