The MAC currently has SIX bowl eligible teams with one team in contention for eligibility. The latest North Coast Bias projections have a total of 69 bowl eligible teams for the 70 available spots, with the MAC ending up with seven bowl eligible teams.
There's only one change to the MAC lineup from last week's projections, but it is a big one; projections include a 1-loss MAC Champ in the Orange Bowl.
North Coast Bias is steadfast in the belief that a 1-loss MAC Champ (NIU or Kent State) should be ranked higher than any other non-AQ Champion and a 1-loss Big East team (currently projected to be Rutgers), by virtue of Kent State's decisive win over Rutgers and the #4 MAC team's win over the Big East #3 (Toledo over Cincinnati).
Projections also have Wisconsin winning the Big Ten Championship game, for the second year in a row, against a team that it lost to on the road during the regular season.
Whether a 1-loss MAC Champ is actually ranked at or above the requisite #16 and ahead of one or both of these conference champions remains to be seen. But if they are not, it's reasonable to conclude that it is due in part to deliberate actions taken to prevent it from happening.
The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl still projects to have an opponent from the Sun Belt Conference, with the other primary bowls featuring opponents as contracted.
Of the five disclosed secondary agreements, the New Mexico Bowl, Independence Bowl, and Heart of Dallas Bowl are projected not to host a MAC team with the other two secondary bowls projected to have MAC teams.
In addition, NCB is projecting the New Orleans Bowl to host a MAC team as at-large selection.
The BCS Bowl is listed first, followed by the three Primary Bowls, the five Secondary Bowls, and finally by the projected At-Large Bowl.
|Orange Bowl||Miami, FL||Jan. 1, 2013||NIU||Florida State|
|Little Caesars Bowl||Detroit, MI||Dec. 26, 2012||Bowling Green||Middle Tennessee|
|GoDaddy.com Bowl||Mobile, AL||Jan. 6, 2013||Kent State||UL-Lafayette|
|Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Boise, ID||Dec. 15, 2012||Ball State||Utah State|
|New Mexico Bowl||Albuquerque, NM||Dec. 15, 2012||N/A||N/A|
|Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl||St. Petersburg, FL||Dec. 21, 2012||Toledo||East Carolina|
|Independence Bowl||Shreveport, LA||Dec. 28, 2012||N/A||N/A|
|Heart of Dallas Bowl||Dallas, TX||Jan. 1, 2013||N/A||N/A|
|BBVA Compass Bowl||Birmingham, AL||Jan. 5, 2013||Ohio||UL-Monroe|
|New Orleans Bowl||New Orleans, LA||Dec. 22, 2012||C. Michigan||Arkansas State|