North Coast Bias: MAC Bowl Projections (11.25.12)

We hear Florida is BEAUTIFUL this time of the year. - Mike Ehrmann

Projecting the 2012/13 MAC Bowl Matchups.

The MAC finished with SEVEN bowl eligible teams this season. The latest North Coast Bias projections have been adjusted to reflect Miami declaring itself postseason ineligible for the second straight season and now have a total of 71 bowl eligible teams for the 70 available spots. At the moment, it seems as if Central Michigan will be the team left out.

Our last projections had a 1-loss MAC Champion in the Orange Bowl and the argument was always more that it should happen and not so much that it would happen, but the notion was not so farfetched as to be immediately dismissed, as I'm sure it was by some. The flaws of the current system, more than anything, are what would have prevented such a scenario from playing out.

Those projections had a 1-loss MAC Champion at the cusp of meeting the BCS criteria last week with a few projected upsets down the road that would eventually propel the MAC Champion into the Orange Bowl. Well, down the road came in the form of the turmoil this past week. NCB now stands by its MAC Champion to the Orange Bowl projection with undaunted conviction.

What we're talking about here is where the MAC Champion SHOULD be ranked. And where it should be, as the Champion of the best and most highly rated non-AQ conference this season, is ranked above every non-AQ team and Champion, plus every Independent with the exception of Notre Dame, plus (as explained in last week's projections) ahead of every team in the Big East including the Champion, especially now that the Big East Champion will be a 2-loss team. That puts us at 62 teams.

Now add every team in the ACC, outside of Clemson and Florida State and we're at 72. Add to that, every team in the Big Ten, with the possible exception of a 2-loss Nebraska team and we're at 83 teams.

For the remaining conferences, add every team with 3 or more losses and the number of teams that should be ranked below the MAC Champion is up to 109, making the number of teams above the MAC Champion, only 14. In other words, the MAC Champion SHOULD rank no less than 15, or thereabouts.

Side note: NCB is projecting Wisconsin to win the Big Ten Championship and therefore bumping the MAC Champion's ranking by at least one more spot. And, there is always the possibility of upsets in the other Championships Games, which should bump the MAC Champion further up the rankings.

Where a 1-loss MAC Champion SHOULD be Ranked

Conference Teams Ranked Below MAC Champ
Running Total
Non-AQ + Independents 54 54
Big East 8 62
ACC 10 72
Big Ten 11 83
SEC 8 91
Pac-12 10 101
Big 12 8 109

124 -109 = 15.

MAC Champion SHOULD rank no less than #15.

It seems that in the past, it never took this much for a "smaller conference" Champion with one loss and wins over ranked opponents to get to #16 or higher. Of course, there wasn't as much to lose back then. Ever since the stakes changed, it seems the rules have also. That is a serious indictment of the current system and those pulling the strings. Sure there is a new system coming and hopefully it isn't as flawed as the current system, but of course, there are no guarantees.

We'll hope for the best with the future, but let's GET IT RIGHT THIS YEAR. Denying the MAC Champion a BCS bowl would be further damning evidence of this egregious injustice.

Onto this week's projections:

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, Heart of Dallas Bowl, and Independence Bowl are not projected to host a MAC team with the other two secondary bowls projected to have MAC teams.

The BCS Bowl is listed first, followed by the three Primary Bowls, and lastly by the five Secondary Bowls.

BOWL PROJECTIONS

Bowl Game Location Date MAC Opponent
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 Arkansas State
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 Ohio C. Florida
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 Toledo Pittsburgh

Teams in bold have accepted a bid.

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